Online Search Providers Boost Marketing Expenditures

Don't let Microsoft's cool and quiet June 1st launch of its latest product fool you. According an Advertising Age report, the computer giant will spend over $80 million to promote its online search engine, Bing. When compared to Google's 2008 ad budget of $25 million, Microsoft looks plenty serious. It won't be easy to gain traction in this industry segment.person_question

In terms of searches performed, the market breaks out as follows:

  • Google 72%
  • Yahoo 17%
  • MSN 5.6%
  • Ask and other 5.4%

Does Microsoft stand a chance of changing the statistics which now tilt heavily in Google's favor? Many pundits don't think so. But users are changing the way they perform searches. For example, Internet users are increasingly sophisticated about their use of search because they want to quickly locate exactly what they're looking for. Earlier this spring, Hitwise shared statistics showing that clicks on the results of one and two word searches, which make up nearly half of all searches, are falling while searches comprised of five or more words are growing quickly. This trend shows that the sheer volume of available information is making search a more complex process. If Bing can deliver more precise results, users might find the tool useful.

During the product design phase, Microsoft ordered its development team to make sure Bing meets the following criteria:

  • Delivers great results
  • Delivers an organized experience
  • Simplifies tasks and provides insight, leading to more confident decisions

Along with its primary mission, the company hopes Bing's unique features such as Deep Links, Quick Preview and Instant Answer will gain new users. It's too soon to tell who will win the war, but one form of ammunition appears to be significant marketing expenditures.

[Sources: Garner, Rob. "Google Ups Share," SearchInsider, 3.11.09; Klassen, Abbey. "Microsoft Aims Big Guns," Ad Age. 5.25.09]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.