Or so the reports said. Here we are a year later and where does the battle stand? To Microsoft’s credit, they have a pretty decent product that has been accepted as a player in the search game. They even managed to increase their market share nearly 50% - from 8% to 11.7%. The increase did come at a pretty steep price though; they also managed to lose several hundred million dollars in the process. Sure, the losses will subside over time since they did need to make a pretty serious investment in R&D just to get a product capable of competing with Google, but Bing it turns out is not the Google Killer as advertised.
Actually, Bing has turned out to be more of a Yahoo killer. The big increase in Microsoft’s market share didn’t even put a dent in Google’s business. Google actually has a slight increase in market share and pretty sizable increase in revenue (23%) and operating profit (32%). It would appear that the rock didn’t just fail to take out the giant, it completely missed the giant.
So what does this mean to you and your business? Well, there are a few things we can infer form this information. The most obvious is that Google is still the biggest game in town when it comes to online advertising. No one else is even close at this time. If your plan is to get your business in front of the largest audience, Google is still the one. We can also safely assume that online advertising is on the rise. Google’s number one source of revenue is online advertising. None of their other revenue producing departments could account for a 23% increase in total revenue. We know the Nexus One wasn’t responsible for the increase. This means either the average price per click has gone up (more competition for keywords) or more clicks are being purchased (more new keywords being bought). In either case it tells us that your competition has either jumped on to the game or has started spending more on their campaigns.
Are you being left behind? Increasingly successful businesses are looking online with their marketing plans. Be it through pay per click or social media or search engine optimization, your future marketing efforts should include an online component before you find yourself in a position where you have to slay the giant in your industry. Establish your presence early and be the giant. The view is always better from the top of the heap.