Firefox users may have noticed a change in their default search engine browser this past autumn. After the deal between Yahoo! and Firefox, Yahoo! search engine became the default search browser for Firefox users. Google shares recently decreased from 79.3 percent to 75.2 percent, and Yahoo! shares increased from 7.4 percent to 10.4 percent.
But it brings up another question about search engines: Where does the search engine Bing stand in the search engine battle?
Bing, launched in 2009 by Microsoft, is still making a name for itself. According to Martin-Wilbourn Partners, Bing was the world’s second most popular search engine in 2013 with 16.5 percent of online searches compared to Google’s 67 percent, Yahoo’s 12 percent, and less than 3 percent for Ask and AOL. The perks of Bing working in both Microsoft Word and Excel for maps and spell-check tools has increased its value in comparison to the others.
But outside of the search engine program being useful for its owner’s programs, what exactly makes a user want to use a certain search engine? More importantly, what would make a user choose to switch from one of the other search engine sites that is already their default browser to Bing?
Bing must make sure it has the best results possible. Its crawling and indexing system has to be able to continue to filter spam and faulty links from relevant search engine optimization (SEO). While search engine programmers can ban certain sites that are reported as irrelevant, it helps if search engine sites are in the habit of making sure the most accurate and dependable websites make their way to the first page. This happens through a mix of indexing content and user interaction (ex. page views).
Bing should continue to monitor their content to make sure that the most popular content is worth its visibility. The downside of search engine sites is the more a user clicks on a site (whether it’s relevant or not), the easier that site can crawl to the first page.
A combination of SEO titles, SEO descriptions, SEO keywords and SEO phrases can too easily confuse the system into believing that some websites are the best for a user’s result. For example, one user who is looking for iPod Apple products may type “apple” but end up seeing an apple pie on the first page of searches. Bing must not only be observant about faulty sites but relevant sites SEO keywords that are homographs. The same goes for celebrity searches (ex. Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child or the actress, or Michael Jordan the actor versus the basketball champion player).
Bing should avoid websites that are only accessible by clicking more than one link. If a website is available on their search engine and another website talks about the first site’s content, make sure the content-heavy site outranks the rewrite link. Some pay-per-click sites are notorious for rewriting blog and news content to bring page views to their own sites as opposed to the original site that wrote a story.
Bing’s SEO Analyzer is on the right tack as well. Through this program, new webmasters can earn $100 credit for search advertising. This promotion, which expires on January 31, 2015, gives qualified advertisers who own their own website and open a new account the option to advertise their own products. Not only will this promotion bring more tech savvy users to Bing’s search engine. It’s also an opportunity for both groups to help each other — Bing will have a better idea about how sophisticated computer users, advertisers and clients use their site. Those same participants can use Bing Webmaster Tools to help build their visibility from a keyword research tool, markup validator and link explorer.
If Bing continues to stay on track with keeping its content relevant and reaching out to users with perks that can make the search engine even better, it’s possible that Firefox users could have a change of heart about their default search engine.