If you have continued to focus almost exclusively on Google as far as your search engine optimisation and online marketing is concerned then one of the people who is not keeping you company is the chief executive of Google, Eric Schmidt.

Many people today consider that the biggest rivals to Google include companies such as Apple, Facebook and Twitter, but in a statement recently Eric Schmidt made it very clear that Google’s prime competitor is now most definitely Microsoft Bing.

Microsoft Bing has continued to grow steadily, going from a search share of 10.7% in August 2009 to 13.9% in August 2010. Over the same period, Yahoo has fallen from 16% to 13.1%, dropping significantly behind Microsoft Bing. During the same period Google remained steady at 65% search share.

Eric Schmidt, commenting about Google’s view of Microsoft Bing as its competition said, “absolutely, our competitor is Bing. Bing is a well-run, highly competitive search engine.”

If you needed any more of an endorsement than the words of the chief executive of the biggest search engine on the planet, then there will be no convincing you of the need to make absolutely sure that you are spending sufficient time and energy incorporating Microsoft Bing into your search engine optimisation strategy and online marketing.

A great many people have continued to focus almost exclusively on Google as far as their search engine optimisation is concerned, and I have even heard it said on many occasions by people who really ought to know better that if you are optimising for Google, or indeed for any search engine, then those same optimisation techniques will prove to be just as valuable and ultimately profitable for the other search engines.

To some extent there is an element of truth in this, but to hold onto this idea as a single SEO strategy is ludicrously dangerous and woefully misguided. If you try a search using Google you will most certainly see different results when you try the same search out using Bing. That alone should be enough to demonstrate that search engines work in different ways, and it may well be that your website sits happily towards the very top of Google’s search listing for certain popular key phrases, but have you tried the same searches in Bing lately to find out where your business appears in their listings?

A great deal of research, testing, analysis and experimentation has been going on over the past several months by search engine specialists and online marketing specialists in order to try to determine the most effective and successful strategies for promoting businesses, brands and websites through Microsoft Bing. There is of course some overlap between strategies which work for both Bing and for Google, but relying on only those key strategies which work well for both search engines is simply not enough to work effectively for either, and in order to be successful and for your brand to be found by the maximum number of people it will be essential to apply marketing strategies which specifically target each search engine in separate ways.

For example, it has long been recognised that inbound links carry a very great deal of weight as far as optimising for Google’s search listing placements is concerned, but in order to have an equal level of success with Microsoft Bing it is also important to consider outbound links, and failure to do so can mean all the difference between appearing on the first page of results, and having far too much time each day to complete another Sudoku puzzle book.