July 30, 2014

Bing! And Then There Were Two

As has been reported everywhere, Microsoft finally got their hands on Yahoo’s search. Some say the move is necessary to create a viable competitor to Google’s monopoly. Some bemoan the death of Yahoo (since they’re the only “old school” search engine still around). Virtually every possible angle has already been covered, so I’ll just talk about what the merger means to me, the PPC manager at Vizad.

First, The Bad News

  1. Muddled demographics – Yahoo is more social, skews younger and more female. Microsoft is more corporate, skews older and more male. Now it will be one big muddled mess (just like Google)
  2. Wasted certification – My Certified Yahoo Ambassador status is a goner (though the Ambassador program was pretty much gone already)

The Silver Lining

  1. One less interface(eventually) – No more dealing with Yahoo’s clunky, slow web interface and both Bing and Google have desktop clients
  2. I’m in total control – No longer do I have to worry that Yahoo has turned off my ads in the name of optimization, or added keywords, or added new ad groups or … you get my point
  3. A legitimate contender – While everyone talks about search generally, the Google monopoly is most problematic on the advertising side. A solid competitor (with deep pockets to compete) will hopefully create a healthier market for PPC advertisers

I’m sure there will be problems as two gigantic companies try to merge something so complex. I’m sure you’ll hear plenty from the pundits, but for a PPC manager like me this will likely improve life. How will it affect you?

Google v. Microsoft – WWW War Brewing

Let’s play a game. I say a word and you say the first 3 things that comes to mind:

Word: Monopoly

Board game. Microsoft. Google.


Does it surprise you that I thought of Google? It shouldn’t. Google has such a dominant position in online search that the Department of Justice has looked them over more than once. Monopolies are the utopia of greed. Every company is trying to get one (theoretically), yet the two companies which you could argue actually have monopolies are preparing to go to war with each other. Why?

You Can Never Have Enough Success

Winning is one of the most powerful drugs in the world. Google won search. Microsoft won operating systems. These victories have given each company a seemingly endless supply of money and resources to pursue anything they want and they have set their sights on each other.

Bing.com

Microsoft has been trying to get a foot in the door of search for a very long time. No mystery there. Between MSN.com, Live.com and their cashback program (straight bribery) Microsoft has shoveled millions into this fight already only to be swatted like a pesky gnat. However, Bing.com is a much more credible threat to Google. People like the design, the results are actually quite good (while being different from Google’s results), and they’ve done some things better than Google (try the image search). The latest numbers show that Bing.com has carved out some market share and with Microsoft pumping $100 million into advertising, this is the first shot Microsoft has fired that may elicit a response from the GOOG.

Google’s Chrome OS

When Google launched their Chrome browser I thought it was a novel idea to create a browser that ran Javascript really fast. Basically they designed a browser optimized for Gmail and all the other Google products. When they announced the Android phone I thought is was a good move to try getting into the mobile market since people will use the mobile web more and more, where Google could do well by replacing bulky desktop software (cough, Office, cough) with their web apps. Both plays were small moves. Then Google dropped the bomb and said they were going to turn Chrome into an OS. Mark your calendar, this was Google’s declaration of war.

What Will Happen?

Let me know what you think.

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