Google and Bing both are such large sites, first and eleventh respectively according to Alexa, that they attract a complete cross-section of the Web. However when you compare Bing’s audience to Google’s audience, you see some anomalies come up.
- Bing’s Audience is Older: Bing’s audience, compared to the Web at large, tends to be older, favoring the 35+ crowd but especially favoring the 55-64 group.
- Bing’s Audience is More U.S.-Focused: Where Google gets 34% of its traffic from the U.S., Bing gets nearly 40% of its traffic, making it more focused on the U.S. Bing’s next-biggest country is China, a country where Google has had several issues.
- Bing Users are More Likely to Have Children: Due in large part to the age difference, Bing’s users are more likely to have children than Google’s. Google users, according to Alexa, are less likely to have children than the Web at large.
What you get when you look at the numbers is the picture of an older, albeit slightly less-educated, audience that is more likely to be based in the states and more likely to have children.
This audience will most likely tend to be wealthier, as older individuals are more likely to be better off financially though the increased likelihood of children also means, possibly, less disposable income.
The difference can be largely explained by the fact that Bing is the default search engine for IE. Users who either switch the default search engine or use a different browser generally prefer Google. This also means, most likely, Bing users are less tech-savvy than Google users, though that is not something the metrics can show conclusively.
Who Should Target Bing?
If you have a product or service that is well-targeted at the demographic users of Bing, it may be wise to spend time better targeting your site for Bing and even buying ads on it.
This isn’t to say that you can afford to ignore Google completely. Due to Google’s mammoth marketshare, even if Bing describes your target audience perfectly, you’ll almost certainly find more relevant people using Google. The issue is that they make up a much smaller percentage.
Even in the areas where they differentiate, the two sites don’t deviate far from the statistical averages on the Internet, showing that both sites are still solid cross-sections of the Web.
Despite this, you definitely can see some differences in the audiences of the two sites and, depending on the target of your site, they may be differences you can exploit.