Pay Attention to Microsoft and Search

In 2011, I managed Alpha Broadcasting’s digital operations and sales. The company had just built an incredible live performance center in downtown Portland, and we traveled north to pitch Microsoft on a seven figure, multi-year sponsorship for what became the Bing Lounge.

Bing had just been relocated from the main Microsoft campus in Redmond to two large office buildings in Bellevue, miles away from the company’s headquarters. The massive investment into Bing and the separation from campus spoke volumes to me about Microsoft’s commitment to the search engine. We were impressed.

When I attend digital advertising and search conferences, the true search geeks only seem to care about Google. To them, Bing is an afterthought. Never mind Yelp’s local paid search, search retargeting, or contextual advertising. The search nerds have blinders on and cannot see beyond next year as Google calls their clients directly and eliminates match types.

Now, Microsoft has grown their share of US search queries to 26%, primarily at Verizon’s expense (Yahoo). When comparing Google to Bing, the Microsoft search user is older, better educated and more affluent.

Overlooking Microsoft search is a mistake. They have made a long-term commitment to search and will continue to grow share. Microsoft needs to be in your paid search mix.

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