[Introducing the commentators]
Bing, Microsoft’s search engine
Abe: The March 2023 Content Marketing Latest Trends Report discusses Bing.
Iwama: Speaking of Bing, the recent announcement of ChatGPT from OpenAI has become a really hot topic, hasn’t it?
Abe: Yes, it definitely has. When marketers think of search engines, Google or Yahoo! may come to mind, but we would like to focus once again on Bing.
Iwama: Could you explain more about Bing?
Abe: Bing is a web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft. In Japan, it is the third most used search engine after Google and Yahoo! It is characterized by its security and privacy features, such as customizing search results, filtering, and safe search.
Since Bing is included by default for Microsoft products such as Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge, some of people may not be aware that you are using Bing on a daily basis. Some of our readers may also be Bing users since many companies often use Windows in the workplace.
Increase in Bing users due to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic
Abe: Bing has made some interesting moves over the past few years, including the introduction of ChatGPT. I have summarized them in chronological order.
Abe: First, I will introduce some data to explain the changes seen in the consumer behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. By the way, everything I am going to explain is limited to the behaviors seen on computers.
According to research conducted by Forrester Research reported by Microsoft, more than 40% of people work on personal errands during working hours for an hour or more, and more than 60% of people who purchase products and services on their computers regularly do so on their work computers.
Iwama: Wow, there are a lot of people carrying out personal tasks on their work computers. I’m surprised!
Abe: Yes, there are. It is thought that more people are performing personal activity "because they are at home due to remote work.” One of those activities is searching.
We mentioned earlier that Windows software is often provided in the workplace. In other words, we have seen an increase in the number of searches conducted on Bing as more people are executing searches on their work computers.
Iwama: The number of Bing users has definitely been increasing since the start of the pandemic! And recently, it's closing in on Yahoo!
Abe: There are a number of other noteworthy developments in Bing, such as the introduction of ChatGPT, which I mentioned earlier, and the launch of a function that allows for responses, or search results, in chat format.
Users that can be reached via "Bing only" is on the rise
Iwama: I understand that Bing is gaining momentum. I wonder how people are actually using Bing. I'm curious to know if many people use Bing in combination with other search engines.
Abe: Overall, many people use both Google and Yahoo! but there has been a change since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please see the following chart created using VALUES' data. First, we look at the combined usage of different search engines from the perspective of Google users. Those who primarily use Google Search often only use Google, but since the start of the pandemic, the number of people who use both Google and Bing has increased.
Abe: Next, we look at the combined use of other search engines among Yahoo! Search users. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of people using only Yahoo! is on a downward trend. On the other hand, the number of people also using either Google or Bing is increasing. In terms of the growth rate, the combined usage with Bing is exhibiting remarkable growth.
Abe: And combined use seen from the perspective of Bing, there are many who use Bing in combination with Yahoo!, but the number of people who conduct searches only using Bing is increasing.
Iwama: If the number of people who use only Bing is increasing, it seems that the number of users who can only be reached through Bing is also increasing. What are the general characteristics of people using Bing?
Abe: We have data comparing the attributes of Google, Yahoo! and Bing users, so let's take a look.
According to the data, compared to other search engines, Bing users are more likely to be seniors in their 50s or older. Perhaps in proportion to their age, many of them have children.
Measures marketers should take in light of the latest trends surrounding Bing
Abe: To summarize the details of this report, we believe that although the percentage of Bing use is not overwhelmingly high at the moment, the importance of Bing may increase in the future for the following two reasons.
・Trends show that the percentage of Bing users is increasing
・The number of users may increase with additional features, like ChatGPT
Iwama: You mentioned that with the increasing number of Bing users, the number of users who can only be approached through Bing is also increasing. What sort of measures should marketers take based on the findings discussed today?
Abe: As I mentioned in the beginning, the findings I have shared is limited to behavioral data collected on personal computers. Since we said that more than 60% of people use their work computers to purchase products and services, we believe that there is some significance to strategies that aim to appear higher on Bing search results on the browser.
One way to do this would be to prioritize SEO strategy for Google, but if you are a small business or individual blogger, you could concentrate on SEO strategy for Bing and take on a niche area.
Other strategies may include Microsoft ads and Yahoo! listing ads. Compared to Google and Yahoo!, Bing's algorithm is more dependent on the quality of the content rather than domain power, so it is important to focus on improving the quality of the content.
Abe: That's all for March Content Marketing Trends “SEO Edition.” Please keep an eye out for next month's topic.
(Please note that this research is intended only to focus on trends and to be used effectively to formulate hypotheses and prioritize future strategies, and does not indicate cause-and-effect relationships, and that the content of each topic and VALUES' views are current at the time the materials were prepared and may change due to future developments in circumstances and algorithms.)