Microsoft to Google - BING IT ON!!
Umang is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
You heard it right! Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has thrown an open challenge to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) for the “Search Engine War”. Microsoft has launched the new ad campaign which they call “Bing it On!”. They have claimed that in a blind test done by a third party, people prefer Bing over Google in a 2:1 ratio.
If this is the case then why don’t we see any improvement in the market figures of Bing? If we see the latest data released by comScore for the month of July, Google continues its dominance with a mammoth 66.8% market share. Though Bing has improved a little bit since last year, still it holds only 15.6% of the market share. The improvement of market share has been primarily over other search engines Yahoo, Ask and AOL.
Then why is it that Microsoft is claiming Bing to be a better search engine?
Google has created such an effect over people for online search that we have started saying “Google it” instead of “search” for any query. This is evident from the data that reveals its dominance in the market.
The reason why the fight is getting so intense between these search engines is because of the money involved. A hefty amount of revenue comes in the form of advertisements from different companies in order to get their listing on top when people search. Everyone is trying to get their piece of pie, with Google enjoying the biggest pie of all.
This Ad campaign launched by Microsoft is a gimmick campaign. If we try and understand the bigger picture we would realize that they are not here to prove that Bing is better than Google. Their prime focus is to create awareness amongst the people that other search engines also exist apart from Google.
What is so different about BING?
Apart from the fact that Bing has a different homepage with flashy pictures, there are certain basic differences in the way Bing carries out the search. While Bing doesn’t seem to use any new signals to evaluate the site relevance, its algorithm does have some differences:
• Bing gives stronger emphasis to keywords in URLs;
• Bing seems to give more weight to capitalized terms;
• Bing prefers pages from large sites.
With the Spam ratio almost the same for both the sites, the way Bing has redesigned its search has helped in creating a better search than Google.
The next big question – Will People accept this new search engine?
The main problem Microsoft will be facing is the reluctance of a common user to switch from Google to Bing. Mostly people get what they are looking for in Google itself, then why switch to a new search engine even if it is better? This is one question which Microsoft needs to focus on and create a unique X factor about its search engine keeping one thing in mind - “Change is the only thing that is constant”.
Microsoft made a very smart move in this regard. They invested some $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) in 2007. Bing has added a new feature that allows people to search through photos what their friends have posted on Facebook. This feature is available at bing.com/friendsphotos
Facebook one of the biggest social networking giant in the internet world today stands with a stupendous data base of more than 955 million users. If this photo search becomes a hit amongst the social community then this will be the real booster for Bing which it has been looking for some time now. Bing users will attract more customers with this photo sharing application. It is quite possible that bing might use the database of facebook for launching itself in the near future. We might also see a possible tie-up between the two, Bing might allow us to upload photographs and help us find the facebook profile of our friends on Bing's search page. This will get interesting, as the competition is getting tougher.
If Microsoft plays their cards well and this campaign actually proves that Bing gives a better search result than Google, then we might be expecting a big social drift! If so, then we have to wait and watch for the answer from Google. One company which has never been apprehensive in showing what asset it possesses, is surely going to prepare for the battle that waits in the near future. One thing is sure that in the battle between Google or Bing to gain the maximum market share for search engine, but the ultimate winner is The Customer!
Umang27 has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Facebook and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.