Monday, June 8, 2009

Search Engine Bingo

Has Microsoft managed yet to come up with a marketing campaign for anything that doesn't reek of desperation? These Bing ads have been the worst so far - and maybe it's just because the service itself is so badly done that it feels like they're trying to put lipstick on a pig. Nevermind the name, just call up the site, and try it a bit. As far as I can tell, they're just trying to out-Google Google. Same basic stuff, with a couple annoyances (images and ads at the top, so that those of us without much vertical real estate have to scroll down to see more than one actual result) And really, that's a winning strategy for them: Bing plus Internet Explorer's default page = lots of people who won't bother with Google because they're already using something comparable.

Let's try some comparisons: Google, Bing, Wolfram Ego. The Bing page is a little more slick than the Google page, sure, but it sure looks to me that they put very little thought into it beyond "Make it like Google, only better". And then there's my own experience actually trying to use it: when I used it this afternoon to search for information on a Microsoft product (Netmon) the very first link, to a Microsoft page, was broken. WTF? To be fair, I get the same result with Google... but then, shouldn't the bar be just a tad higher for a Microsoft service searching

Wolfram, on the other hand, is intriguing. I may mock the egotism involved, but I'm seeing the basis for some very interesting (and potentially useful) stuff there. Go look up your hometown on it. It's not quite as engaging as, say, Wikipedia, but it does a good job of laying out the sort of basic facts that might be useful

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