Microsoft has announced that starting August 1st they will charge for the use of Bing’s API. This is going to kill a lot of free SEO tools, and it could very well put a dent in Bing’s overall market share as well.
Let’s face it, pursuing a solid SEO strategy is getting more expensive all the time. Some smaller companies already cannot afford to pay an SEO consultant for services, so they end up doing it themselves if at all. Many of them use free SEO tools because they can’t afford the more expensive ones. Now, they may not have a choice.
If your free SEO tool stops working after August 1st, you’ll know why. But this move could hurt Bing as much as anyone else – at least, in search market share.
There are a lot of free tools and toolbars that use Bing as the primary search engine. Conduit is a very popular toolbar creator that uses Bing. Will they continue to use Bing if they have to pay for the API? It’s anyone’s guess, but if they choose to end their relationship with Bing they will likely go back to using Google.
For Microsoft, this could be more about the money than it is anything else. In fact, I’d say that Microsoft is looking for ways to maximum its revenue on the search engine. In that case, they may not mind losing market share to Google.