Google missed a marketing turn with the 'decision engine' thing

Google missed a marketing turn with the 'decision engine' thing

Summary: Does Google have Bing envy? Is the search giant running scared over Microsoft's search marketing blitz?

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TOPICS: Google, Browser
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Does Google have Bing envy? Is the search giant running scared over Microsoft's search marketing blitz?

The New York Post seems to think so. In a report the Post blares:

You'd think nothing would get under the skin of search giant Google.

But co-founder Sergey Brin is so rattled by the launch of Microsoft's rival search engine that he has assembled a team of top engineers to work on urgent upgrades to his Web service, The Post has learned.

Brin's mission: Find out how Bing's algorithm differs from its own.

Is Brin really running scared? Probably not, but Google has always carried a bit of healthy paranoia. Bing is optimized around verticals such as shopping, travel and health. As noted last week, Bing works fine as a default search engine and I have no qualms recommending it to others.

What's really going on? Google has commoditized search and now competitors are doing this "decision engine" spiel. Google's big challenge right now is marketing. How does a company that has talked search since its inception push this decision engine thing?

The first hint that Google was pondering a repositioning was Brin's Founder's Letter to shareholders. Wolfram Alpha clearly got under Google's skin with its mission to create something that understands what people are pondering. At the time, Brin said:

I think it will soon be possible to have a search engine that “understands” more of the queries and documents than we do today. Others claim to have accomplished this, and Google’s systems have more smarts behind the curtains than may be apparent from the outside, but the field as a whole is still shy of where I would have expected it to be.

And now Bing enters the picture. Bing also hopes to be a decision engine with a "deep understanding" of how folks use the Web.

Now Google has to position itself as an understanding engine. In many respects, Google is already there but with shiny new search objects launching all the time the search giant is going to have to nail its messaging.

More reading:

  • Schmidt: Bing Has Not Changed What Google Is Doing
  • My Bing experiment: Can it be the default search engine?
  • Bartz: Bing isn't all that (and neither is a Microsoft search deal)
  • Topics: Google, Browser

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    163 comments
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    • New York Post? Are you serious?

      Anything written in the New York Post should be taken with a grain of salt. I believe Google worries about Bing about as much as a water buffalo worries about a gnat on its backside.
      MisterMiester
      • I agree. Microsoft is running scared from everything and everyone.

        Only a Microsoft shill would paint Google as being scared instead of secure.
        No More Microsoft Software Ever!
        • Right. Whatever you say.

          Like we could take anything someone with the screen name [i]No More Microsoft Software Ever[/i] as an accurate assesment on anything Microsoft.

          Nice try No More Microsoft Software Ever, but never good enough
          GuidingLight
        • You Serious?

          Seems like turn around is fair play. Microsoft has been putting up with this kind of BS forever. All those Windows, Exchange, Outlook, Explorer Killers are having great success...oh wait MS still has 70% plus share in all those markets hmmm... Interesting how one article gets so much attention when there have been thousands the other way.

          If you don't like MS fine, but at least try a product before having an opinion about it. All these commenst by people who don't try the products are lame. I use MS products by informed choice. I also use Linux, Google and others as the situation warrants.

          This anti MS BS is just that BS.
          dplant9
          • totally agree....

            I totally agree @dplat. People have just a norm that MSFT s/w's are rubbish, blah blah blah...without even using them. I have been using MSFT products for my lifetime and I have had no problems. Agree, that there are a few products which are not the best out in the market, but that does not mean every other software from MSFT is a crap. Bing, in this case is amazing...I am impressed by the user friendly interface, the travel, shopping and multimedia search. Its totally amazing. getting 15% share is a big thing. Almost every person on this planet is googling. It is really difficult to change the habit, will take time and Google knows that they have to start thinking seriously now. They just cannot take it casually.
            animageofmine1
            • I have had no problems!?

              [i]I have been using MSFT products for my lifetime and I have had no problems.[/i]

              Surely you jest! That is a completely unbelievable statement for software from any source, and especially MS with the thousands of security issues and service packs.
              don_pederson
            • Not problems? Not even a single tiny one?

              There goes your credibility.
              InAction Man
            • It's not about their products. It's about the company.

              Microsoft could sell the gold standard and I still wouldn't buy it. I don't give my money to a lying, cheating, stealing unethical company.

              Microsoft can change it's stripes. They can't give back what was taken in order for them to become the dominant player.

              I won't forgive them for that. I won't support them. No matter how hard they try to make their history of horror disappear. No matter how much Bill Gates tries to redeem himself. Microsoft made their bed. No they can lie in it. And I hope it catches on fire.
              No More Microsoft Software Ever!
            • Severely Naive View

              This is what cracks me up. You actually think that the world it not cutthroat and that everything has to be fair??? C'mon. Do you really think we had a bona fide reason for going into IRAQ? No!!! Haliburton got billions in uncontested contracts. Was that fair??? No. My point is this. If you were high enough up in the food chain at your job (if you work), you will find out that capitalism is synonymous with being cutthroat. America is built on dog-eat-dog. Our politicians lie and cheat, our preachers lie and cheat, our government lies and cheats...it is what big business does. If you are honestly telling me that you don't like MS just because they are executing the same way that all big business executes, then you are truly naive. Wake up! If you create a company and become a billionaire, you will never have done it without taking advantage of someone somewhere. Taking advantage is not always about doing people wrong. Many times its simply about knowing you have the advantage that others can't see. It works for the military, it works for government, it works for uppity kids and their families that get into the better schools, it works everywhere. Such is life. Deal with it!!!
              andrej770
        • Brain Dead.

          No more Microsoft software ever?? Is that where you are at? Well good for you. Such an insightful yet vacuous statement.

          I would like to take a little tiny bit of a higher road then the one you took that lead to such a ridiculous statement. Not a hugely higher road, just a little higher.

          Lets start with the obvious; if you are using computers and are not using a Microsoft OS then you must be using Apple/OSX or some version of Linux. If you are using OSX then that is fine for you, if it does what you want and provides you with something you feel you cannot get out of a Windows OS then fine. Apple makes good computers and everyone I have known thats used OSX says they really like it a lot so I imagine it is a good OS as well.

          If you use Linux, certainly thats fine as well. I used Linux SUSE myself for a while and I can say that I think in general terms Linux is a very good OS. And if Linux is meeting your needs then great, especially if it gives you something you cannot get from a Windows OS that is important to you. Very good.

          Although it seems an overwhelming number of Apple enthusiasts and Linux zealots cannot even give that much to the multiple hundreds of millions of happy Windows users, that is the fact that they actually like Windows and find Windows provides something for them that they want that Linux and Apple do not have.

          What I do think needs to be said is that the vast majority of Windows users just find that Apple computers plain and simply cost way too much for a computer that hardly plays any popular games, does not allow for many kinds of upgrades, such as new monitors, high end multiple graphics card installations etc. and for the most part comes only in white and provides for no real individual style or selection. I'm not even going to spend significant time going over the fact that Apple makes the most proprietary computer systems generally available to the public and of course installing OSX into anything deemed to be non-Apple is a recipe for disaster.

          And Linux, while at least will usually install and run great on a users hardware of choice it can result in a search for specific drivers to get all hardware operational in some circumstances. And using Linux results in giving up all your Microsoft software unless you go the route of Wine that helps but simply relies on the use of another layer of software. Running Linux may provide for various levels of increased functionality, and even security but the methods used to come to those increased levels also typically requires that a Linux user has to use the operating system in ways that are more complex and completely foreign to former Windows users. While for some who use Windows now, the move to Linux may indeed provide for a great alternative but, for the majority it results in headaches and frustration as Linux can make former simple tasks into research projects for the uninitiated. And for those who run "must have" programs that refuse to operate on Linux its a non starter from the word go.

          So if it is the case for you "No more Microsoft software ever" then fine, but if your trying to make some kind of blanket statement of a position that the rest of the world should take, your narrow vision only exceeds your short sighted opinions.



          Cayble
      • Google is scared of bing...

        as the fox is scared of the chicken.
        InAction Man
        • Google is so scared they're planning the next EC lawsuit they can launch...

          The EC: Losers for the losers...
          transposeIT
      • ZDNet: By the clueless for the clueless

        You can't make this stuff up, but ZDNet thinks no one will notice when they do.
        schmandel
      • Umm does it say anywhere

        that the NY Post is gospel? "Is Brin really running scared? Probably not..."

        Larry Dignan
        • NY Post Business section is actually really good

          They have great sources (don't forget... Wall St. is in NYC) and frequently break big business stories. The Sports section is great, too, of course.

          I'm not saying that this story in particular is accurate or not, but I am saying that I trust what they have in their Business section more than I trust most things on the Web.

          My 2?.

          And, seriously, if you were Google, would it be smart to sit around and say A) "Ha! Microsoft sucks, I don't care what they're doing!" or would it be smart to say B) "Hmm... I wonder what Microsoft is doing that we can learn from. They're getting some pretty solid press right now."

          If you answered A), please do me a favor and become CEO of one of my competitors. Duh.
          SBArbeit
    • When Bing bombs...

      When Bing bombs watch Google stock skyrocket and Microsoft stock crash hard like Vista on your new laptop. Bill Gates will have to give up saving the African continent from diseases to find a cure for MSFT stupidity.
      eposter
      • Haha...

        What makes you think people will quit using Bing? The author said it was already his default and it's my default. I know a handful of people I work with who use it now too.

        Your Vista comment is kinda... outdated... you do realize that the driver issue that plagued Vista (Which caused the crashing) lasted all of 6 months after release, due to hardware vendors playing catch up.

        Not like you care, right? Didn't think so. Continue with your mindless zealot rage on the evil machine, which you still think is Microsoft.
        TylerM89
        • Uh, it takes people to actually USE Bing to quit it. And they ain't usin'.

          Nuff written.
          No More Microsoft Software Ever!
          • all things Bing equal

            I did a few searches with Bing but they just didn't have as good a result as I got with Google. Some top results indicated a poor page ranking system. All things bing equal I'll stay away from Microsoft. I just installed Ububtu as the proncipal OS on my eee pc. I want to see if I can live as well with it as with XP. I'm not a linux fanatic but as I see it, the only problem with Linux is not that it's weaker than Windows, but simply not enough people use it to attract enough peripheral makers to develop drivers. It's a viciuos cycle. Netbooks and people fed up with MS could change all of that.
            mark16_159
          • When you say something, it doesn't make it true.

            And in this case you are clearly wrong and as time passes, it will become clear just how incredibly wrong you are. Bing is getting used, and by a whole lot more people then I ever thought there would, but, its working.

            See you back here when you apologize for making yourself look so foolish? Or no? Probably not. It seems to be the mainstay of the anti-Microsoft crowd to spout barefaced lies and then fail to show their faces afterwords when the truth is on the front pages.
            Cayble