Bing Is The New Restaurant That Just Opened Downtown

Jul 15 2009

I have used this analogy many times trying to explain why Bing will be just another search engine.  It happens at every city around the nation.  A new restaurant opens up with lots of publicity. It’s all over TV, in the paper, and casual conversation that week is “have you tried the new restaurant X”?   For the next few weeks you have to wait in line, make sure you have reservations, and fight the crowds to get in the hot new restaurant.  You assume it’s has to be good because the owners are the same owners as Y and that place is pretty good. You finally go to the restaurant and the food is good but it’s really not that much different than the restaurant you normally go to and it’s a bit more expensive .  This is Bing in a nutshell.

Bing is the much anticipated restaurant, it’s going to be popular while it’s new but it will become just another restaurant because it doesn’t do anything different than anyone else. We have been programmed to go to Google and until something that comes up that is truly different or better we will not change.  No doubt in my mind you will see Bing’s numbers start to drop slowly over time.  The biggest thing holding it back is the fact that it is Microsoft.

Microsoft is not necessarily the bad guy but they have been labeled as the big boy that follows.  They don’t seem to lead the pack like they did in the 80’s and 90’s.  If Bing were a Mozilla product or some new hyped upstart it may have actually had a chance.  When products are of equal quality, occasionally people support the underdog despite their mediocrity. Mozilla is not a good example due to the fact that their browser was actually superior to browsers available at the time and Bing is certainly not any better than Google or Yahoo.  People want new players in the market but you can’t overcome mediocrity with a large marketing budget in the long term.  Then again the late Billy Mays may have already proven me wrong.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Digishire

    Bing is an unfinished product as is, but it is a great starting point. Microsoft should now focus on two main battle fronts.

    [1] Create an index twice the size of Google’s.
    [2] Double Google’s index freshness speed.

    Once an actual engine is in place, there are virtually an unlimited number of ways that Microsoft can polish out a better search engine than what Google offers today. Without even scratching the surface, I’ve listed a few examples below that popped into my mind.

    [3] Move away from Google’s flawed inbound link driven ranking system, and move more towards a trust factor based + on page / on site content relevance system.
    [4] Take the steam out of behemoth low quality content providers like
    [5] Remove all Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter results from the main search index, and instead give users the option to search these databases exclusively.
    [6] Top Google’s response time for dealing with search spam.
    [7] Offer a service where webmasters can pay for assistance in dealing with any ranking, penalty, indexing, or general technical issue. This will increase webmaster trust, and offer greater stability to those running commercial websites.
    [8] Set the industry transparency standard for webmaster guidelines.
    [9] Set the industry standard for communication and interactivity between the the results provider and the search user. A Bing customer service center would be a major plus.

    Just the tip of the iceberg…

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