Bing: Google Isn’t Hitting The Panic Button Yet


Google is responding to Bing – look at the Explore Search page – but that doesn’t mean it’s running scared from Microsoft’s arrival, says Clint Boulton

I read with amusement the New York Post’s account that Google fears Bing. Sure, Bing is tearing it up in the early run, getting lots of searchers curious about the hullabaloo. People want to see how Microsoft is going to compete with Google in search.

ComScore says Microsoft’s average daily penetration among US searchers reached 16.7 percent during the work week of June 8 to 12, up 3 percentage points from the May 25 to 29 work week. Moreover, Microsoft’s share of search result pages in the United States, a proxy for overall search intensity, increased to 12.1 percent during the period of June 8 to 12, also climbing 3 percentage points from May 25 to 29, echoing earlier results from StatCounter.

That’s not too shabby. Neither is Bing itself (read eWEEK’s review of Bing). I’ve been using it along with my blogging peers. I’ve already said I’m not going to make Bing my permanent search engine because I already have a home at Google.

But, “Fear Grips Google?” This language is a little strong, or “squishy,” as Tech Trader Daily’s Eric Savitz noted, losing faith in the piece because it alludes to Bing’s search algorithm triggering the alleged panic button at Google (even Steve Ballmer is not claiming that)

I don’t believe Google is hitting any panic button yet, but let’s keep it real here. Google’s lone sustaining revenue stream is its search advertising.

Do you really think Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt will ignore an assault on its castle walls? Startups like Cuil, Wikia Search (defunct) or WolframAlpha are one thing, but when Yahoo or Microsoft does something big in search, Google pays closer attention.

So, yeah, I’m sure Brin called a meeting to make sure Google doesn’t lose mind share to the $80 million Bing marketing machine. It’s too early to worry about market share, ComScore’s bullish numbers notwithstanding.

Of course, Google did nothing to assuage the media grokking when it launched an Explore Search page, detected by Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan.

Even that is useful. My wife once asked me what can she do with Google search besides enter a keyword and get a response. Rather than watching her eyes glaze over at my attempts to fumble through the various search tools Google offers, I can send her a link to the Explore Search page.

Clearly, Google had the Bing marketing machine in mind with this, but let’s not forget, as Sullivan frequently notes, Google is always working on search and has a lot more to show than what we’ve seen.

I wonder if this is still more than may be dreamt of in Microsoft’s philosophy.