Tag Archives | Bing

Is Google Terrified of Bing? Naw.

Google ScreamFEAR GRIPS GOOGLE. It’s a nicely classic New York Post headline for a story about the company’s reaction to the launch of Microsoft’s Bing search engine. The Post’s James Doran says that Google cofounder Sergey Brin is so “rattled” by Bing that he’s personally leading a team of engineers who are working on “urgent” upgrades to Google.

Is there any there there? I’m not saying that the article is sheer fantasy. But the Post story’s suggestion that frenzy has descended on the Googleplex and hasty steps are being taken to stay competitive with Bing doesn’t ring true.

Doran says:

Brin, according to sources inside the tech behemoth, is himself leading the team of search-engine specialists in an effort to determine how Bing’s crucial search algorithm differs from that used by the company he founded in 1998 with Stanford University classmate Larry Page.

I can’t imagine that the question of how Bing’s algorithm differs from Google’s is a subject of high-level speculation and research at Google. For one thing, Bing’s algorithm doesn’t have much to do with why Bing is interesting. It’s the information and tools that the search engine provides in reaction to four types of searches–ones involving health, travel, local information, and shopping–that give it its personality. They don’t relate to its algorithm, and they aren’t particularly mysterious.

Then there’s the notion of Google rushing out new features to respond to Bing. The thing is, Google is in a continuous state of rushing out new features (like, for instance, this one). Every major Google service is in a state of more or less constant reinvention; if Google were indeed throwing together new Bing-killing features in panicky fashion, I’m not sure if we’d be able to tell them from all the other features it’ll roll out over the next few months. And which it would have rolled out even if Bing didn’t exist.

I can believe that Google takes Bing seriously. (It should–this unquestionably Microsoft’s most ambitious and well thought out attempt to take on Google to date.) I can accept the idea that Sergey Brin has taken a particular interest in it. But it would be even sillier for Google to freak out over Bing than it would be for the company to ignore it.


Bing Share Nominally Better than Windows Live

Bing LogoThe tech world was aflutter last week as Bing catapulted itself to #2 among all search engines. That fun lasted one day. Now that things have come back to earth, data from analytics firm StatCounter show that Bing is only performing nominally better than Windows Live did.

Before the switchover to Bing, Windows Live in the last week of May averaged a 5-6% share of the market in the US, save for a one day anomaly on May 29 (it hit 12.81% that day). Bing took over on June 1, and generally experienced a good first week, peaking on the 4th as we had reported.

However, since then it has fallen dramatically, and over the last several days, seem to have found a bottom right around 6-7%. So that’s right, all this Bingmania has resulted in basically a overall gain of a percentage point or two in market share.

To be fair, it seems Bing is starting to make a move up again. However, its clear from these results that a significant portion of the Web surfing public tried and then passed on Bing.

It has to be somewhat disheartening to Microsoft that so far Bing has generally fallen on deaf ears. I bet they’re hoping that the $100 million they’re about to spend on advertising isn’t all for naught.

Point of solace for Microsoft however: it does appear that when Bing does gain, its coming at the expense of Google. You could take that this way — that Google searchers may be considering Bing a worthy alternative.


Bing Now #2 Search Engine in US

Bing LogoAccording to data from Internet statistics firm StatCounter, Bing is now the second largest search engine in the US in terms of search share. The two competitors are virtually tied worldwide however.

In the US, Google maintains a commanding lead with 71.99 percent of the market as of June 4. However, this is down over six points from the day before. During the same period, Bing rose from 8.4 to 15.64 percent. Yahoo only dropped slightly, from 11.28 to 10.32 percent.

Google seems to be the primary victim of Bing’s success. “It remains to be seen if Bing falls away after the initial novelty and promotion but at first sight it looks like Microsoft is on to a winner,” StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen said.

Worldwide, Google controls 87.66 percent, followed by Bing at 5.56 percent and Yahoo at 5.17 percent. Obviously Bing has a ways to go outside of the US to present any meaningful challenge to Google’s dominance.

Obviously, it remains to be seen whether Bing can hold on to its gains. A jump like this is not all that unusual: a lot of web users are likely giving Microsoft’s new search engine a shot, and it may have artificially gained from the IE6 bug which defaulted search to Bing (StatCounter estimates share at around 23 percent).

It will be interesting to watch over the next few weeks.


Bing: Am I Missing Something?

Bing LogoWell, the tech world is all aflutter over Microsoft’s Bing, which as Harry pointed out early this morning is live in preview mode. I have tried this search engine, and honestly I am not seeing what the big deal is over it.

Yes, this is a massive improvement over Live Search — I 100% agree with that. I don’t know what Microsoft may have been going for that other than to rebrand MSN Search after it went Live-crazy. I always found Live Search to be severely lacking in the results department.

Bing definitely improves on that. But I don’t see where it excels over what’s already available out there on the Internets. I’d argue that Microsoft’s latest effort for all intents and purposes merely matches Google, rather than surpassing it by any great distance.

In the end, is this enough to make people switch? I doubt it. Most of us are quite comfortable with using Google for our daily searches, cause it works well. Why would we want to switch to another that only seems to really “skin” what Mountain View was already somewhat doing?

This is not to say by any means that Bing will be a failure. #1, it will get a huge boost in the next month or two simply from interested surfers wanting to see what the buzz is all about. #2, it is an improvement, and not everybody is so tied to Google that they won’t switch.

For me however, Bing just isn’t it. I’m glad to see Microsoft is finally serious about search — but I don’t think matching your competition is going to win the day in the end.


Bing is Go

Bing LogoMicrosoft’s new Bing search engine isn’t scheduled to officially replace Live Search until next Wednesday, but it’s now up and available in preview mode at Bing.com. If you try it out, let us know what you think; me, I plan to try and use it for a bit whenever I’d usually turn to Google, so my impressions are real-world ones based on my own everyday searches. I’ll share my impressions as I form them.

To recap, Bing attempts to differentiate itself from what Steve Ballmer would call “the market leader” in search by focusing on helping users with four common action-oriented search tasks: making a purchase, planning a trip, researching a health condition and finding a local business. Here’s what you get at the top if you search for mazda3–not a plain link to Mazda’s site, but a sort of mini-review with user ratings, links to specs and safety stats, and more:



Bing it Is!

Bing LogoI feel like I have around five percent of my brain cells back to devote to other, more productive purposes. After way too many months of way too much speculation, it’s official: Microsoft’s new search engine will be known as Bing. Steve Ballmer unveiled it this morning at the Wall Street Journal’s D conference, and on next Wednesday it replaces Live Search.

Don’t expect Microsoft to position Bing as a Google killer, even though others will presumably (most likely pejoratively, as usal) use that phrase as they size it up. Do expect the company to call it a decision engine–a phrase that Bing team member Stefan Weitz used when I spoke with him this morning. (There’s even a Bing video demo up at DecisionEngine.com.) Rather than provide Google-like results in a Google-like format, Microsoft has has focused on providing customized results for four common action-oriented search tasks: making a purchase, planning a trip, researching a health condition and finding a local business. It aims to provide information and tools to satisfy those goals right within Bing, eliminating the need to search elsewhere and providing a clear differentiation from Google and other search engines.

I’ll report back on Bing when I’ve had a chance to try it out. Meanwhile, here’s a review by Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling (he likes it quite a bit) and one by TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld (who I think may have forgotten that Live Search in its current form already has the fancy photographic backdrop).


Breaking: We May Know What the First Letter of the Bing Logo Looks Like!

You know you’re desperate for news about a new search engine when the possibility of one letter of its logo being accidentally revealed merits comment. But what the heck: The ever-enterprising M.G. Siegler of TechCrunch popped into Bing.com, which may soon be revealed to be the home of Microsoft’s replacement for Live Search, and saw that it had a Favicon–a tiny blue-and-orange letter “b.” When he checked again, it was gone.

The logical assumption here is that Microsoft is indeed girding itself to unveil the new service at the D conference this week, and that Bing is indeed the new name. I still think it would be cool if  all the scuttlebutt about the engine being named Bing, Kumo, or Hook was a conspiracy on Microsoft’s part, and it has an entirely different name up its corporate sleeve that nobody’s ever heard. In any event,

Normally, I’m opposed to technology products changing their names–I presume that even the search team at Microsoft would agree that changing a name does nothing to improve a product. In this case, though, the name “Live Search” is so lifeless and confusing that it makes sense to start fresh. I’m not at D, but will chime in again as events warrant.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to cozy up to the name Bing. It’s a sign of my age that it brings pleasantly nostalgic associations to mind, like…well, this: