Google is ‘the business’ for Irish shoppers


30 Jul 2009

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Since Microsoft launched its new improved search engine Bing two months ago it has set its sights on capturing a bigger market share (reflected even more in the new Yahoo! partnership) but how much ground has Bing gained and have Irish online shoppers made the switch?

A survey carried out by a group of Irish e-tailers focused on the search engine traffic over the last month for six commercial websites based here in Ireland and the results were clear: while Bing gained 3pc share of the search engine market, Google still has around a 92pc share of the traffic.

Aedan Ryan, owner of outdoor clothing store PuddleDucks.ie, said: "Google is still the overwhelming favourite for search among Irish online shoppers.

"The results also mean that getting good search results in Google is still the most important aspect of Search Engine Optimisation for Irish internet businesses."

The survey was a cross-section of vertical retail markets here in Ireland and as well as Puddleducks.ie it included discount wine seller CuriousWines.ie; Ummera.com, which sells Irish smoked foods; online gift store Pressieport.ie and Mick’sGarage.ie.

So is Bing making a big bang? According to these businesses the answer is a resounding no with minimal traffic reported, ranging from 0.7pc to 4.4pc.

One issue that all the e-tailers has was that of Bing’s geolocation information: unlike Google, Bing was, in some cases, assuming that Irish surfers were located in the UK, and thus delivering results tailored to this location.

"For a sub-set of users, Bing appears to assume that Irish users are in the UK," said Michael Kane, owner of CuriousWines.ie.

"When these users conduct a search, Bing asks you if you want worldwide results or UK-only results, rather than delivering the Ireland option. This is obviously a significant barrier for Irish retailers, and may account for the minimal impact Bing is having on the Irish market," he added.

Additional note: Bing is currently in Beta in Ireland and across Europe so these survey results do not reflect the complete functionality of the fully-launched Bing engine that is currently in operation in the US and Canada.

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