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NetRatings data for February, the first full month since the Microsoft initiatives took hold, show that no dramatic upsurge in MSN Search performance has materialized to date. The number of page views for MSN Search budged less than 1 percent in that period, to 816 million in February from 809 million the prior month.
I rank #2 for a search with 15,500,000 results on Google. Yesterday I received 19 hits on the page in question.
I rank #1 on MSN for the same page with 236,739,226 search results. Yesterday I recieved 6 hits.
I rank #3 on Yahoo with 14,100,000 search results (same page) and I rec'd 4 hits yesterday.
Google is still outperforming everyone. No matter what anyone wants to believe, you can't pretend Google doesn't deliver and if you aren't ranking there ... you are nowhere!
When a #2 listing on Google delivers triple the amount of hits in relation to a #1 listing on MSN ... there is no denying which engine searchers prefer. Yahoo is ... well ... ah, who cares?
Google is the microsoft of search engines..
Does it matter?
Isn't it more important to be where the traffic comes from? We'd probably all like to rank great on all the engines.
I know I'd like to get the same traffic from MSN and Y! that I get from G. But even with pages that rank fairly similarly, G pushes way more traffic to my site.
And relevant traffic pays the bills.
In the end, I don't know if anyone can really afford to write off any of the big 3, I sure don't want to do that. But I won't cater my site to an engine that isn't competitive in traffic terms for my site.
Is M being overly effective right now, no, but I like their position... My money is on them.
1. M is *not* dependent on search to remain profitable.
2. Y and G must succeed in search to exist, anything M takes hurts their ability to function, and only adds to M.
3. Y had their IPO chance, money's gone... couldn't win, will be tough to get to the top, when they have to raise necessary funding the old fassioned way.
4. M has more experience bringing a product to market than both Y and G combined.
5. M has the funding (cash) to take a short term hit, but win in the long-run.
6. M has consistantly proved, the best product is not always the most used... Marketing and Marketing $ are and will always be king.
7. M is hands down, no question, one of the greatest marketing companies in the world.
If I'm in the industry, I really don't like the fact that M has decided to set their sites on what I have.
I could be wrong... we'll see in a couple of years.
BTW I use a mac, so I am definitely not a M guy, but objectively I like their position.
They need to do strategic deals. If you look at google they have deals in place with the likes of AOL and Virgin Net,BBC, Wanadoo etc, etc all feeding off their search engine results data. Meanwhile, who are MSN search supplying? - errr no one!, this is MSNs problem.
Until MSN start signing up a few key players they wont get the the market share even if the search results are 100 times better than google.
As for a search engine, half the time people dont have a clue who it is they use other than the one on the internet providers home page. The one thats most convenient.
Just asking my wife tonight which search engine she uses on the computer (is it MSN or Google) the answer was the search box on AOLs home page (googles data)
TV advertising wont work because its just to much hastle, its far easier to use the one on the home page then go elsewhere.
Also, as for ASK jeeves, its all google PPC adverts anyway so a win, win for google again!
All very valid points... I would argue there is one area that is forgotten. M's soon to be released beta desktop search. What is better than to follow advertising with putting the product you are touting in front of nealy every user on nearly every PC?
Oddly, I use G, eventhough I don't like the results. Why? Because, it's in the address bar on F-fox and Safari, the two main browsers I use. If it were not there I cannot think of a good reason to use G. All things being equal (EG I have to type in an address or click a link) I would use M or Y every time.
Sometimes people use what is closest or most convenient, when it becomes as, or more convenient to use M as it is G the rules of the game change.
M's advertising today is just a precursor of 'things to come' to a 'desktop near you' tomorrow.
Do you think maybe they will add their search feature to the browser 80% or more of the internet uses? Hmmmmmm
Only time will tell on this one...
BTW I love speculation and speculative arguement, don't you?
i get the impression that MSN search will lift off once it is part of the desktop of the new longhorn operating system.
i would not be at all surprised that that does to other search engines what the same tactic for IE did to Netscape.
just in case this scenario is correct, i would recommend working on msn search placements now.
MS is in control of the desktop, not google.
"Hi, this is your friendly Change-old-habits-assistant.
You just typed in ...ahem ... "www.google.com".
However, surfing on the dark side of the net may put you on risk. Do you want to get redirected to the bright side instead?
[x] yes take me to MSN, [ ] of course, [ ] ever, [ ] why not?"
If they chose to, Google could probably make Office and maybe even Windows much less essential, but why try to go head to head with MSFT, at least right now? It might be a good decoy tactic to make Microsoft think they intend to come out with something to take the place of Office, but that's all it should be right now. If Microsoft really believed there was a serious threat there, they'd focus a ton of effort to thwart it.
There is more growth and easier growth taking a chunk of more transactions on the net. It makes more sense for Google to grow around Microsoft than to try to beat them at their own game (AdSense, banners, etc..).
Even looking at referrals, success for Microsoft is likely to be attracting 30 to 40 percent of the query volume on the net. In light of Microsoft's monopolistic reputation it is probably not in their best interest to gain more than 40% of the searches done on the net. The goal will be to have that 30 or 40 percent of searches originate from households & individuals with money to spend. They may be able to do that to some extent but it's not going to be any huge success for them.