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Barely a day goes by currently without someone talking about the new Microsoft Bing search engine. Some of it positive, a good deal of it negative. But the word of mouth campaign that appears to be happening is seemingly getting under the skin of a few of the rival execs.
Yahoo executive Carol Bartz hasn’t pulled any punches in her damning criticism of Microsoft and Bing itself. She had this to say about Statcounter’s results that found Bing had overtaken Yahoo last week (as we reported in the post Bing Leapfrogs Yahoo! in First Week) “They didn’t beat us by much. It was one day. I think it’s gosh maybe it was in Omaha some place; It was some small area.”
Whilst the thrust of the statement, made to Reuters, may be true the rest has the odd pang of desperation and avoidance to it. Yes, Bing did only take over yahoo for a day, but that was from a global pool, not an out of the way place on Omaha as implied by Ms Bartz. So should Yahoo! Really be concerned by their new rival?
Well they should be a good deal more concerned than Google. But even the runaway search engine leaders have launched a stunning counteroffensive, as reported in Digital Daily today. CEO Eric Schmidt has been damning about Microsoft and what he perceive as little more than another annual update that will amount to nothing. He was quoted as saying “We think search is about comprehensiveness, freshness, scale and size for what we do. It’s difficult for them to copy that.”
Whilst true, it has to be said that Bing is very much a fresh package. There may be similarities with the old Live Search format, but the redesign has given it some real added impetus. Results are better, the layout is more attractive and the name – whilst slightly odd – is more catchy. Nobody can argue with the scale of Google, but the way in which both Bartz and Schmidt have gone on the offensive appears to show some unease. By openly discussing it, they are giving credence to Bing’s role as the new gun in town whilst also possibly showing their own insecurities about its emergence.
Of course it remains to be seen whether Microsoft Bing can have any kind of long term future and start eating into Google’s lead at the head of the search engine league table, but there start has been extremely encouraging. As long as developments continue and innovations follow, there’s no reason to suggest that Bing can’t take and then build upon a second place ranking. Which will undoubtedly leave many Microsoft execs with a very satisfied grin, after eclipsing the company they were looking to purchase not all that long ago?
In today’s multichannel world, there are mountains of data which provide insights into how users have interacted with your business and their path to conversion (or non-conversion). It is important to understand performance with multichannel marketing, which can be achieved through attribution modelling. Attribution refers to assigning credit to something (a channel, touchpoint, etc.) for the role it played in the final conversion. An attribution model is a rule, or set of rules, that assigns this credit correctly to the right channel or touchpoint.
For a long time, Bing, the UK’s second-largest search engine, has been underappreciated and, in some instances, even ignored. Often regarded as the inferior search engine to market leader Google, Bing has historically struggled to appeal to many in the digital world. Most PPC analysts would give justified reasons for neglecting Bing for so long; these include the volume of traffic and the user experience just not matching up to Google. However, the validity of these assessments is now diminishing. Bing has grown and improved rapidly in the last couple of years; if you are not integrating it into your comprehensive digital marketing plan, you run the risk of missing out on a large portion of your chosen market and significant revenue.