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Yahoo Bing and Google

So, it finally happened. The other shoe dropped and Bing will now power Yahoo! search as well as Microsoft. At the same time Google’s stake in AOL was sold back to Time Warner in a preparation for a rumoured sale of AOL. Google will continue to power AOL search, they say.
Either way, as I predicted a while back, we’re down to essentially two major search engines dominating the free search landscape with one (Google) trying to expand into operating systems and getting nmore cloudy and the others (MS and Yahoo) trying to offer real competition in search and ads. There will be some wobblyness in this space as it shakes out and probably some questions from various governments and competition and anti-trust.
What does it mean to library folks?
I have a few thought but I am sure you’ve thought of more. Especially since we’re experts and should be able to discuss this epic battle eloquently over the summer BBQ circuit.
1. We better get very good at understanding the differences between Bing and Google. I’ve been pretty impressed with Bing to date. The pressure is on Google to innovate search more rapidly so keep your eyes open for changes and follow the major search gurus’ blogs for insights.
2. This battle is about the consumer. We call them library card holders, students, web site visitors, faculty, etc. How is search and service differentiated in your operations from consumer search? If you can’t answer that question, work on it. If you’re still trying to go head to head with the Goog or MicroHoo, good luck with that.
3. This epic battle is also about advertising sales. Do you really care about that? What are libraries truly about and do we really care about the core strategies for delivering and selling ads? Understanding how ads and SEO operate is important though. Know your competition.
4. So, do a few simple things:
a.) Set Bing as a personal search default for a few days to get to know it better.
b.) Set Bing as the default on a few end-users stations and ask how they found out occasionally.
c.) Add Bing to your teaching and training strategies. It’s the only real competition and you really don’t want Google to dictate the future, do you?
d.) Watch for what Yahoo and Google and Microsoft have up their sleeves for the next act.
e.) Add this change to your conversations with colleagues and end-users. It might turn into something interesting and help define how libraries are different – and maybe better to some.

Posted on: July 31, 2009, 11:11 pm Category: Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I’m curious about why you like Bing better? I found it infuriating. It rarely gave me what I was looking for when doing a general search. Only when I was looking for something very specific did I get what I wanted. I switched back to Google.
    Maybe it’s where I live and the number of local searches I do. If I type in ‘weather’, Bing automatically knows I am in Toronto (or wherever I am staying). If I type in ‘movie times’, I get a Toronto site with movie times on it. With Google I get crap. The results are very contextual.
    I also love the related searches list.