Sergey Brin is so rattled by the launch of Microsoft’s rival search engine that he has assembled a team of top engineers to work on urgent upgrades to his Web service.
I never imagined that anyone would get their technology news from the New York Post, but evidently it’s well read in the blogosphere. Techmeme reports the following articles as citing the New York Post article:
- Larry Dignan / Between the Lines: Google missed a marketing turn with the ‘decision engine’ thing
- Steven Musil / CNET News: Does Microsoft’s Bing have Google running scared?
- Bob Caswell: It’s official: I now use Bing instead of Google
- Amit Chowdhry / Pulse2: Bing Increases Microsoft’s Market Share; Upsets Google’s Sergey Brin
- Ben Parr / Mashable!: Google vs. Bing Battle Heating Up: Is Google Scared?
- Tony Hung / Deep Jive Interests: How Many Geeks Are Even Trying Bing?
I know that the press loves a good fight, and in technology it’s hard to ask for a better pairing than Google and Microsoft. Moreover, I do think that Google should be paying attention to Microsoft’s positioning of Bing, regardless of how well Microsoft has delivered on that positioning. In any case, it makes sense for Google to keep close tabs on its competitors. After all, even a fraction of a percent of web search market share translates into millions–more than enough revenue to justify a few full-time employees.
Still, to assert that Google is gripped with fear stretches credibility, even for a tabloid. I don’t mean to suggest that Google is so self-confident as to be fearless. Google may well have reacted with fear when it looked like Microsoft would acquire Yahoo–in fact, some have suggested that Google’s proposed (but ultimately abandoned) advertising deal with Yahoo was a Machiavellian maneuver to scuttle the acquisition.
But, unless I’m missing something, Bing simply isn’t a threat to Google’s market dominance. If anyone should be concerned, it’s folks like Kayak who might lose some market share to Bing’s travel search–which seems to be generally acknowledged as Bing’s strongest vertical.
Personally, after being underwhelmed by Bing, I decided to try it for 2 weeks. I made it for about a week and a half, and you can see some of my commentary on Twitter. I stand by initial impression: it’s not bad, but it’s noticeably inferior to Google, and even parity is not enough to reverse the tide. Perhaps the tiny gain–or the slowdown in loss–that they will make in market share will justify their investment. But this is no revolution, and the Gevil Empire is not running scared.