Bing’s Advantage

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The following NYTimes story shows the impact that Microsoft’s newly re-relaunched search engine, Bing, is having in the search engine wars. Instead of being a hapless me-too, Bing brings real innovation and a competitive advantage in search results display to BING over Google. But the writing was on the wall – Google’s frugal search result display under attack:

The screenshot above shows the CUIL browser’s display of search data and also has shown this type of innovation where images are used and there is a sidebar of categories/tags associated with the search item “Warkworth Ontario”. But CUIL, the work of a Google alumnus, does not have a)the hovering previews of each site[rather there is a small thumbnail image plucked from each site] that is a key part of Bing’s feature set and b)CUIL does not have the $100M advertising budget that Microsoft has brought to bear for the weeks after Bing’s launch. So now Google finds itself in unfamiliar territory – at the bottom of the heap in the innovative display of search results. Worse for Google, Microsoft leads.

What will be more interesting to see is how quickly Google responds to Bing given that the underlying AJAX technology to add these these types of features are quite familiar to Google [see its Google Maps and Google Docs technologies]. Even more intriguing is the fact that Microsoft has said that the current release of Bing is only the first foray – and that Bing would be offering even more search display features in the future. So what goodies does Redmond have up it sleeves?

Memo to antitrust regulators – note that the dominant and monopolistic player, Google, did nothing to improve displaying search results despite several small start-ups innovations until a player [Microsoft] who could do some damage to Google’s market share introduced a browser with such capabilities. Proof yet again that the pace of innovation declines in markets where monopolies are allowed to persist.

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  1. Yes indeed… and rightfully so. Microsoft, normally a close follower, is really out-innovating Google not on the search quality but the display of search results. As noted above several others tried to get market advantage but just did not have the Microsoft “clout”.

    However, I would be surprised if Redmond rests on its current Bing laurels. Rather I expect they will take search display processing down several lanes as implied by its “decide” theme. For example it could do things like Copernic currently does – combine results from several search engines for a better profile and then lets users choose the best results and use those choices “to guide further queries”. Or it could recall past query reults on a topic [available in History results] and use those results like Amazon does to advise users on what their choices in the past have been for say a car , vacation, or historical fact search. In sum, instead of standing on the sidelines and then copying others ideas[think Vista, C#, SQL Server] Microsoft is out in front. In the Tour de France, they honor the breakaway cyclists with a special “combatif” award – Microsoft has is certainly picking up points in that category for Bing.

  2. my initial test result shows that Bing is as good as Google when displaying relevant search results. Google might be having a tough competitor with Microsofts own search engine.

  3. i have been evaluating the search results of Microsoft Bing compared to Google and they are comparable. Bing gives almost the same relevant search results just like Google.

  4. George –
    Thanks you for the interesting note. Have you done better than me and published your research results anywhere? I base my conclusions on heuristic observation – ‘your riskiest’ way to arrive at solid conclusions.

    Jack and admin

  5. Bing does give search results much like Google but i would have to say that Google still gives more relevant search results.

  6. i have been using the BING search engine for a couple of weeks. it seems to be as good as Google but for some reason i would still want to stick with Google search engine.

  7. I use both Bing and Google search engine and i dont see much difference in their search results. I use google for searching hard to find academic topics and Bing for general search.

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