I have enjoyed the Bing VS Google battle for a while now. I have even tried the "Bing It On" challange. For me Google won. But in its constant battle to challenge Google as the go-to search engine for millions across the U.S., Bing recently announced the coming addition of Bing Boards to its search engine results pages (SERPs). Even though I am a Google fan, this move in my opinion further entrenches social media functions into the Bing search engine as it tries to increase its market share, but just what is a Bing Board?
Bing Boards Explained
Set to be positioned in the middle column of Bing's SERPs, Bing Boards will be offering a strong social component in response to search queries entered by visitors. The boards will be created by individual users, such as bloggers, political activists, or just special enthusiasts in a given area, and include images, videos, and links relating to the search query. In order to create a board you need to be invited so go to http://www.bing.com/boards to request your invite. Here we are wondering how we will be able to use Bing Boards for customer branding, SEO and lead generation. We are waiting for our invite and will report back on those ideas in a future blog.
The social component of Bing Boards sets it apart from the rest of the results on the page. All images, videos, and links in a board are added by the individual who created the board and are relatable to the search query in as much as the individual who created the board believes they are pertinent.
According to Bing's blog, Bing Boards are explained in the following simple terms:
"It could be a hobby, a political or social issue, an area of pop culture: the topics are as varied as the people who are interested in them."
On Bing's official blog, the company provided a sample of a Bing Board that was put together by Chelsea Costa. Costa is the creator of the Lovely Indeed blog and her sample Bing Board pertained to search queries for "photo booth backdrops." Here is the screenshot of Costa's Bing Board:
There is no word from Bing on when Bing Boards will be rolled out in full effect, but given the creation of boards is left in the hands of users there will only be more boards as individuals create them for certain queries. Bing is touting the boards as a way for users to further engage with each other and with Bing. Each board is created independent of any company or algorithm influence by individuals with a passion for a particular subject.
Increasing Social Components
The addition of Bing Boards to SERPs on Bing.com is the latest in a line of social media components added to the search engine. Back in May, Bing introduced a social component that allowed Facebook users to comment on links, images, videos, and other content directly from the results page.
When a Facebook user was logged in to their account and conducted a Bing search, they now had the option to use Bing's social sidebar (introduced last year) to see posts from friends relevant to their search, comment on links/images/videos, and even engage their friends.
Despite exhaustive efforts, through campaigns such as Bing It On, to overcome Google's dominance of the search engine marketplace Bing has yet to get any real traction. Although Bing has managed to creep up to roughly 17.5% of the search market in the U.S., Google remains around 66% and the majority of Bing's gains have come at the expensive of Yahoo.
On top of that, Bing's increased search share is not reflected in mobile ad spending worldwide. In 2012 Google finished first in mobile ad spending with $4.4 billion in revenue, or roughly 52% of money spent worldwide. Bing wasn't even on the radar with Facebook, a social platform Bing is trying to get cozy with, coming in second at $470 million followed by Pandora Internet Radio.
The addition of Bing Boards to SERPs on Bing.com is reportedly the first in a line of many social components the company hopes to roll out in the coming months.
So what do you think about these new Bing Boards?