Google and Bing: Popular Provider vs Accurate Provider

By Jaclyn Allard February 10, 2011

What will the world of computing be like in 50 years? Google’s soon-to-be former CEO, Eric Schmidt tackles this question at the perfect time, as he passes on his role during one of Google’s most climactic industry moments.

As was expected by analysts, it was a strong fourth (4Q) quarter, originally estimated around $6.06 billion, with an actual reported 4Q revenue of $6.40 billion. Analysts had been revising their earnings estimates upwards at the close of 4Q 2010, believing Google earned $8.09 per share, which was confirmed at $8.75 per share, excluding expenses for employee stock compensation.

Following Google’s 4Q report, it was then announced that Larry Page would replacing Schmidt. Effective April 4, co-founder Larry Page will take over as Google’s CEO, and Schmidt will take on the role of executive chairman. Google explained this news by saying it’s making the changes to “streamline decision making and create clearer lines of responsibility at the top of the company.” Schmidt reached out to the public via Twitter saying, “When I joined Google in 2001 I never imagined—even in my wildest dreams—that we would get as far, as fast as we have today. Search has quite literally changed people’s lives—increasing the collective sum of the world’s knowledge and revolutionizing advertising in the process. And our emerging businesses—display, Android, YouTube and Chrome—are on fire. Of course, like any successful organization we’ve had our fair share of good luck, but the entire team—now over 24,000 Googlers globally—deserves most of the credit.”

Google continues to find itself in the headlines post 4Q earnings and executive team appointments, riding high on its gains and ruthless to the competition. It was just Tuesday, Feb. 1, that Google’s head of Web spam, Matt Cutts, accused Bing, competing search service, of plagiarizing Google’s search results. Microsoft defended itself commenting that it monitors more than 1,000 different searches to build its search algorithm, in which Google is a small part.

Google appears to have messed with the wrong competitor because Bing’s biggest blow could be its possible pull from Google’s user base. According to a recent report, Bing is providing users with more accurate searches than Google. An Internet monitoring firm, Experian Hitwise, in fact calculated that more than 81 percent of searches on Microsoft’s Bing search led users to visit a website. Google, however, had a 65 percent success rate in January.

"In my business and personal searching, I feel like I'm seeing less on-point results and more garbage, even on pretty specific queries," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "Search success is a big deal for both advertisers and users. This same study also pointed out a significant increase in multi-word, more complex searches. To me, this means that users are looking for more specific results."

However, even if Google's results haven't been as accurate, it's still the highly dominant search engine in the market. Experian Hitwise also reported that Google accounted for 67.95 percent of all U.S. searches in January. Bing-powered searches, which encompasses Bing and Yahoo, accounted for 27.44 percent. Yahoo alone came in at 14.62 percent, while Bing had 12.81 percent.

As Schmidt addressed the future of computing, he said, "We are just at the beginning of hearing the voices who are starting to come online. I feel that we have made a material change in the lives of literally billions of people." The convergence of search, location and social is the next big narrative.

What lies in the Google’s and Bing’s futures, however, is unwritten.

Jaclyn Allard is a TechZone360 copy editor. She most recently worked on the production team at Juran Institute, a quality consulting firm producing its own training and marketing materials. Previously, she interned at Curbstone Press, a nonprofit publishing press in Willimantic, CT, and fulfilled the role of Editor-in-Chief for the literature and arts journal published by the University of Connecticut. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

TechZone360 Copy Editor

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