I don’t know about everyone else but these days Google Search rarely produces what I’m looking for on the first page.
In fact a lot of the time I get useless results. Answers.com appears on the first page of many of my queries but I can’t remember a time when I’ve actually seen an answered question. The same goes for message boards where the question is asked only to get no response. You’d think Google would be smart enough to recognize that at this point and keep it off the front page.
So Google isn’t perfect. Far from. But it’s so integrated into everyone’s behavior that most can’t stop using it. We’ve become accustomed to the results Google provides and adjusted our behavior accordingly (I very rarely click on links from Answer.com even though they still come up on the first page).
That instinct to “stay with what you know and adjust” is what really works against new competitors in the search space and it’s what makes this news so interesting…
In a stunning one-two punch, Microsoft will announce separate nonexclusive deals today with both Facebook and Twitter to integrate their real-time feed of status updates into the Bing search service.
According to sources, Microsoft (MSFT) digital head Qi Lu will announce the deal onstage in a few hours at the Web 2.0 Summit.
Now this would be a lot better if not for that pesky “nonexclusive” issue. But it still might be a windfall for Microsoft if they can stay exclusive for even a small amount of time.
Because people will adjust to anything competent and Bing is Microsoft’s first competent search engine. So if they can some how get people to use it for a little while they could pull a piece of Google’s audience over.
And what better way to get people to use Bing than to have it provide exclusive access to valuable information that Google doesn’t have?
Once a user comes over for that information they’ll likely stick around for their next query and the one after that (provided Bing can deliver relevant results). Before you know it Bing will have another small piece of the search market.
That, for now, is all they need.
You see Bing is almost certainly a long term goal for Microsoft. There’s no point in even dreaming of huge gains anytime in the next few years. But if Microsoft can continue to strike little blows against Google and take a small piece of search market each time they’ll establish themselves as a viable competitor. Once they become that they’ll have dispelled the illusion of Google being unbeatable and that’s when they can really start to compete.
Beating Google in search is definitely a journey of a thousand miles for Microsoft but this is one pretty large step in the right direction.
Addendum: Pesky, Pesky word...
Mere hours after today’s announcement that Twitter would now be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Google has annouced that it too will include Twittter updates in its own search results.
Honestly I don't think this is as big a deal as most will. Facebook is the real prize for Bing. If they can keep some kind of exclusive deal with Facebook they'll see some benefits.