Much has been made of the "reality-distortion field" within the Apple Corporation. But I'm beginning to suspect a very similar phenomenon is at work within Microsoft's Redmond HQ. Or at least inside the offices of Bing director Stefan Weitz. He recently gave an interview to the Huffington Post where he claimed that "traditional search" (IE: Google) was failing.
“Traditional search is failing. The standard notion of search ... looking at the texts in the page, the backlinks, all that stuff doesn’t work."
The message we're all supposed to come away with is that Google Search is a dinosaur, and Bing is the young hip hotshot search engine that really knows how we want to search. Hey- let's test that theory, shall we?
I typed an identical phrase into both search engines. Here's what Google came up with:
And here's what Bing showed me:
They aren't 100% identical, but both pages give me virtually the same results in virtually identical ways. This makes sense, as Bing has been stealing Google's search results for some time now. Not only are both engines nearly identical, but one is literally copying from the other. If Google is 'failing' then, by any metric I can conceive of, so is Bing.
Which brings us to the big question: Is search failing right now? Users traditionally award Google fairly high marks for satisfaction. But the present model and style of search results is getting a bit long in the tooth. Search engines like Blekko seem to be the real 'break' from tradition. They have strong editorial control (all of Demand's E-How sites are blocked) and allow you to filter your search by slashtags. Blekko still has yet to really take off. Which may be evidence that consumer's aren't 'fed up' with traditional search quite yet.