Interesting news in the search landscape today: Microsoft’s search engine product, better known as Bing.com, has exceeded 30% of search market share for the first time ever. It’s interesting (and heartening, in our opinion, because real competition in the space is badly needed) to see another search engine gain at the expense of Google, because the trend for so many years has been exactly the opposite. Congratulations, Redmond.
There are, as always, a couple of caveats worth noting. First of all, that roughly 30% market share isn’t all Bing.com and their related apps and search products. Half of it is Yahoo!, who long ago gave up on improving their own search engine and “contracted out” the technology to Bing. Bing-branded market share is really only about 15%. Nevertheless, any growth against Google by competing services is impressive.
Second, it’s possible that, in addition to the Yahoo! deal, Bing’s growth can be attributed to their aggressive deal-making and sponsorships over the last year or so. In addition to its own position as the default search engine on Windows Phone 7 devices, Bing has inked deals with Android handset makers to deliver Bing-co-branded phones. Some Android enthusiasts call this aggressive bundling of sponsored apps and services by carriers on many Android phones “junkware,” but there’s no doubt that we’ll see more and more of this as a way for wireless carriers to subsidize hardware cost.
You already know that storeBlox 2 is unrivaled in SEO features for promotional/wearables e-commerce. We’re making it even better this fall. This month we’re rolling out category and subcategory SEO URL auto-generation with manual overrides. You’ll be able to have true hierarchical, keyword-rich URLs for all your product categories, subcategories, catalogs and catalog categories, either automatically (based on existing titles) or via a manual overrirde (in case you want to get more relevant keywords).
What does all this mean? You can have URLs that look like this:
Or even like this:
As I was searching for a gift late one evening using Google, I came to a shocking realization. For all the work eBlox has done over the years in organic search – optimizing websites and links so that pages come up high in Google’s rankings – I’ve been won over by the “other” side of Google’s search results page. That’s right: I click on ads. Specifically, the “pay-per-click” ads that run down the right side and top of Google’s search results page. For me, those “Sponsored Links” have become a more reliable way to find many of the things I’m looking for. And if my behavior has changed, you can bet that other users’ habits are changing too.
Why on earth would I click an advertisement for “imprinted ceramic mugs” when Google has invested billions of dollars in technology to show me the absolute best, top-notch, high-quality, popular web site for ceramic mugs right there in the middle of the page? Quite a few reasons, actually, but the most salient one may be that Google has quite a few more billions riding on the accuracy and effectiveness of those ads that surround the natural results than the results themselves. Google’s stated mission is to organize the world’s information, but their balance sheet tells the real story: Google is an advertising company. That’s not to suggest Google neglects their organic search results; quite the opposite. Google’s search results are probably the best they can possibly be given the volume of information they have to process.