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Bing’s redesign feels desperate

This week Bing redesigned its presentation of its search results. Most news from Bing is usually around how it’s market share is still around the same number it has been for quite some time, or about how much money Microsoft Money loses on a quarterly basis for its online efforts (usually in the 1/2 to 3/4 billion dollar range …. yup, that’s a “b”). This time the search engine took the route of cleaning up their results in search of a less cluttered approach to a search engine result page (SERP). What is curious is that the new Bing looks a heck of a lot like the old Google. Take a look for yourself.

Now I have a so-so memory as I get older but these new results do look like the old blue link Google don’t they?

But how did Bing explain this move. In their blog post announcing the change they said

Bing is getting a new look. Starting today you will notice a fresh, de-cluttered experience designed to help you find the results you want faster. Over the past few months, we’ve run dozens of experiments to determine how you read our pages to deliver the link you’re looking for. Based on that feedback, we’ve tuned the site to make the entire page easier to scan, removing unnecessary distractions, and making the overall experience more predictable and useful. This refreshed design helps you do more with search—and gives us a canvas for bringing future innovation to you.

OK so it looks clean. But there are also reassurances that the results are faster and more relevant. Let’s be honest here, if they were more relevant wouldn’t more people use the engine?

Bing is starting to look desperate and it’s a shame. They really have a decent product. What they don’t have is a passion. As a result they are starting to grasp at straws to get people to use the engine. Imagine the person who lives in a medium-sized city in Missouri. They use Google every day because they are simply used to it and they trust it. They don’t read anything about the Internet marketing industry and they could care less about Silicon Valley. They do, however, buy things and advertisers want to get to them. Can you think of ANY reason why they would suddenly use Bing over Google? Is there any reason for advertisers to suddenly put their advertising dollars into Bing just because it looks like Google used to?

Let’s face it. Bing is desperate. It’s doing whatever it can to appear as if it can put up a fight with Google. It has to, since Microsoft has to explain away the huge losses it incurs every quarter. How long, though, will Microsoft put up with this? How long will it lose money and wait for Bing to save face?

I don’t think they will for the long run. It’s too costly and too difficult. Also, what better way for Microsoft to show the world that their claim of Google’s monopolistic hold on search is real than to give up? That would actually be the worst thing that could happen to Google.

This whole song and dance is getting old. And now that it seems like there is an air of desperation from Bing it’s not even interesting anymore.

What do you think?

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