Marketing in the information age is a complicated and expensive endeavor. Not only do companies have to market in traditional ways, but they also have to market in the digital sphere as well. As more and more people move their activities exclusively to online, it’s important for marketers to get their message out to as many potential buyers as possible.
Between all the different digital options (social media, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, display ads, email blasts, website design, etc), this can quickly become an expensive task. Due to marketing budget constraints, companies are essentially forced to pick and choose which marketing methods they are able to compete in.
One question that many people have is where the best places to allocate their marketing dollars are. In this day and age, one of the most effective places that a company can market would be on search engines using pay per click ads. In this model, companies will show targeted paid search results to people who are searching for something specific. The company will not pay a dime on that ad unless it’s clicked on. This results in a very high ROI for many companies because whoever clicks on those ads are usually serious about buying.
The two biggest search engines in the world right now are Google and Bing. You have a set amount of marketing dollars that you can spend. Which platform is ultimately better? Do you go 100% into Google, 100% into Bing, or do a 50/50 split?
Google has been around for a long time. It was conceptualized in 1996 as a simple research project by two PhD students. They wanted a way to make search results more meaningful and relevant for internet users, so they came up with the PageRank system. The company itself was founded in 1998 and has flourished ever since. Google Adwords (the pay per click ad portion) was launched in 2000.
In 2017, AdWords brought in nearly $100 billion in revenue for Google. This is due to the ridiculously large number of searches that happen on Google. Google processes 40,000 searches every second, which translates to an astonishing 1.2 trillion searches per year. In essence, Google is simply the world’s most active website and the largest search engine platform. It’s the perfect platform for companies to market on due to the sheer number of people who visit.
Bing also has been around for a long time. It was originally founded as MSN Search by Microsoft in 1998 that basically consisted of a simple internet search with a web crawler component. In 2006, Windows Live Search replaced MSN Search. Windows Live Search consisted of better technology and more capabilities. In 2007, the search was simply renamed “Live.” In 2009, the search engine was rebranded as Bing. Ultimately, Bing was the last of the big three (Google and Yahoo!) to offer pay per click ads. After several acquisitions, Bing ads were launched in 2007.
Overall, Bing ads make up 33% of the pay per click market share. Despite Bing having less search volume than Google, the Bing search engine comes standard on all Microsoft computers and is standard under the Internet Explorer web browser. Interestingly enough, Apple also uses Bing for their extremely popular Siri search function. Amazon’s Alexa also uses Bing when searching. It’s been said that Bing’s ads will be integrated into future AI applications because of the effectiveness of the searches and tech integration abilities.
Which is better?
This is a tough question to answer because each search engine is designed for entirely different demographics.
Google is somewhat considered the “go-to” search engine for people who are on-the-go, younger people, and those who are just doing casual research. This results in a massive amount of search traffic. Placing ads on Google are usually more expensive, but are seen by way more individuals.
Bing seems to have a focus on the older demographic with their Internet Explorer option, but are also breaking into the world of AI and voice recognition searches with the early adopters of tech. This allows for Bing to be more targeted in their ad display (you can actually choose what demographics you want to show ads to!). Because there is less search volume, the search competition is less as well, meaning the ads will be cheaper than Google.
Ultimately, it depends on your individual marketing strategy. If you are trying to cover as many possible search queries as possible and want to target every single person who searches for that topic, Google might be the best option. If you’d prefer to spend less but be way more specific in your targeting, Bing would be the better option for you.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com