The Microsoft Plan to Beat Google in Search

August 22, 2009

That’s a much better title than a “how to” about Microsoft’s plan to beat Google. You can find a by-the-book description of Microsoft’s “kill Google” strategy in the August 16, 2009, Mashable story “Search Showdown: Microsoft’s Plan to Win the Search War.” I want to be upfront. I think Google has won the Web search war and it is now threatening in other “wars” as well. Nevertheless, Ben Parr runs through the Microsoft game plan. My observation about this write up is that it omits two key points of Microsoft’s approach:

First, Microsoft is in “pay for traffic” mode. Cash back is one of the ways Bing is getting traffic. Not a problem for me, but it is an important point when thinking about how Google operates—getting users addicted to the Google search service.

Second, Microsoft is focusing on “user experience” or UX. The idea is that Google is often a plain if not dowdy looking system. Microsoft wants to deliver eye candy. This “look” is what sets Bing apart. Unfortunately, the results have yet to match Google’s for my test queries. I think this UX push is a big part of the Fast ESP system as well. In my opinion, Google is about plumbing; Microsoft is about decoration.

Read the Mashable story. Make up your own mind.

Stephen Arnold, August 22, 2009

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