Ballmer Vows to Match Google Relvancy in 6mts

Source Title:
Ballmer: We'll Catch Google In Relevancy In 6 Months
Story Text:

Microsoft big job Steve Ballmer has another crack at Google saying "in the next six months, we'll catch Google in terms of relevancy". As Andy Beal points out though, no one cares, because it doesn't really matter.

Relevancy is dead. All of the top search engines are relevant! What matters now is convincing users that your experience is better than your competitor's.

Yep, it's all just marketing from here on in....


Name Change = Branding

MSN is such a bland brand, it takes in so many products.

Why not brand the search engine with a 'Google' type odd name that can establish itself as a search engine destination.

When Google / MSN and Yahoo compete at present, people visit yahoo and MSN for free email principally, but Google is the destination for search. It's banding now as much as anything!

Why not throw that ton of advertising cash at a brand: MSN Search = boring / second fiddle. 'MSN Sweep' or something odd and brand-able like that is memorable and interesting.

I was taking the other day with a 50+ year old Priest about our website about homeless people. I said, just Google 'homeless Australia' and it's there #1.

Google has reached the outer and older demographic limits of branding search IMO and the MSN advertising dollar won't be enough.

beware the next generation

it is largely branding and Google may have done the 'hearts and minds' thing with the current mainstream searchers but there's a huge opportunity for another SE to sneak in and capture the current teen market. They aren't going to use things because their parents/teachers/siblings do, in fact they'll probably search out things their parents don't use - and they won't be afraid to say results don't give them what they want if they fail to deliver.

MSN have a lot of this market with the chat and mail services - they offer some good stuff with the free encarta membership which should appeal on the homework front etc, if they can get their relevancy up and make it convenient enough to default to MSN search then they don't need to make any of us lot swap - they just need to catch and keep the younger and more inclined to click on ads demographic limits and they'll have a maturing market and a booming advertising model.

They are doing better than Google now, so why fix it?

You'd think they'd notice their results are better than Google's. But, NOooo. They've got to be just like Google.

I knew Microsoft would force themselves to screw it up somehow.

You'd think they'd notice

You'd think they'd notice their results are better than Google's. But, NOooo. They've got to be just like Google.

I knew Microsoft would force themselves to screw it up somehow.

Wanting more traffic and more profit for the company is "screwing it up"?

You're right. Microsoft have absolutely no idea what they're doing. Just another fly-by-night software company...

The only way you can say one

The only way you can say one is better than the other is if you are doing better in one than the other.
One man's relevency is another man's "I'm not listed".

I agree

M$N is currently more relevant than google.

So is Yahoo for that matter.

I do think relevancy matters. People search to find what they are looking for, if they can't find what they are looking for at one search engine they will go to another. No matter what the SE is named.

google currently sucks at finding anything and a lot of people are noticing and moving on to other search engines.

Just because google and "googleing" is a common name now does not mean it will remain so, I can think of a bunch of companies that had brand name products that have just faded away after a while...

Anyone remember "Ski-Doo"?
(it was the first well known commercial snow machine - and "Ski-Doo" turned into a generic name for any snow machine... then it faded away...)

Yep, Andy goy it right.

Yep, Andy goy it right. Anecdotal evidence says that JohnQ is generally happy (though this does not apply to all sectors) with relevancy.


I've been watching the feature wars. Other than getting the press and analysts excited, I don't think this is lifting the skirts of their users.

>>>I've been watching the

>>>I've been watching the feature wars.

Not a matter of features, it is a matter of finding what you are looking for.

If john q public can't find what they want at google they will go somewhere else, nifty features or not.

>>Anecdotal evidence says that JohnQ is generally happy...

What evidence?

Everything, I see and read and the people I talk to (non-tech) all tell me that people are not happy with google at the moment.

yeah, but the features keep

yeah, but the features keep us all talking about them right? Branding..

JohnQ is a simple chap, he'll generally go with what's easiest, and what's easiest is almost always what you know. I think *I* would search somewhere else, and regularly do, but im not certain JohnQ will, they've have to be a lot worse than they are now to cause that kind of shift i think...

I agree that it's a good time for a new player to step up the mark with the teen and tech crowd though - unfortunately, although the new msn is really really good, the brand sucks, so that won't be it. A9? Maybe.. but im not convinced.

Need a brand new player, or at least a brand new Brand.

>>yeah, but the features

>>yeah, but the features keep us all talking about them right? Branding.

Yup, but we are just a bunch of search engine geeks and we talk about stuff like that all the time. We are not your average johnq, at least when it comes to search engines...

On the other hand, good old johnQ is more confused by all the new "features" than anything else. At least, that is what I see.

>Need a brand new player, or

>Need a brand new player, or at least a brand new Brand.

For the US market, I disagree. We've had several good contenders, some with significant alliances and bank accounts (Diller/Jeeves comes to mind), and they can't seem to gain critical mass.

luz, I think you missed the

luz, I think you missed the point.

I think what Michael was saying is that in his opinion, M$N is making a mistake by trying to be like google, instead of going their own way and doing things differently than google.

M$N can copy the google model if they want, its their business, but I also believe that would be a big mistake for M$N, nobody likes a copycat.

Oops. Maybe I did get the

Oops. Maybe I did get the wrong end of the stick.

However, on a slightly different note: these "people are moving away from Google" arguments, I honestly am not convinced.

People can quote "anecdotal evidence" until they're blue in the face, but it doesn't make it a statistic.

I personally always use Google. When I want to search for something it's the first thing that comes to mind.

I can't be bothered to type or and all the Yahoo/MSN home pages are too cluttered for my liking when I'm just looking to search, not check email, read the news...etc.

And also Google's ever increasing revenue and profit would dispute that if people are moving away from Google it's nothing more than an absolute drop in the ocean.

I could be wrong though, but often the "people are leaving google" opinions simply come across as the wishful thinking of those who want to see Google brought down a peg or two.



I said it before I will say it again...

MSN= software company

Google= search engine

Yahoo= search engine

How could this software company spend $150 million 3 months ago on an ad campaign...promoting "MSN Search"?

All that does matter is the "experience"...but people want to "experience" the best search from a search engine...NOT from a software company that wants to control every move in everyones life.

Until they start thinking out of the "MSN BOX" and realise they need to rebrand a seperate search engine...they will not go anywere. Whats wrong with creating a whole seprate search engine...called say "gates" or whatever and then just say MSN is now using "gates" search.

Now, not only would you own the "best" search engine on the internet ( Your "software" company would also "exclusivly" be using the "gates" search engine results at and on/in your "software" companies (ie browsers,desktop search.tool bars)

Now thats exciting!

Gates Search: new - dynamic - exciting

MSN Search: boring as hell...will never give people "the experience"

Not everything has to go thru If they want to beat Google they can...but they have to do it with a "search engine company" not a "software company".

Less is more: Goggle is going the wrong way...trying to become ...just like Yahoo and MSN (everything to everyone)

If MSN was smart...they would create a search engine "somewhat" how Google was 3 or 4 years ago.

Simple - Fast - Relavent...who's sole purpose is simply to be the best search engine ever. search only...not email,not maps,not music,not anything else. can be their site thats " everything to everyone"...but they need a seprate search engine.

If they are not careful...they could find themselves in 4th place in 6-18 months and not 3rd or 2nd place...if Diller rebrands Ask Jeeves and really jumps in the mix. He has almost as many bullets in his holster as bill gates.

I can't be bothered to type

I can't be bothered to type or and all the Yahoo/MSN home pages are too cluttered for my liking when I'm just looking to search, not check email, read the news...etc.

It really has been a long time since you used another search engine... (you know there such a thing as "Bookmarks", so you don't have to type the address in every time, just one or two clicks is all it takes.)

If you only use one search engine, how do you know if it is the best or not? How do you know someone else is not providing "better" results?

Sounds to me like your just google branded or a googleite luz.

As far as people leaving google goes, Have you compaired news stories latley?
I have not seen a pro google news story in quite a while (Other than the company press releases). I wonder why that is?

If you get away from the internet marketing and SEO sites, it seems to me that a lot of folks are voicing their unhappiness at google and talking about using other search engines. I am only going by what I see and hear. Of course, everyone see things their own way.

I can't be bothered to type...

I thought just about everyone uses their favorite search engine as there home page!? You don't even have to type.

Don't get me started on the toolbars (you PageRank and Alexa stat checking junkies).

You have to admit though..

Microsoft knows how to market. They have the crappiest software in the world and yet, it is used by more people in the world. If they put their pocketbook to it, they will indeed be deemed as "better than google" irregardless if that is true.

Yahoo/MSN home pages are too cluttered for my liking...

I think that the M$N search page is about as "minimal" as it can get...

Microsoft doesn't know how to market a search engine

All their ad push did was expose their embarrassing thing they call a search engine, and people have stayed away in droves.

Microsoft is so far behind the curve they are still babbling about "relevancy". I could throw up a hundred websites today that would be relevant to a search. There is no challenge to find relevancy (okay maybe it is a challenge to Microsoft). They are so far behind the curve, they don't even know what the track is.


Well, whenever I use Yahoo! or MSN to search, I just type "" and "" respectively. Both sites actually require less typing to get to than Google's.

My homepage is set to blank, though. I don't like being forced to open up a page I don't want to be on.


Ssite, what serps are you looking at? Every time I cant find something in G I look in MSN and find it. I would say they are doing a great job and it is improving all the time. I can see me using it over G if the trend continues.

I wonder what curve you think they are behind?

"Staying away in droves" ... I thought figures showed they were gaining market share?

The only problem with MSN and Yahoo! right now is size

Their databases are not yet as large as Google's. So, Google tends to be my first shot when looking for obscure content. But if I feel there is an equal chance of finding something in all three, I'll probably hit Yahoo! or MSN first because I am more likely to find what I want with them than with Google.

Google is little more than a spammer's dream right now. I don't care whether other people continue to use Google. All I care about is whether I have some good alternatives when Google isn't doing the job I need it to.

Usually, I have a couple.

It would be nice if Ask was a contender, but they're not.

"only way"?

They way I look at if a SE is relevant is if I find what I want as a user, I don't look at my own rankings in SERPs as it is not one of the KPIs I use for the success of my own sites.

My rankings on the various engines are mostly good

I don't look at how well I rank to determine which engine works best for me. I look at how long it takes me to find desired content.

At my present job, I have to do a LOT of research about companies, and the Internet is an indispensible tool.

There are days when Google just doesn't cut the mustard. And there are days when I don't even look at Yahoo! and MSN because Google gives me what I need.

It just varies by search expression.

People are stupid

Way down, irredeemably, tooth-grindingly stupid. I've said THAT before now...

I have worked at a search destination company before now, and I've seen data on what searchers, actual users type into search boxes - our top term was ""

Lots of our traffic came from PPC and SE traffic - but people still typed it into our search box, just like they do to Google. And I bet you, ano a stack of tenners THIS high that "" is one of Yahoos top terms too

People will do what they are comfortable with, and so long as Google don't scare off their users with results that an idiot can tell are irrelevant, no-one really cares

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