Badda Bing!

Establishing a successful search engine that isnt named Google may seem impossible, but Microsoft is digging deep into their pockets and resources in an attempt to dethrone the search engine king. How deep? Microsoft has spent a reported 80 to 100 million in advertising dollars for Bing. That’s a pretty hefty budget considering Google only spent 25 million throughout the course of last year. I know Microsoft is trying to establish Bing as a viable search alternative to Google, but will they succeed?

Personally, I don’t plan on switching over. Why? Because Bing clearly has a few glaring inefficiencies. The first being the obvious truth that Bing is nothing more than Microsoft Live with a pretty face. I know Bing claims that it is a “solution engine” but when the search results you are providing are no different than that of Live, how do you expect to compete with Google? Especially when the search results that Bing provides are inferior to those of Googles. Users will only transfer search engines if Microsoft provides them a reason to. If Bing truly wants to succeed, they will have to re-invent the search engine rather than try and rip off Googles existing model.

Another weakness of Bing is its mis-guided marketing campaign. Rather than spending time trying to establish itself as a visibly different search engine, Bing is trying to establish it self as a cultural icon. Sorry Microsoft, I just cant hear myself saying “I’ll Bing it”. Google became a cultural icon not because it tried, but because it provided a far superior product. You may be able to buy brand recognition, but a brands following is based entirely on the products effectiveness. (Maybe Microsoft Should Use This As A Campaign)

The nail in the coffin for me came this week when I discovered my favorite of Bings features was being banned by businesses across the nation. Bing allows you to view a video simply by moving your cursor over it. Cool right? IT guys at your office don’t think so. Bing’s “preview mode” allows employees the ability to potentially watch everything from Youtube videos to pornographic content, and because these video files are playing within Bing instead of the site in which they are hosted, many corporate filters don’t block them. Microsoft responded with a quick code replacement but most companies won’t bother to spend the time to make this update, opting for the easier solution of blocking Bing.

Will Bing, the most recent of several attempts by Microsoft – all flops by the way – become a significant factor in search? Only time will tell. Eventually, the advertisement barrage will cease and Bing will be forced to stand on its own. Will it have garnered enough traffic? Or will Badda Bing go Badda Boom?

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Published On: Jun 25, 2009