Bing has turned up the heat in search engine competition by introducing an animated GIF filter, according to Search Engine Land. Though Google still accounts for the vast majority of internet searches, Bing is gaining an increasing market share and is looking to cash in on the vital internet trend of GIFs – animated images on a short loop.
GIFs make a difference
GIFs are often used as reactions during internet discussions, as a way of dramatically, and usually humorously, expressing a feeling. Popular GIFs are reused and shared, sometimes gaining fame of their own, and their easy creation means that they’re fast becoming a replacement for the simpler emoticons or smileys that are now seen as somewhat old fashioned.
Online marketers have picked up on their popularity and possible use, noting that many GIFs come from popular TV shows or movies, as well as often showing desirable objects or products “in action”. The potential for an advertising GIF to gain a significant reach by tapping into certain trends, therefore generating significant leads at minimal effort, is vast, and could become the next social media marketing trick.
Bing is on the GIF frontier
It should therefore come as little surprise that Bing, a relative newcomer trying to compete with the internet giant that is Google, is tapping into this market in order to promote SEO tactics. However, they may be a little too late – Google has had this feature since March 2013. While it is certainly a good sign that Bing is catching up, it does demonstrate how ahead of trends internet companies must be in order to maintain a competitive edge. In order to balance this slow start out, we can hope that Bing weights GIFs more heavily than Google when it comes to SEO rankings, or finds another route to successful competition.
In the meantime, marketers and SEO specialists should remember to take note and think creatively about GIFs and how they can be utilised for their company. It seems a shame that such a popular feature is rather ignored by companies, who may be missing out on a big market.