Is Microsoft’s Search Engine Dying?

Search engines, those handy little Web interfaces that allow us to find sites based on the keyword that we enter, have been around practically since the Internet itself first came alive in the early 1990s. Some may remember Alta Vista, or even Ask Jeeves, engines that were very popular at the time. They were fairly effective because, at the time, the Web was fairly new and there weren’t millions of sites to index and search – and, therefore, results were fairly reliable. Microsoft, which at the time was producing the dominant operating system for computers, had its own version: MSN Search. Then, a couple of brilliant graduate Stanford students came along and started Google, and the whole search universe changed forever.

Catch Me If You Can

Fast-forward to today, and Google is by far the most dominant search engine, basically all over the world. Nobody has exact figures, but it appears that in the United States alone it commands somewhere around 80% of the market. Even with all of its innovations, such as the Android operating system for smartphones, the bulk of Google’s income still comes from paid search. Microsoft would certainly like to have a larger piece of that pie, but how? In many ways, it seems like Microsoft is stuck back in the 90s, when it was the Big Thing that everyone had to conform to. But, as times have changed, Microsoft hasn’t in many important ways.

Struggling for Identity

While Microsoft still has a huge part of the personal computer operating system market, that same market is beginning to shrink. In 2012 alone, estimates indicate that the sales of personal computers fell by over 15% worldwide. Where did the sales go? It doesn’t take much to figure out that the beneficiaries have been companies that manufacture smartphones and tablets. But Microsoft is relatively absent in that space. Its Windows 7 operating system was not well received. Its latest incarnation, Windows 8, which is meant to allow a person to have the exact same experience as he or she would on a tablet or smartphone, has not been a resounding success. Microsoft has recently had to make a major update, called Windows 8.1, just in an attempt to capture some of that market. The fact that Google’s Android operating system is used by over 75% of the world’s mobile devices is probably of no comfort.

Searching for a Solution

Many years ago, Microsoft decided to rebrand its search engine, calling it Bing. Although it was refreshed with many new algorithms, most people still prefer to use Google. Then Microsoft made an association with Yahoo! – which had been a dominant player in the search engine world a few decades ago. Although that has worked fairly well, the fact is that Yahoo! continues to be used by fewer and fewer users, and any increase in search traffic to Microsoft is coming at Yahoo!’s expense.

Going Organic

Many people resist having to pay Google, Bing, or Yahoo! – or anyone else, for that matter – just to get noticed on search engines. One of the best methods to do so is to create quality content that people want to read and link one’s web page within the article. Writing articles is probably more science than art, although it is really a mix of the two. Hiring a guest posting service that can handle the whole process for you allows you to focus on your business and let your website naturally increase its rankings.

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