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But It's Not Google

By - June 10, 2009

Seth has a funny interpretation of what “Bing” stands for: But It’s Not Google. This is a week old post, but I was just catching up on my reading. The rest of his post, however, strikes me as not quite right. In it he says:

The problem, as far as I can tell, is that it is trying to be the next Google. And the challenge for Microsoft is that there already is a next Google. It’s called Google.

I actually don’t think Microsoft is trying to out-Google Google with Bing. I think it’s trying to build a different kind of search application, one that sits on top of commodity search and helps people make decisions in a new way. Done right, this totally breaks the AdWords model that has driven search so far. To me, that is a very big step in a new direction, and one that Google cannot afford to make.

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11 thoughts on “But It's Not Google

  1. coxy says:

    Personally, I can’t see what all the fuss is about.

    Maybe I’ve not done read enough about Bing – but all it seems to be is that Microsoft have rebranded their primary search, again.

    From what I’ve seen first-hand, they don’t seem to be doing anything different to what you can find in any other Google competitor.

    Although they don’t shout about it as much, seems to be doing more beneficial production to their search product than any of their direct competitors.

  2. Nik Makris says:

    Have you tried to break the Google habit John?
    I’ve switched my Firefox default search engine to Bing, but still have to switch back on occasions because I “think” I might get better results from Google, especially since Bing is in Beta in the UK.

  3. Stephanie says:

    John I think you are right on about this. Bing is fresh and different, and has the potential to disrupt Google’s kingdom. It is reminding me of the days when Dell was slowly dying…and in comes Apple. Not to mention if MSFT can pull any significant traffic the stock is certainly reasonably priced with a decent yield!


  4. Dan says:

    I think you missed the emphasis. It’s “But It’s Not Google!” — exclamation mark included (and yes, Mr. Godin did not have the !).

    The difference between bing and Google is iterative more than fundamental. Right now, on this very blog post, there’s an ad for bing suggesting that I search on “LPGA Corning Classic” — it will give me the leaderboard for that tournament. Google does something similar and has for a long while now. Type in “mets schedule” into Google and you’ll get yesterday’s score, the Mets record, and today’s opponent.

    You may be right — bing may be aiming to do something fundamentally different — but right now, it’s an iteration on the same idea.

  5. Bertil says:

    Bing actually stands for ‘Ill’ (in Chinese) ๐Ÿ˜‰ Like many said: it’s nice to have, but not revolutionnary, easy for Google to copy, and doesn’t replace a real expertise of the actual search engine part, neither does it suddenly makes Microsoft the champion of relevant web standards.

    Seriously, Bing’s more meta approach is reat: it integrates at a higher level with business then through raw traffic, therefore it comes closer to Google’s plan to have a Cost-Per-Action. This is a step Google had issues to have on-line business accept, and the competition will only encourage it.

    I don’t thing it’s harder to sell train tickets if you have a better integrated solution on the contrary: more money for Google all the way then. Actually, Google could out-smart Microsoft and easily let third parties offer that kind of feature, and show their results like ads, in a second column, based on how well designed they are (measured by clicks).

  6. Keith says:

    Yeah, but I don’t want a Decision Engine. I like to make my own decisions, thanks. And if, for some reason, I were to hand decision making over to someone else, it sure as shootin’ wouldn’t be Microsoft.

  7. Google page rank, so far, constitutes the fundamental principle of the web;
    If you want to be disruptive, you have to find a more comprehensive principle than Google;

    Bing has no simple principle and has nothing new;
    It can lure people by playing on the appearances:displaying product descriptions or flight information in the result page instead of in another page.

  8. Bing might steal some market from google at this initial stage. But in the long term it will lose all, and even more if MS does not add something really innovative.

  9. “Google page rank, so far, constitutes the fundamental principle of the web;”

    That is utterly ridiculous.

    BING has been disruptive enough that it’s gotten Google defenders to come out of the wood work. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I don’t think Google needs defending — just fixing. I’d love to see Google serve up relevant search results again, rather than its Made-For-Adsense “brand” partner sites.

  10. Sรถve says:

    Maybe I’ve not done read enough about Bing – but all it seems to be is that Microsoft have rebranded their primary search, again.

  11. Alex Brabant says:

    I am wondering who came up first with the “But it’s not Google” thing. I was with Ken Jurina at SES Toronto on June 08 and he is the one who spontaneously coined the expression. We all loved it, of course! I then twittered it and I think it went on from there. Just want to give proper credit to Ken, who I think had the original thought on this one.