CSE – Custom Search Engine – Bing’s Opportunity

bing-googleRecently Microsoft shared some UK market specific data, wherein they highlighted how Bing has managed to gain traction and bring Google’s share of the pie below the 90% mark.

One can only begin to imagine the kind of uphill task Bing product and sales teams must be looking at. But, its also a time for them to be focused, to search (no pun intended!) for possible weak spots in Google’s fortress.

One such area that comes to my mind is Custom Search Engine (CSE) – this product was designed to allow website owners/managers to provide a quick search across their site by just copy/pasting a few lines of code. Also, Google shows its own ads along side the search results (like it does on its own inventory), allowing the webmaster to make some extra revenue – from search ads.

Many sites adopted it, few of them discontinued it in favor of their own search technologies and many don’t know how to make it align with the site’s overall, look and feel.

CSE is good opportunity because being where the search gets initiated is probably half the battle for a search engine. Unfortunately, (for Bing) pure-user initiated across-web search mostly begins at Google.com. If the user is not on Google and still thinking of search, thats the best use-case for a Google Challenger.

So here’s why Bing teams should focus on an awesome CSE product:

  • Google is not really the de-facto leader here. Its a whole set of solutions that exist.
  • CSE can be a great gateway for the complete Bing experience. External links on CSE could tunnel the user towards Bing.com
  • It allows them to build the Bing brand as the preferred search destination by tapping into the long tail of web-users. Taking Google head on in web-search will only lead to bleeding. Here each site that installs this product, is helping convert potential future Bing users.
  • Its a seemingly simple product, for each of its installation(s). Deliver the right set of pages in the search view from the site or the web.
  • Many webmasters might be willing to switch, just for a better design or a better set of options or maybe even a better revenue maths.

Do you agree ?