{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

Microsoft's new search engine Bing has been making waves in the search market, adding new features and slowly chipping away at Google's established search dominance. But smaller search engines have an uphill battle when it comes to toppling Google in search.

As Ask.com's Barry Diller pointed out today, innovation in search often works toward Google's advantage. Regardless of whether Google does the innovating.

Ask.com made headlines this week with some userface changes that reverted the site back to its earlier question and answer format. Furthermore, the site beat analyst expectations, growing 18% to $197.2 million. But IAC head Barry Diller had some candid words about Ask's prospects during the company's second quarter earnings call. According to PaidContent, he said:

“One thing I want to make clear to investors is that Ask itself is not a large segment of the company. I had hoped it would become one, but I was wrong about that. I was wrong about the competitive landscape with Google."

Ask.com is a small player in the search wars, but its problems are endemic. Diller continued:

"A lot of our new features that Ask has been sporting has [sic] only helped the competition, as they’ve copied us at every turn and they look a lot like Ask.”

That's a problem that every search engine has to deal with. As soon as a new feature is available on one service, another search engine can just as easily emulate it. Just this month, Google updated its results page, image results and background pictures to look more like Bing's.

But the advantage almost always goes to Google in these situations. If a smaller competitor simply set out to copy Google, they'd be hard pressed to steal Google's users. But by incorporating newly developed features into its site, Google can retain usership numbers with much less effort.

Diller's IAC has given up the ghost when it comes to search. As he said:

“We’ve learned that spending a lot of money on marketing search products doesn’t get you very far. We’ve learned.”

Microsoft is not ready to give up yet. Last year, the software giant set aside $100 million to market Bing. So far, the site is making modest gains against Google. Bing now controls 12% of the search market online, compared to Google's 62%. But getting a majority of users to switch to a newer (or simply different) search engine is no easy task. Especially when the competition's brand name is synonymous with search.

Images: Bing vs. Google; searchnewz

Meghan Keane

Published 29 July, 2010 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

721 more posts from this author

Comments (12)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Tarkovsky

I'm pretty sure accelerating innovation in online search would eventually benefit everyone, and not just Google . On a related note, I recently read a remarkable blog post on creativity and innovation — Google or Yahoo “the role of psychological distance in creativity and innovation” and have a read. It brings together significant recent studies on the subject, some very insightful. (Link is http://thelaughingbuddha.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/the-role-of-psychological-distance-in-creativity-and-innovation/)

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

business ideas

I completely agree that at this point in time, anybody looking to get into the search engine game is probably going to benefit Google. Just last week I read about a search engine that is still in beta, getting $20 million in start-up money from silicon valley investors. TechCrunch did a story on it and explained the new innovative ideas they have incorporated into their algo. I think its called Blekko. If these guys do end up making a dent in the market share, Google or Yahoo/MS will buy them out. I personally think starting a search engine at this point is an uphill battle and requires too much capital and risk to start. More power to the ones who are willing to do it.

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

hmm

there's one thing google can't just copy - this new thing called slide streetview from bing maps. i think those kind of changes can be patented ? but i used gmaps though so itd be nice if google can have that feature too. anyway hotmail is copying gmail's thread email right??? 

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

rory

I think it can only be good for the user all these new innovations to search engines (and of course others ripping off the new innovations) it happens all the time in other buisness markets why not the search market. As for the 'background' thing, well its a novolety, I couldn't care less about a background image as long as the search results are what I'm looking for. Haven't seen the Bing maps slide yet...Off to Bing we go!

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

SEO

It must be knid of infuriating what with these smaller search companies innovating and Google coming right on in, taking the idea that and adding it in a short space of time without having to invest the money on research etc.

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Wyndham Lewis

"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal." Picasso

If we didn't innovate because we were scared that somebody would steal the idea the human race would become extinct.

If you follow Google you will always be at a disadvantage as they have the advantage of scale.  If Google stops innovating and becomes a follower they will eventually loose their market share and become vulnerable.  Microsoft and Nokia come to mind. 

But copying the Bing home page for instance was a mistake.  It was such a blatent copy that everybody associated the idea with Bing.  "Oh look Google have copied Bing's home page."  That isn't successful product innovation, that is the market leader recognising the competition and the things they are doing. 

If somebody is going to dislodge Google, it will need to be with something that is different.  Facebook & Twitter come to mind.  They potentially could start to supplant Google in certain markets but Google are finding it hard to keep up with their innovation.  Buzz is a good example of an initial attempt to keep FB in check that hasn't been that successful.  Real time search was another issue meaning that Google purchased the FB & Twitter feeds.

True innovation is hard to imitate whilst incremental improvements are easy to make your own. 

almost 6 years ago

Manfredi Sassoli de Bianchi

Manfredi Sassoli de Bianchi, VP Marketing at jobinasecond

Interesting article but I disagree. Although there is an element of brand loyalty within the market, if someone creates a new and improved search algorithm and keeps it a secret, they will succeed. Just like Google did ten years ago.

It may be true that if anyone is successful they will be bought by a bigger fish, but in my book that's a success. An alternative could be to keep ownership and make a strategic partnership with Google/Bing, become part of their search network and share the benefits.

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

sulfyy

Bing has a little problem for several countries in Europe do not give relevant answers to search on specific niches, if you search the key word " papetarie " English translation office supplies you will notice that only enter personal pages, instead of online shops, for us is a mistake, I do not think big yet fully

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

cheap mbt shoes

Buzz is a good example of an initial attempt to keep FB in check that hasn't been that successful. Real time search was another issue meaning that Google purchased the FB & Twitter feeds.

almost 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

ghds

Buzz is a good example of an initial attempt to keep FB in check that hasn't been that successful. Real time search was another issue meaning that Google purchased the FB & Twitte

over 5 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Huffman

Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading
your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?

Many thanks!

almost 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Volz

Good site! I really love how it is easy on my eyes
and the data are well written. I'm wondering how car insurance quotes I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day!

almost 4 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.