Microsoft'sBing search engine is finally giving it the right to brag that it has the technical testosterone to compete with Google. Internet data firm StatCounter reports that Bing took 8.23 percent of U.S. searches in June, up from 7.21 percent in April. In the meantime, Google's share has dropped – albeit very slightly – to 78.48 percent from 78.72 percent before Bing was introduced.
That's good for Google , not so great for Microsoft .
Wait, did I get that backwards?
Here's the problem: Microsoft has spent enormous effort trying to prove it can compete with Google, while Google is putting substantial resources into online applications that compete with Microsoft.
The difference is that Google knows how to make money in Microsoft's marketplace. Microsoft cannot say the same about competing with Google.
Bing is a very nice search engine. A couple days ago, I gave it a test drive by searching on info about my favorite toy, my 1972 Volvo 1800E. The results were just as good as those from Google, sometimes even better. That's good for Google, which needs some decent competition just to keep from getting lazy. It could also stand to lose a little market share in order to stave off threats of anti-trust suits.
However, my Bing search results came with only one ad, the usual one from eBay claiming it has whatever you're searching for on sale. And that was listed as a search result, rather than labeled as an ad.
That's a policy known as "paid inclusion," in which ads are disguised as search results. Google is the only search company that has never engaged in that deceptive practice, while other search engines (such as Ask.com) have dropped it for the simple reason that it doesn't work. Nobody clicks on them.