I do not often enough get an opportunity to collect my thoughts and blog on our company website – but try to make an effort every other full moon or so when I think something is absolutely critical to our industry. The recent buzz (or lack thereof depending on if you are one that loathes anything Microsoft) has been regarding whether or not Microsoft’s most recent effort at launching a viable search engine is something that the Mountain View Monolith need worry about. And the short answer to that should be, at least if you are in the Interactive marketing industry, God (or other worshipped deity) I hope so!
Here is a scenario that I am sure is not unique to Fuel Interactive regarding paid search engine marketing: Yahoo provides a pretty good return on ad spend, but not enough volume to make a real difference to your client’s business. Microsoft/Live.com could not deliver enough traffic to even determine if it might be a viable marketing resource for your client’s business. The other secondary/tertiary search engines are not even worth you or your client’s time to invest in the allocation of resources to investigate whether or not it might be a viable marketing resource for your client’s business.
What is left? The 800 lb Googrilla – which can provide the volume of business necessary to make a difference, but is becoming so hypercompetitive that you cannot afford any inefficiency. And if you are really trying to deliver market-changing results for your client, elevating the CPC to effectively move the needle absolutely comes into play. After all, there is only so much optimization you can do before bidding up to garner more impressions across high volume, ultra competitive keywords becomes a reality.
So, will Bing.com be a homerun? Is it “disruptive” search technology? Maybe not – but the few searches I have conducted on Bing would indicate the quality of results returned is competitive with what one has come to expect from Google. I use Google now because I have to – it’s what the majority of the population of Earth uses and it is the only concern our clients have related to their positioning, both paid and organic. I long for the day where I need to worry about something else. So count me in to the minority of people who hope Microsoft succeeds with Bing. Maybe the $100 million ad campaign buys enough market share to make them a viable competitor. Maybe they will buy Yahoo’s search business before it’s entirely irrelevant. Having only one player in search is not good for anybody – especially not SEM rockstars like Fuel’s Brian Carter or the agency for which he works.