Bing recently expanded its autocomplete feature to provide users with better search experiences. Earlier this year, the search engine rolled out People Autosuggest to help searchers find the correct individuals online. It’s now adding to the initial function with a wider swath of autocomplete capabilities, which may be an attempt to steal search market share from Google. If this strategy takes hold, marketers might need to shift their approaches to consider which ranking signals Bing uses to evaluate branded content.
Bing and other Microsoft-owned sites sit below Google-owned web properties for core search volume, according to comScore’s Search Metrix June 2013 data. Last month, the search engine handled 17.9 percent of total desktop queries for the month, up from 17.4 percent in June. These gains, however, appear to come at the expense of Yahoo. Coming in third place, Yahoo fielded 0.5 percent fewer searches in June than May, the same amount Bing gained during the time period.
The expanded autocomplete release might be a strategy to build on that momentum. After Google launched its Knowledge Graph in Spring 2012, the search engine saw its market share rise to its current position. Google’s technology aims to provide users with the information they want sooner, pulling answers directly into SERPs.
In one example of how this system works, the Official Bing Blog post announcing its introduction says a query for “pitbull” will serve results for both the dog breed and the performer. Users can then select the correct reference to receive only the most relevant content in results.
If Bing’s Autosuggest feature proves to be as effective as Google’s technology, marketers may see more traffic coming from the Microsoft-owned search engine and need to refocus their internet marketing strategies.