Must read: 'Tough Love For Microsoft Search'
The internet is full of great articles. It’s impossible to read every single one of them. Even articles on the subject of search are numerous. Just take a look at Sphinn and techmeme and daily you will find tens of articles only in English. And that doesn’t include all those articles on blogs worldwide in all different languages.
Here at Searchcowboys we like to point you to the most interesting articles around. Once in a while we will therefore give you a ‘must read’ tip. An article you just cannot miss. And just before the end of the year we were treated to an article which could be one of the most interesting articles this year.
On Searchengineland Danny Sullivan, probably the person with the biggest reputation in the search-industry, wrote an extensive article in which he takes a big shot at Microsoft. An absolute must read for those interested in search.
In the article Sullivan points its finger at the management of Microsoft. The reason why Microsoft is not getting there in search is not that they don’t have a good enough product or that those working in the search-department aren’t dedicated. It’s the top management, aka Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates.
As an example Sullivan explains how he has been trying to get one of the ‘big guys’ at Microsoft to attend one of his conferences. All the other major players (Yang of Yahoo, Brin and Schmidt of Google) have been there, but not Microsoft. And it’s not as if they haven’t been asked. This year only Sullivan asked three times.
Appearing in a conference really can help a search engine gain the trust from its users and, more importantly, from those informing and therefore advising the potential customers.
He points out that although Google is the biggest cash-machine around these days they originally weren’t in it for the money. And Microsoft is. Sullivan points at this quote made by Ballmer in the Wall Street Journal:
The fundamental basis for doing the search deal with Yahoo has to do with critical mass in the advertising marketplace. It doesn’t have to do with technology, or any of these other things, it really is a market phenomenon. Together we would have more advertisers….which means we’d have more relevant ads on our page. We’d have higher monetization levels possible in front of us because there would be more people bidding on more key words. Most importantly, Google would have perhaps a real credible competitor sooner.
He then points at some quotes made by Gates who point in the same direction.
Sullivan concludes with a call to Microsoft to show their ‘fighting spirit’ in the “war of the search engines”. With his rant he tries to wake up Microsoft and is hoping for an actual competitor for Google. And he’s right about that.
Off course you can question some of the points made in the article. How important is it really for Microsoft to show up at one of the SMX-search conferences? We will probably never know. And when Sullivan talks about the products which are tied together one could say that Google is on its way of doing the same thing, though with a different approach. But concluding we can only say that Sullivan hits the right buttons when it comes to this article. It’s a must read for all those interested in search. Let’s hope also for the executives at Microsoft.
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