Bada Bing, Bada BUST?

Gerard Tollefsen - June 2, 2009

In the not so distant future, there will be a new search engine out there for you to try simply called Bing (  It’s the “next big thing” in search engine technology brought to you by Microsoft.  With Bing, Microsoft will once again try to take a bite out of Google’s search market share, but will it succeed where others failed?  I have my doubts of Bing’s success and it has nothing to do with its technology, or its performance.  In my opinion, Google simply owns search like no other business in the world.  When your very company name becomes a common verb in the English language, you have reached rarified air in gaining mindshare with your users.  C’mon, you have never asked someone (or told someone) to “just Google it” to find an answer online?  Will people one day say, “just Bing it”?  If they do, and I have my reservations about this, then yes, Microsoft through its Bing search engine will be successful.

According to the slick video currently displayed on — well the video is actually hosted on, but you get to the video from the Find Out More button on the Bing homepage – Bing is more than a search engine, it’s a “decision engine”.  Instead of sorting the search results based on popularity (is that a dig at Google), the Bing search engine sorts them by ‘logical categories”.  Well, who decides what is logical?  Anyway, I am not here to beat up the technology behind Bing, it was created and developed by people much smarter than myself.  And it has some excellent features built in like Price Predictor, which actually tells you when to buy an airline ticket in order to help get you the best price.  But will people actually use this “decision engine”?

According to the open letter on from the Bing Team, Microsoft, “So far in 2009, there are four and a half websites created EVERY SECOND as the web continues to expand.  While more searchable information is cool, nearly half of all searches don’t result in the answer that people are seeking… We took a new approach to go beyond search to build what we call a decision engine. With a powerful set of intuitive tools on top of a world class search service, Bing will help you make smarter, faster decisions. We included features that deliver the best results, presented in a more organized way to simplify key tasks and help you make important decisions faster.”

That sounds great and I will give it a try, but then again I am in the search marketing industry and it is in my best interest to give it a full test drive.  But will the average person, sitting at home on their pc or laptop go to Bing instead of Google?  I am sure Microsoft is going to pour millions into an aggressive marketing campaign…but will that message get through in the long run?  It’s an interesting question and I will be following all of the hoopla.  I remember a day when I would go to to look something up.  I don’t remember when I switched to Google for all my searches (but it happened) and now I don’t remember the last time I used a search engine other than Google (outside of work, of course)!

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