You’ve probably heard some of the buzz about Bing, Microsoft’s new “decision engine” that is being positioned as a major competitor to Google and Yahoo. The name is snappy and some early numbers show Bing is starting off strong.
These early gains may be helped by Microsoft’s $100 million ad campaign focused on “search overload syndrome.” I found the first commercial intriguing and attention grabbing, and the notion of “search overload” resonated with me. We know from our own business that there is more information than ever out there and searchers need simple, fast, and reliable solutions to pinpoint what they’re looking for.
As a Yellow Pages person, I wanted to test how Bing is using our listings in these early days. I quickly discovered that YellowPages.com is heavily integrated into Bing’s local search capabilities – no surprise that the folks at Microsoft would turn to our industry to help build a reliable capability there.
I started with a search for “New York arts and crafts stores” and the first result was a list of five local crafts stores plotted on a map, very similar to the local results you get with Google. I clicked on the full listings link and received more detailed information with two sponsored listings from YellowPages.com right on top.
Then I did a search for “driving schools Kansas City, MO” and found a very similar result, with YellowPages.com sponsored listings leading the results.
If you go to Bing’s local search portal page, you’ll see the YellowPages.com branding sits right at the top.
This is great integration with Bing, and given its desire to be a decision engine, it makes perfect sense. We’ve long been a decision engine for consumers needing to find a local business.
It’s hard to say whether we’ll “Bing” a search term rather than “Google” it any time soon, but we already know that the way people search and access information online is always changing. And if Bing is poised to change the game, Yellow Pages local sales teams will play an important role in helping small businesses make sense of that change.