Following the introduction of personalised search, there has been a great deal of discussion surrounding Google and various privacy issues which are of concern to many. The search giant is effectively recording which sites you visit frequently, in order to skew the results it returns to you following a query, based on what it deems your 'taste' to be. At present, some would argue that personalised search is having little influence on their search results. Yet, there's been such an anticipation surrounding the launch of this technology, that this is clearly the way Google is going to take search in the years to come. But what happens if we, - users of the Google service, - decide that this is not for us? After all, there are many arguments against personalised search. So what can we do? Well, why not Bing? The following is a step-by-step guide to overthrowing Google. It proves interesting reading especially as it highlights just how far Bing has come!
1. Choose a catchy name for your search engine
Google is a great name. Whilst it's loosely based on the word 'Googol' (a number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros), the word 'Google' has now entered various dictionaries as a verb of it's own. In terms of an ongoing marketing strategy, what could be better than having a brand which has it's own definition, appears in the dictionary and has become universally known to mean 'search'? Following various rebranding attempts, Microsoft decided on the name 'Bing'. I think it's a good choice. It's short, snappy, memorable and above all, it implies a fast and efficient service. It's no 'Google', but it'll do!
2. Redefining search
Think search, think Google. Well, that's clearly what the guys over at Bing thought too! So, rather than competing with Google directly, they decided to employ a clever marketing tactic…they redefined what their 'search engine' was for and with that, Bing has been marketed as a 'Decision Engine' - something which is so much more than just a search engine. In all fairness, they've done a good job too. Bing can do a great deal more than just respond to search queries, with health information, sports scores and answers to complex mathematical equations all on offer. Google is capable of returning most of this information, but when it comes to the really difficult maths, Bing knows exactly what you're after and takes no more than a few milliseconds to work it out!
3. Unite the best web resources on the web
Being such a huge organisation, Google has a finger in a lot of pies. It tries to provide the best information on the web - just as long as Google has an interest in that information or that site. For example, you'd have thought that following the initial success of Twitter (and by no-means has that success stopped yet), Google would have done what every Internet marketeer was calling for them to do: incorporate realtime tweets into the SERPs. They didn't, and it was only until Bing made use of realtime information from Twitter, that Google felt it had to follow suit. This only goes some way in telling the full story however. A great deal was written about the potential takeover bid by Google, for Twitter, yet that never came to fruition. Was Google feeling envious of the micro-blogging service? Or, perhaps it felt it shouldn't include tweets in it's SERPs as that would only increase the asking price! Either way, Google ignored what many thought would be useful to web users, and chose not to rank tweets as it would not benefit itself. Not only did Bing first include tweets within it's SERPs, it also introduced realtime search to us, as well as making use of a number of specialist programs which have been developed on the web. Wolfram Alpha is a great bit of kit. It's not strictly a search engine, but it you have a scientific or mathematical question, it is likely able to help you. I can guarantee you it'd be the first place I went for an answer! According to some sources, Bing makes use of Wolfram Alpha in it's search facility - and this is what gives it the upper hand over Google. Quite clearly, the best information isn't always accessible from one source. It's far better to have specialist companies uniting under one brand, thus giving users of the service a greater wealth of knowledge.
4. A bucket load of cash
It's all very well launching a new service, but if no-one knows about it, then what's the point? Microsoft has set aside a large amount of money in order to advertise it's service, and that's exactly what's needed - especially when wrestling valuable market share from the likes of Google!
People aren't going to be persuaded to change their default search provider from Google overnight. Time is what's needed in order to convince the general public of the benefits which are on offer from Bing. Microsoft need to keep innovating, keep spending lots of money promoting the product, and slowly, people will begin to switch from Google. Time will tell I suppose!