Microsoft’s director of Bing search, Stefan Weitz doesn’t think being in second place is a bad thing.
He thinks Bing’s progress in the search market should be applauded, especially given the fact that Bing’s only been around for 2 years. You have to consider Microsoft’s history in search: Live Search, Microsoft’s search product before Bing, had less than one percent name recognition when Bing took its place.
As Bing seeks to dominate the search landscape, it’s very conscious of the fact that it’s competing with Google — a utility so ingrained into the public consciousness that we use the company’s name as a verb to mean “to search the web.” We’re not “Binging” just yet, but the search engine has managed to wrest around 30 percent of the market away from Google.
Still, the “this isn’t a zero-sum game” defense has been a favorite among underdogs since time immemorial. Ralph Nader used that line when I interviewed him in 2004, and Weitz, the company’s search director, used it today.
In addition to talking about the Bing-versus-Google dynamic, we also talked about how the concept of keyword search is due to die out and what Weitz envisions as the future of web and mobile search technology.