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Interview with Bill Gates about Google

"Google is our main competitor"

   
1:47 am on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo News article [news.yahoo.com]

On his first-ever trip to Israel, Gates praised Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Israel's contributions to the global high-tech market. In interviews with Israeli TV and newspapers, he also answered questions about Microsoft's fierce competition with Mountain View, California-based Google.

"We are not afraid of Google, but there is intense competition between us. Google is our main competitor, brilliant people work there, but Internet search engines are still in a terrible state compared to where they could be," Gates was quoted as saying in the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.

[edited by: rogerd at 5:22 pm (utc) on Oct. 27, 2005]
[edit reason] fix link [/edit]

3:13 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Bill is right. Search engines definitely could be improved. Imagine a world free of spammy scraper sites on the search engines. I am sure the income of the average webmaster on this forum would easily double.
3:20 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Yeah, cuz noone that operates scraper sites would be caught dead here.;)
3:20 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Why doesn't Bill do something about it then?
MSN is... so far off Yahoo it's laughable... to think they will catch Google anytime soon is unrealistic.

MSN should first try to display relevant results, they can then start to consider the more complicated issues like LSI and others - that Google is leading the pack, followed by Yahoo.

3:23 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"People are underestimating what Microsoft is doing with search technology, says Bill Gates." [news.bbc.co.uk...]

Yeh, right... Maybe I'd believe him if the results on msn.co.uk weren't so rubbish.

I wish they'd do something to give Google a bit of competition, but the results that I'm getting on msn.co.uk are worse than anything on Google or Yahoo - e.g. 8 of the top 10 sites from subdomain.samedomain.co.uk for most searches related to construction trades.

Mind you, at least they can deal with 301 redirects properly!

3:26 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



... well he is right, search engines are really only just beginning,

but be careful what you wish for

it may well not turn out how you imagine! especially if you are not producing your own products, or if your articles and commentary really isn't the best/most interesting/most informative in your niche

4:40 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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For those doubters - has Microsoft ever really lost a war?

You can bet your behind that Gates will take a big chunk out of Google in the next year.

5:18 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Search engines definitely could be improved

As I said in other threads: the concept of providing informationen purely based on 1-3 words is IMHO nonsense!

I do agree, that the interfaces and informations in search engines could be really improved.

Using search engines today for informationen retrieval is like Windows 1.0 for graphical interfaces...

Just imagine a world beyond 1-3 words, based on your character, area of living, job, phone calls in the last 2 years, photos, blog postings ... uhm ... privacy? well...

P!

5:29 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member powdork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Just imagine a world beyond 1-3 words, based on your character, area of living, job, phone calls in the last 2 years, photos, blog postings ... uhm ... privacy?
I'm sorry Mr. Doe, we cannot charge your credit card until your indentity has been reverified. It seems our database management overlord has picked up a change in the tone of your blog postings recently.
5:43 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Microsofts real power at the moment lies with the newbies. Yes the SERPs are rubbish but when they put an MSN Search box on IE and in the Windows system tray then a lot of traffic's going to go to MSN Search by default. And if they get AOL then even more.

MSN has a long way to go in search technology and they need that behind them to "win", but to start the race they have all of the foundations in place already IMHO.

Jamie,

9:38 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I personally think a lot of people are seriously underestimating MSN right now. According to my stats across dozens of sites, MSN is updating its index every 7 - 10 days and recognizes new backlinks overnight in many cases. Gates has put some serious server power behind MSN and there is A LOT of testing going on (which is apparent from the weekly changes in ranking).

They are testing and searching for a better algo, and with the muscle they have behind it--they will find it sooner than most people think IMHO.

10:00 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi Jonathan,

I hope you're right - the world would be a lot better for PPC advertisers with a bit more competition. :-)

Jamie

11:43 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



For those doubters - has Microsoft ever really lost a war?

Yes, if you count as "losing" entering a field and not having the product achieve more than a 50% market share, they have lost the majority of the wars that they have entered. And they have never even come close to winning any battles in the service sector.

1:32 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Actually, I feel that MSN results are more relevant than any keyword searched in google.

MSN does reindex at least once a week, and its latest results are certainly more relevant than any google has.

keep up the great work Bill!

1:58 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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To build a great search engine you need great innovators. Microsoft has never been an innovator. They're more interested in their balance sheet than their software.

All of the so called experts keep talking about how MS is going to bury Google with their cash pile. They fail to recognize that Microsoft has suffered a brain drain. All that brain power is going to Google. As long as Google has the brains they hold the cards.

5:12 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm no fan of G or MS but if you look at how aggressively MS is putting its XBOX 360 up against Sony they are not afraid to go toe to toe with anybody.

Anyway, if the search traffic was more evenly distributed webmasters wouldn't get hurt so bad by updates and algo tweaks.

Jim

6:03 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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a lot of people are seriously underestimating MSN right now

Yup. I think the winner will be the company that comes up with the best intergration of AI with search, and that battle is only beginning between MSN and Google. Yahoo seems to be focusing on human editing rather than AI.

6:17 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



To build a great search engine you need great innovators. Microsoft has never been an innovator. They're more interested in their balance sheet than their software.
Like all empires, Microsoft is gradually failing. Again in common with the fall of empires, such failure takes years.

Microsoft has always had a major problem with innovation. Innovation is a trait rarely found in those who get shining marks in university exams. Microsoft is full of such people and what does it produce - a series of security disasters masquerading as operating systems. And it used the same hiring techniques for building its search division. It ended up with vegetables instead of meat. The problem is that search is far from the kind of limited, mature market that Microsoft is used to competing in. Apart from the few main targets, the market is full small operators. These small operators can produce far superior niche search engines than either Google or Microsoft.

Another weakness in Microsoft's approach is this whole Semantic Web thing. Microsoft seems to have swallowed that gob#*$!ery and asked for more. The Semantic web is a great academic idea for people who think like librarians. The problem is that search has to reflect the way people think, not computers. As a result, big operations like Microsoft search are charging down cul de sacs. Google on the other hand, is actually diversifying and taking markets that Microsoft hadn't even considered.

All of the so called experts keep talking about how MS is going to bury Google with their cash pile. They fail to recognize that Microsoft has suffered a brain drain. All that brain power is going to Google.
A good point. Though most of these "experts" are technology journalists with no background in technology or analysts who wouldn't know a search index from a hole in the ground.

As long as Google has the brains they hold the cards.
But what happens when a more ruthless and brainier competitor gets in the market? Google can be defeated on country search and this is where it will face its most heated competition in the search market.

Regards...jmcc

8:23 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Mr Gates said that the PC of today is still not the PC he dreamed about 30 years ago
I am sure 30 years ago Bill gates said we would never need more than 512k RAM?
8:58 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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All this talk about AI and new search technology... but MSN really needs to start at basics... because it's search results are among the worst in the industry.

If they can't even get half decent search results they have got no chance.

I don't see any evidence this will come quickly either, their algo is way out - they need a new team.

I got write basic princibles about search rules in a night that would blow away what microsoft already have... surely they can do better that what the current team is doing.

If it wasn't for the brand name and the fact that messenger and explorer have pushed MSN, knowone in the world would have ever used it.

Fact

9:02 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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it's search results are among the worst in the industry

More opinion than fact. I suspect it depends on the industry. Nothing could be worse than Google for travel destinations and real estate.

9:30 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Travel and Real Estate Industries are badly hurt by Google.

At the same time we can also find loads of Spam in these industry sites.

Sorry if i hurting any of the guys who are related to these industries but i am saying to those guys who are bad.

9:46 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I was trying to work out what is up with MSN last night and got a question for people who rank well there.

Do you have a small site with thick content pages - eg 50-100 pages with perhaps 500+ words on each page - I would imagine MSN might be good for you.

A bigger site - eg say a ecom site that sells products with 2000-3000 pages with perhaps less than 100 words on each page - eg product description etc - I imagine MSN might not be so good.

MSN - IMO does seem to favour pages with lots of content rather than tightly focused pages - might be why sitemaps always seem to outrank product pages in a lot of searches.

Just wondering for MSN if it makes sense to scrap the individual product pages and do category pages. EG say 5 pages of Red,Green,Yellow,Brown and Blue Widgets - rather than individual pages for Red Widgets Model A, Model B etc

10:16 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Dayo

That analysis matches my experience with MSN

2:02 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Maybe i should take back my earlier comments...

MSN results are looking much better than previously but still not perfect...

Maybe they are doing something correct?

2:07 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Imagine a world free of spammy scraper sites on the search engines. I am sure the income of the average webmaster on this forum would easily double.

And I'm sure the averyge income wouldn't change a bit - there might be 1 or 2 scraper-masters around here, as well ;-)

5:08 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



financialhost MSN results are doing ok at most things. Particularly the way they dont put 1/2 of the internet into supplemental results and when you enquire what wrong tell you lies.

The other thing I must add is they do change regularly you have to keep on top of it. Google does change but not as regularly. the reason for this I believe is new content. If you produce a well structured site with new content being added "dynamically" they love you. Google frowns on anything new as rubbish and that is real sad.

MSN imo is a good engine and should be taken seriously. Its anti spam measures are even good to a greater extent.

2:35 am on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



To build a great search engine you need great innovators. Microsoft has never been an innovator.
What are you talking about? First of all, "never been an innovator," of course they have. They introduce new technology all the time. A lot of their products are copycats, but they are still innovative because they improve the ones they didn't create.

They're more interested in their balance sheet than their software.
Like every company, they are most worried about making money, but that doesnt mean they don't worry about their software. Good software = users = money. Therefore, they care about their software because it earns money.

it's search results are among the worst in the industry
I will agree that they are usually worse than Google in some areas (but not in all), however, what other search engine is better?
5:24 am on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member annej is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Actually my site and individual articles do about as well on MSN as they do on Google. Yahoo is close too.

The real problem with both MSN & Yahoo is that not nearly as many people use them.

5:27 am on Oct 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Here is another article:
[themarker.com...]

My sites do better on Google than on MSN or Yahoo for several reasons:

1. My sites rank better on Google.
2. More people use Google.
3. Google is better at judging what a page is worth.

I know that 3. is true, because I released a new site a few weeks ago and within a few days it was ranked #3 on MSN for its keywords even with minimal backlinks.

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