Bing, Bang, Bust

Two assessments of ’s search engine hit the news this morning.

The Guardian reports that a small study of 25 computer users showed that Bing’s search results were not that great, but that Bing users were more likely to look at some of the advertisements. The full story is here.

Bloomberg reports that Microsoft’s share of searches has risen about two percentage points during the two weeks since unveiling Bing, from single to double digits. Story here.

Frankly, I suspect that, once the novelty wears off, Bing will go the way of Microsoft’s previous attempts to penetrate the search engine market–that is, following a trail first blazed by Bob.

Excerpts below the fold.

From the Guardian:

    But there are caveats (about the test results–ed.). First is the small sample size. User Centric studied about two dozen searchers for this test; managing director Gavin Lew said the smaller size allowed for more qualitative analysis (through one-on-one interviews) that backed up the numbers. There’s also the question of whether Bing’s newness contributed to the searchers’ willingness to look at the ads on the right side of the page; Lew said it could be indicative of a more ad-friendly design. “Bing’s three column layout, with the related links on the left, and sponsored results on the right almost forms bookends around the center content,” he said. “Bookends compel users to look at both sides of the page, not just the center. That’s a direct contrast to the left-centered .com interface.” He added that had much more white space between its core results and the right side ads.

From Bloomberg:

    Microsoft’s share rose to 11.1 percent in the June 2-6 period, Bing’s first week in operation, from 9.1 percent a week prior, ComScore said on its Web site. Average daily penetration among searchers, a measure of how many people are being reached by the product, rose to 15.5 percent from 13.8 percent.
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