Stephen E. Arnold: Bing versus Google

IO Impotency
Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

A Look at Bing vs Google

Over at Search Engine Watch, Mark Jackson reminds us that Google was not always top dog in the search field. His article, “Could Bing Ever Overtake Google in Search?” emphasizes that competition is a good thing. While this is true, could the SEO CEO have any other reasons to hope for the search giant’s wane? Vicious pandas and penguins, perhaps? After all, Jackson opens with an admission that he is angry at Google for ceasing to push keyword data into the public realm (where search engine gamers, er, optimizers can get to it) while continuing to supply that data to paid advertisers. The nerve!

Jackson does make some interesting points. He cites a recent Pubcon keynote address given by Google’s own Matt Cutts, which discusses some major developments for the leading search engine. Knowledge Graph, of course, will continue to play a role, as will voice search and “conversational” search. Jackson picks up on Cutt’s last item, “deep learning.”

He writes:

“Google is focused on deep learning and understanding what users want so searchers don’t have to use simple keyword phrases to search Google. Bing, on the other hand, has partnerships with every major social site and receives data directly from those sources. So, rather than trying to understand what users mean and predicting it, Bing actually knows what user want based on actual data from social sites.”

The piece goes on to emphasize the importance of mobile devices to the future of search, an area where he suspects Bing may really take over. Apparently, Bing’s more “personalized,” social-media-informed approach will especially make the difference in mobile, somehow. He also speculates that users may not take kindly to Google’s changes, particularly Knowledge Graph. He ventures:

“In my opinion, this is a make it or break it type of move by Google. Google users will either continue to like their search or they will end up using search less and less to find what they’re looking for. Bing users may be more likely to actually like their search results because the results are biased towards their own social media activities and friends’ activities online.”

I’d like to think more people are looking for objective information than for material that confirms their existing biases, but I suppose that is naïve. See the article for more on Jackson’s reasoning and hopes for a Bingy future. Is he right, or will Google maintain its search dominance for years to come?

Cynthia Murrell, November 13, 2013

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