We’re going to begin with a hard truth that will make you question the title of this blog: as of this writing, Google enjoys 77.43% of the world’s desktop search engine market share (96.01% for mobile and tablet), with Bing and Yahoo trailing at 7.31% and 5.60% respectively.

 Desktop Search Engine Market Share

 March, 2017

 

Right now you might be asking yourself upon what basis we could possibly recommend anyone spend their advertising dollars anywhere but Google. Just to clarify, we don’t believe anyone should stop using Google in favor of something else. Not just yet, anyway.

But we are saying that it wouldn’t be a waste of money, especially for small businesses, to spread that ad budget around a little.

What’s the deal with Bing and Yahoo?

When we talk about Bing and Yahoo in this blog, we’ll mostly be referring to them both in one breath – not because they’re the same company, but because Bing currently powers the majority of Yahoo search and will be until at least 2019.

Although there are differences (CPC can be cheaper on Yahoo), their results and the layout of their SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) tend to be similar. And one thing’s for certain: they both feature cheaper CPC than Google (anywhere from 30-70%).

So they’re cheaper. But do they work?

The short answer is yes. You have to remember that even though their market share percentages pale in comparison to Google’s, the fact remains that millions of people still use Bing and Yahoo, many of them exclusively.

And there are other advantages:

1.Smaller business and businesses with older websites have better luck on Bing and Yahoo. Although like Google, big names do get more attention, smaller, local businesses tend to rank higher on Bing and Yahoo that they do on Google.Also, Bing and Yahoo are more old school in the way they put more emphasis on exact match keywords, which may be why older websites perform better there.

2.Bing and Yahoo pay more attention to video, images and audio. Cisco predicts that 82% of all consumer internet traffic will involve be video-driven by 2020, which means Bing and Yahoo are staying ahead of the curve by offering better recognition of these entities that Google does.

That, coupled with the fact that companies using video grow revenue 49% faster year-over-year than those who don’t, makes a compelling case for running video ads on Bing and Yahoo.

3.Bing and Yahoo pay more attention to social signals. If you’ve worked hard to build up a great presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, etc. Bing and Yahoo will reward you for it. To be fair, studies show that Google does this too, but just no to the extent that Bing and Yahoo do.

4.Bing and Yahoo offer more control. When it comes to search partners, Google offers only two options: target Google search or target Google search and search partners. On the other hand, Bing and Yahoo allow to choose or exclude certain search partners at the ad group level (which helps to exclude underperformers that are wasting money).

And for those who like to have more control over their keywords, Bing and Yahoo don’t force their users to cast a wide net with the “close variant” targeting that’s now standard on all Google Ad accounts.

Bing and Yahoo also enable users to have more control over their ad search demographics by allowing them to dictate which ages and genders get to see their ads, whereas Google only offers this type of targeting on their display network.

5.Less competition means better ad positions. Since there aren’t as many companies marketing on Bing and Yahoo, your ads have a better chance of being seen and may enjoy better CTRs (Click-Through-Rates) as well.

What to take away . . .

 If you own a smaller business and/or have a smaller advertising budget, Bing and Yahoo could very well be worth your while. While Google should never be out of the equation, neither should it be treated like the only game in town.

No one stays on top forever and, knowing that, Bing and Yahoo aren’t about to stop being competitive and making improvements. To that end, Yahoo angling to finally be acquired by Verizon in June of 2017, after which Verizon is planning to merge Yahoo with AOL and call the new company “Oath.”

Whether this comes to pass remains to be seen, but in the mean time we recommend not counting either Bing or Yahoo out as viable, profitable marketing platforms for your business.

Remember, if you need help budgeting or shrewdly allocating your ad dollars, as well as creating and managing winning ad campaigns on any platform, Solutions 8 has over a decade of experience in successful SEO and PPC marketing. Contact us today with any questions or for a free consultation.