Addpeople SEO reviews – Why social search is a key point of difference between Bing and Google.

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Manchester based digital marketing agency Addpeople reveals key points of difference between the two search engine giants and asks why Bing has been unable to repeat their US market share performance in the UK to date.

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User habits, bookmarking and brand loyalty have a lot to do with Google' dominance, but there are some really distinguishing product features between the two.

Earlier this month, Bing put Google to the test with the “Bing It On” challenge, a sort of usability version of the Pepsi challenge, allowing users to directly compare the two search engines.

Participants would type in search queries with two columns displaying both search engine results in a non branded format.

The result? 60% of users preferred Bing.

While Bing has managed to gain a 30% share of search volumes in the US, here in the UK more than 90% of search engine traffic still flows through Google.

So why are the Brits overlooking Bing? Are they right to stay loyal to Google? And what's the difference between the two?

Of course long established user habits, bookmarking and brand loyalty will have a lot to do with Google's dominance, but as the research implies there are some really distinguishing product features between the two.

In the Google corner...

Google uses its knowledge graph which is rooted into public recourses such as freebase and Wikipedia to give users what they think are the most informed search results.

They use the subject being searched for, rather than just a keyword, which provides more in-depth knowledge on any search topic. For example, search “Mark Zuckerberg”, and a column will appear on the right side of the page with information such as his wiki bio, important dates, and lifetime events. The Google knowledge graph aim is to help users spend less time searching and provide a more intelligent search result.

...and in the Bing corner

Bing recently launched its new social sidebar in the US which will be available here soon. This new feature integrates the users social media accounts and ‘Klout’ knowledge so depending on the search topic, a user will be able to tap into the wisdom of friends, contacts and experts in the area.

For example, if a user was searching “Google”, it would display the ‘core’ search results, those from known experts in the field (such as Google's head of webspam Matt Cutts), and importantly what the users friends and contacts are saying about the subject.

Users can also share a search query with friends and followers allowing them to get advice, opinions and recommendations from their social network.

Google have attempted social integration with Google Search plus ‘your world’ in the US but drew criticism for favouring Google + in their results, mainly from twitter who commented the development was "bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users." Google have since backtracked calling it a learning process!

Addpeople's marketing manager Neil Baker commented, "Of course the search engine you use depends on how people wish to use it. Bing certainly seems to have an edge when it comes to social search but it remains to be seen whether this will translate into a similar rise in market share already observed in the US on this side of the Atlantic."

Addpeople have been helping SMEs with search engine optimisation strategies for 10 years. For more information on Addpeople, visit http://www.addpeople.co.uk, or follow them on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/add_people.

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Neil Baker
Add People (Group) Ltd
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