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  • Bing vs Google: the Search Engines war

    The competition to be the most used search engine has always been huge. The war is now between Bing and Google. This week was pretty important with the arrival of real-time search in both engines. Plus Google launched Goggles an application for Android that allows the user to make a query by taking a picture from their mobile phone.

    Let's have some insight, to fully understand what lead us to this battle. What used to be the first leader in the market? How did new actors enter more or less successfully into this incredible battle? 

    In the beginning (before1994) Altavista was #1, but it was quickly beaten by Yahoo!, which was more a directory than a search engine. Yet it was used as a tool to find websites. It was very successful because the database was filled manually by Yahoo!. I remember it took ages to be indexed by Yahoo!, but it was indispensable to get visitors on your page.

    Then Google and its incredible algorithms to crawl all the web and index any page efficiently arrived and became the king of Internet (around 2000).Yahoo! was overwhelmed by the increasing number of new pages. It couldn't use the same strategy. At this time, Yahoo! made a huge mistake (as the other competitors) they decided to use web crawlers like Google. But Google was much more efficient. Therefore MSN search, Ask and so on never succeed in bothering Google.

    The key was differentiation. Yahoo! made a sweet decision by switching into a complete portal. This way, Yahoo! succeed in attracting visitors even with the huge advantage of Google in the search engine war. A possible real competitor for Google arrived in 2004: Digg. Digg lets its visitors to rank and index pages. It's a social search engine. Exactly in the trend of web 2.0. Although Digg and the Digg-like (Stumble, Technorati and so) had a great success, it wasn't enough to beat the king. Not only did Google remain the most used searched engine but also the second with the acquisition of Youtube.

    Google is dominating its competitors thanks to frequent innovations and an ability to understand the needs of the web surfers. Google is like an ogre feeding itself with users data. And the company achieves to process all this data into innovations and money thanks to Ad sense and Ad word. These two products allow Google to benefit from many web sites and share ad revenue with them (Ad sense allows Webmasters to monetize their pages by adding Google ads and then Google sells them thanks to Google Ad word, making a great margin).

    Finally Microsoft decided that Google should have a real competitor. Therefore they acquired Yahoo!'s technology and they try hard to reach Google's level. This is great since Google really sees Bing as a potential threat. This explains why there are that many innovations this last months. Google launched Social search, Caffeine (a more efficient algorithm, invisible innovation for users except that it's faster) and this week both Google and Bing launched real-time search which includes tweets and Facebook status. Here is a presentation from Google:

    In the same time, Google launched Goggles, which will enable the search engine to gain mobile searches. This is a terrific tool for mobile. It's available for Android but it will probably soon be released for iPhones:

    But Google also have issues with privacy. More and more people are concerned about their rights and don't appreciate how the ogre displays data about anything. The last warning was from Mozilla Foundation which urged web surfers to use Bing instead of Google. This is quite odd since most of Mozilla's revenue are coming from an agreement with Google...

    We'll see what the future will be. Let's hope that we'll have a more secure web, in which you can let your circle of connections help you in your researches without being concerned about your privacy.

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