Amidst the feud between Google and the Australian government, Bing has stepped up to replace the search engine giant. The News Media Bargaining Code dispute continues to get worse between the Australian policymakers and Google.
A meeting, however, recently took place between Microsoft’s CEO and the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. In that meeting, Bing offered to take Google’s place in Australia as the leading search engine.
Paul Fletcher, Australia’s minister of communications, said that they would prefer if Google stay in the country:
“We made it clear we very much prefer them to stay in Australia, they’re an important, significant part of the ecosystem.” But he also indicated a possibility that this might not be the end result.
“But ultimately these are business decisions,” Paul said.
It is important to note that Google currently occupies 94.45 percent market share in Australia. On the other hand, Bing only has a market share of 3.6 percent in Australia.
However, given the opportunity, Bing has thrown their hat in the ring.
“The Microsoft CEO reached out to the prime minister and proposed a meeting, accompanied by senior executives, I was able to join that meeting, and we had a very informative discussion about Microsoft’s interest in the Australian market. At the moment, they have a small market share in search, but they’re interested in expanding that, they’re interested in developing the presence of Bing here,” Paul Fletcher shared.
What this means for SEOs and online businesses in Australia
If Google does go out of Australia — and Bing replaces it — it will definitely have a few repercussions for businesses and SEOs.
First, Google is the leading search engine in the country. Those Google rankings won’t matter, and many businesses will likely lose a lot of website traffic.
The following tweet by Rachel Anderson puts things into perspective.
Second, this also means that businesses and SEOs need to look into their Bing rankings now. You might be ranking on #1 for important keyword phrases on Google, but it does not mean that you’d also be ranking on the top in Bing SERPs.
Based on current Bing rankings, you should be able to forecast an increase or decrease in traffic, conversions, and revenue.
Third, make sure to optimize your website according to Bing webmaster guidelines.
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