News Analysis: Google has launched a new search service, called Instant Previews, that is bound to keep Microsoft's search developers working late at night trying to catch up.
Google has introduced a new feature for its search platform,
called Instant Previews. The idea behind Instant Previews is to allow users to
see what a specific page will offer before they go to it. For Google, providing
such a service will help it improve the experience users have while trying to
find specific content. This new service should go a long way to keeping Google
Search ahead of the competition.
Of course, the main competition that Google is worried about
is Microsoft. The company's Bing platform, with the help of Yahoo, has
about 28 percent market share in the United States
. Google has over 65
percent market share. The last thing the search giant wants to do is give
Microsoft the opening it needs to steal significant market share away. Instant
Previews gives Google an excellent chance to keep that from happening.
That's a real problem for Microsoft. The company would have a
better chance to compete effectively if Google didn't continue to offer
innovations, but it is. And so far, Microsoft has done little to respond.
Simply put, Google's search improvements should scare
Microsoft. And here's why:
1. Instant Search is proving to be a winner
Although some wondered how useful Instant Search would be when
it launched a few months ago, it's
clear now that it works quite well
. The service allows users to see results
to queries as they type letters in the search box. The result is a faster
search experience, which only improves the effectiveness of Google's services.
Bing is still stuck providing users with suggestions, which isn't likely to do
as much to help grow Microsoft's search market share.
2. Google's mobile search is getting better
Google has brought Instant Search to its mobile search
offering. And because of that, its service is extremely viable on smartphones.
Bing has a fine mobile-search offering of its own. But many people who have
used Google and Bing on mobile devices quickly discover that Microsoft's
offering doesn't stand up all that well. It's fine for simple searches, but
with more complex searching, Google's mobile option is noticeably better. Until
Microsoft can address that problem, the company is going to have trouble
3. Google is on Windows Phone 7
Google made the smart move of bringing
its search platform to Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system
That doesn't necessarily mean that Google Search will reign supreme on Windows
Phone 7, but it does mean that consumers will have another option to search for
content. And if they find that Google's alternative is better, Microsoft just
might have some trouble ruling its own operating system.
4. Instant Previews makes sense
Google's decision to offer Instant Previews in its search
results makes a lot of sense. The chances are most users will find a lot to
like with the feature as they start using it. That's because Instant Previews
just automatically becomes part of their Google Search experience. There was
nothing for users to install or switch to. Users just find that they are
working with Instant Proview as they enter their search keywords. Before
Instant Previews, finding just the right Web page was hit or miss with many
queries. Clicking on a page that might or might not be useful can be a pain.
But with the help of Instant Previews, viewing a page title quickly without
going to the destination link should improve that experience. At least for now,
Microsoft has nothing to respond to this new Google feature.