Microsoft Bing Business Portal Challenges Google PlacesApr 12th, 2011 | By Chris Strong | Category: Marketing
Microsoft-owned search engine Bing launched Bing Business Portal (BBP) Monday, a new feature offering online business listings for local businesses and services. Industry analysts view the move as an effort to compete with Google Places, which offers similar features integrated with Google’s search engine.
BBP allows businesses and services to claim their business listing so prospective customers can more easily find them and learn what they offer. Businesses can customize their listings to highlight their marketing strengths by adding photos, logos, contact information, payment types, menus, and other business details that help their business stand out from competitors. Listings can be linked to Facebook and Twitter.
BBP also enables users to create a mobile website and free QR Code, so that customers can learn about their business on their mobile devices.
BBP further allows users to create coupons called Deals. Deals appear in Bing search results on both PCs and mobile devices. They can also be published to Facebook. This represents Microsoft expanding into the group coupon market popularized by services like Groupon and Foursquare. Google has also recently increased its presence in this market by offering Google Latitude Check-in, a local discount offer feature.
Business owners can claim listings by phone or by using a PIN delivered by conventional mail. It currently takes about 48 to 72 hours for content to go live, but Microsoft is working on speeding up the process.
To check out Bing Business Portal, visit http://www.bing.com/businessportal.