Spinning the Bing – Google I/O spin

By Kip Kniskern | Posted May 22, 2013 18 comments

bing-logoToday, on the Bing Search blog, Bing Director Stefan Weitz posted on some thoughts he and his team had while watching last week’s Google I/O keynote.  Weitz starts off by summing up what he and his team surmised was a core takeaway from the keynote:

But what Google I/O really made clear to us was, under all the technophilia, Google’s main focus is on monetizing its users’ data. They will be paying more attention to your location, analyzing your photos and turning them into animated gifs and they’d like some credit for their innovations while rarely mentioning that all this personal data collection gives them more opportunities to show you ads.

He goes on to mention that this may not seem to bother at least some Google users:

You know, for some folks – the bargain they strike with Google is fine. Just like personal space in an elevator, people have varying degrees of tolerance for how close another person gets to them, and varying degrees of comfort when that person is actually a corporation not wearing deodorant.

… and then goes on to present an infographic (of course) and some Microsoft funded research study data that purports to show that Google users are getting “Scroogled”, if they only knew.  Weitz summarizes:

But I think it’s kind of interesting, that a company that talks a great deal about the possibilities presented by Internet innovation, the open source movement, and freedom of speech, has an ecosystem play that continues to tie their users down to one identity, one technology system, and to an ad-propelled company that can delete what a G + user says without appeal. When you sign onto Bing, you can sign on with Microsoft or a Facebook account. We don’t have to know everything about you to give you a great search experience. And yeah, our maps work, too.

The blog post is, of course, another round fired off in what appears to be Bing’s approach to marketing these days: scare tactics about big bad old Google, and how that big bad wolf is going to come and blow your house down.

scroogled

Now, as we said before, we’re no fans of Google.  We’ve been using Bing, pretty much exclusively, since back when it was MSN Search, and to be honest, it’s made some pretty great strides in that time.

But Google is about a lot more than just monetizing your data, although yes, that’s a big part of it, and as Weitz points out, probably has a different focus than what Bing offers you.  However,  what Weitz fails to mention is that Google is also constantly innovating (and yes, it’s had some failures and some flops along the way, but also some pretty truly amazing innovation, too).  Take Danny Sullivan’s post today on Google’s “conversational search”, which was introduced at Google I/O and went live today on Chrome:

I’m 17 years now into writing about search, and I’ve seen all types of things that have promised to revolutionize the space, especially products that trot out words like “natural language” and “semantic search” but fail to deliver.

Conversational search has natural language, semantic search and more built into it, and while it’s far from perfect, this really is one of those significant changes that makes even a “seen it all” person like me sit up and take notice.

What Google is doing is hard, and yet when it works, it feels natural, easy, like it should be.

In the meantime, even though Microsoft bought TellMe Networks way back in 2007, they’ve sat back and watched while first Apple with Siri, and now Google with conversational search have passed them by.  Oh yes, they’re getting quite good at making fun of their competitor’s successes, as today’s new anti-Siri ad shows.  Too bad they can’t seem to keep up with the innovation.

siri ad

Google also introduced a completely revamped maps experience (and yes, they’re testing ads in it, according to Search Engine Land), and watched as some 10 million Android phones were sold last month.  People aren’t scared of Google, they’re flocking to it, and they’re doing so not because they’re getting Scroogled, but because they’re getting good value for the effort they’re putting into being a Google user.  People *like* Google, and taking potshots at them isn’t helping to get people to like Microsoft.

In the meantime, Bing hasn’t done much but bring us Scroogled ads and spin campaigns.  Yes, there has been some news about further Facebook integration, but be honest, have you ever actually used the Facebook integration features of Bing?  What happened to Bing Maps, for example?  Apparently Nokia and Microsoft can’t decide who owns what, and are letting Google run completely away with location services in the meantime.

It’s clear that Microsoft is gearing up for more Scroogling, and we think that’s kind of sad.  Bing is a good product, with lots of potential, and even a fairly healthy market share, at least until Marissa Mayer figures out a way to get out of the Bing/Yahoo! deal.   Why not focus on the product, or spend some of that Scroogle money on innovation instead of spin?

Posted May 22nd, 2013 at 11:26 pm
Category: Opinion
Tags: Bing, Google, Scroogled
  • Jonnathan

    I actually like that they are doing this because it’s bringing awareness at Google’s true colours. The scroogled campaign and Bing It On campaigns do seem to be working since their marketshare has been increasing.

    However, I also agree that they need to bring to live more innovation to keep up and prove themselves the better alternative. I have no doubt (which we’ve also seen in many Research videos) that they have a ton of amazing technologies and innovations that just haven’t been brought to public yet. They need to speed up that process and another huge thing is their international market. Google is able to bring most of their services internationally at the same time, whereas Bing is mostly U.S. enabled and very limiting. The search and services are excellent in the U.S. but not the same worldwide.

    So, while I do agree and like these awareness ads/posts from Bing, they need to also bring their services up to par as well if they truly want to win people over.

  • Jonnathan

    I actually like that they are doing this because it’s bringing awareness at Google’s true colours. The scroogled campaign and Bing It On campaigns do seem to be working since their marketshare has been increasing.

    However, I also agree that they need to bring to live more innovation to keep up and prove themselves the better alternative. I have no doubt (which we’ve also seen in many Research videos) that they have a ton of amazing technologies and innovations that just haven’t been brought to public yet. They need to speed up that process and another huge thing is their international market. Google is able to bring most of their services internationally at the same time, whereas Bing is mostly U.S. enabled and very limiting. The search and services are excellent in the U.S. but not the same worldwide.

    So, while I do agree and like these awareness ads/posts from Bing, they need to also bring their services up to par as well if they truly want to win people over.

  • http://twitter.com/prie_dieu prie dieu

    YOUR WEBSITE DOES NOT RENDER IN IE8, COMPATIBILITY VIEW OR OTHERWISE
    please rectify…. in fact please start from scratch – the site looks like a mangled frankenstein of various iterations of liveside, with a bunch of unnecessary elements such as bloody stock quotes (who the hell goes to liveside for those??!?!), and a gallery taking up a hunk of white space with a picture of a lumia phone…. back to basics should be your aim. also perhaps realise that white space is a good thing and you don’t need to find some element to include for the sake of simply not having a void.

    sorry to comment this but don’t know where else to place feedback./

    • http://twitter.com/prie_dieu prie dieu

      otherwise good article.

      bing is sloppy, microsoft’s marketing team has been hopeless for years. their campaigns are either awfully corny or completely pointless.

    • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

      We appreciate the feedback. Using the Web Developer tools in IE 10 to switch to IE8 view and it appears to render passably (although Disqus didn’t fare too well), but we will see what we can do. Less than 3% of our visits from the last 30 days came via IE8, and there are priorities, but still we do appreciate the frustration. At the core, we’re bloggers, and not web developers – we’ve learned a lot about WordPress etc. in the past few years, but always (lots of) room for improvement.
      The Gallery is a work in progress – our previous attempt was essentially one big table that was growing well out of control, but there’s still lots of work to do. As for the stock quotes, they’re for me ;).
      You can always reach us at feedback *at* liveside *dot* net.

      • http://twitter.com/prie_dieu prie dieu

        Cheers for the polite reply to my insane rant. I haven’t slept for days so a very short fuse. After my exams tomorrow I’m downing a bottle of merlot and collapsing on a concrete slab, hopefully with resultant two week coma.

      • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

        The new Disqus that has been on the majority of websites lately never was designed to shine its brightest in IE8, trust me. It works fine, but it is minimal. You don’t get fancy effects, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/prie_dieu prie dieu

    YOUR WEBSITE DOES NOT RENDER IN IE8, COMPATIBILITY VIEW OR OTHERWISE
    please rectify…. in fact please start from scratch – the site looks like a mangled frankenstein of various iterations of liveside, with a bunch of unnecessary elements such as bloody stock quotes (who the hell goes to liveside for those??!?!), and a gallery taking up a hunk of white space with a picture of a lumia phone…. back to basics should be your aim. also perhaps realise that white space is a good thing and you don’t need to find some element to include for the sake of simply not having a void.

    sorry to comment this but don’t know where else to place feedback./

    • http://twitter.com/prie_dieu prie dieu

      otherwise good article.

      bing is sloppy, microsoft’s marketing team has been hopeless for years. their campaigns are either awfully corny or completely pointless.

    • http://www.LiveSide.net Kip Kniskern – LiveSide.net

      We appreciate the feedback. Using the Web Developer tools in IE 10 to switch to IE8 view and it appears to render passably (although Disqus didn’t fare too well), but we will see what we can do. Less than 3% of our visits from the last 30 days came via IE8, and there are priorities, but still we do appreciate the frustration. At the core, we’re bloggers, and not web developers – we’ve learned a lot about WordPress etc. in the past few years, but always (lots of) room for improvement.
      The Gallery is a work in progress – our previous attempt was essentially one big table that was growing well out of control, but there’s still lots of work to do. As for the stock quotes, they’re for me ;).
      You can always reach us at feedback *at* liveside *dot* net.

      • http://twitter.com/prie_dieu prie dieu

        Cheers for the polite reply to my insane rant. I haven’t slept for days so a very short fuse. After my exams tomorrow I’m downing a bottle of merlot and collapsing on a concrete slab, hopefully with resultant two week coma.

      • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

        The new Disqus that has been on the majority of websites lately never was designed to shine its brightest in IE8, trust me. It works fine, but it is minimal. You don’t get fancy effects, etc.

  • Red11

    I’ve been a Microsoft fan-boy for a long time (almost exclusively developing with their tools for 15+ years) and to me this just highlights that Google is the new Microsoft.

    Microsoft seem to have ramped down their innovation and ramped up this classy sledging approach like some of their competitors were doing 10 years ago. And at the same time Google now leads in the innovation stakes.

  • Red11

    I’ve been a Microsoft fan-boy for a long time (almost exclusively developing with their tools for 15+ years) and to me this just highlights that Google is the new Microsoft.

    Microsoft seem to have ramped down their innovation and ramped up this classy sledging approach like some of their competitors were doing 10 years ago. And at the same time Google now leads in the innovation stakes.

  • Anton Kolonin

    Well, Google does with online interactions exactly what Microsoft already did to desktop OS’es – full dominance, there is a table in the middle: http://www.webstructor.net/news/20130505/

  • Anton Kolonin

    Well, Google does with online interactions exactly what Microsoft already did to desktop OS’es – full dominance, there is a table in the middle: http://www.webstructor.net/news/20130505/

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    I’ve always used Live Search (that is what it was called when I started using it). I liked the design of the home page and everything. Now it’s called Bing, and I still use it over Google. I only use Google’s search engine in very rare cases where Bing can’t find something I’m looking fore.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    I’ve always used Live Search (that is what it was called when I started using it). I liked the design of the home page and everything. Now it’s called Bing, and I still use it over Google. I only use Google’s search engine in very rare cases where Bing can’t find something I’m looking fore.