Google Instant Search Could Kill Microsoft Bing: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-09-09

Google Instant Search Could Kill Microsoft Bing: 10 Reasons Why

Google unveiled Instant Search Sept. 8 in an attempt to help users find their desired search results more quickly. And although those who spend time optimizing Websites might take issue with some of the improvements, the vast majority of Web users will find a lot to like about Google Instant. It makes Google's search quicker and far more efficient.

But at least one stakeholder definitely won't like the update Google has made to its search platform: Microsoft. The software giant only recently completed its integration of Bing and Yahoo, and now it's faced with a vastly improved competitor that's already dominating that space. Microsoft has simply had no time to breathe. And now, it will likely have even less time. Google Instant is proving to be a vast improvement on other search services. And it's likelier than ever that Microsoft and its Bing search technology could have major difficulty competing.

Here's a look at why Google Instant could be the first step toward Microsoft Bing's downfall.

1. Google Instant works well

First and foremost, it's important to keep in mind that Google Instant works extremely well. In fact, it fulfills its promise of getting users to their desired destinations sooner. That's not a good thing for Bing. If Instant hadn't worked, Bing would have had an opening it could exploit. But it works. And that means most users will look at Bing as the hobbled alternative.

2. Google was already ahead

Let's not forget that the onus isn't on Google to catch up to Bing. Quite the contrary, it's Microsoft's job to catch up to Google. With Google Instant now being available to Web users, the gap that Bing needs to make up is bigger than ever. And considering it couldn't close that gap before, what makes anyone think it can close it now?

3. Speed means everything in search

Speed is the difference between success and failure in search. Speed is also the reason why Google was so successful in the first place. And now, with the help of Instant, Google has easily bested the competition again by giving users search results far more quickly than in the past. Bing is now slow. And once users realize that, they might not go for Microsoft's option.

4. Microsoft needs to play catch-up

If nothing else, Google Instant has proven that Microsoft is now playing catch-up. Admittedly, it was doing that before. But now it's really trying to catch up to Google. Exactly how Microsoft will respond to Instant is anyone's guess. But over the next couple of months, expect the software giant to hunker down and try to come up with something to match Google's offering.

Ads, Innovation and Time Pressure


5. Ads, ads, ads

Inevitably, the search market is defined by advertising. The more users a search engine has, the more likely that search company will turn a profit on ads. With Instant now in play, Google may be able to attract even more users, and thus, steal more advertising share from Microsoft. If the advertising dollars dry up, Microsoft might be hard-pressed to continue offering Bing. Obviously that's a decision that would likely be made years from now, but it's something that Microsoft should probably keep in mind.

6. Google is thinking about search

For a while, some believed that Google was ignoring its core business in favor of the other markets it's competing in. But with the launch of Instant, the search giant has proven once again that it knows what its core business is, and it will do everything it can to maintain its huge lead. That's not good news for Microsoft.

7. Microsoft had the innovation lead

Although Google wouldn't like to admit it, prior to the release of Instant, Microsoft was holding the high ground in innovation. The company did a fine job of integrating search and other apps, its ideas were fresh and its extras, like Bing Maps, were performing quite well. But all that has changed with the launch of Instant. Now, Google has the innovation lead. And it's going to take a lot of effort on Microsoft's part to regain it.

8. Is there a faster way to search?

Since, as mentioned above, speed means everything in search and Google currently offers the fastest option, now it's Microsoft's turn to find a way to get users results quickly and help them arrive at their destination faster. It's a tall order, considering Instant came out of nowhere in the search space, but if Microsoft can't find a faster way to search, the company is in deep trouble.

9. Time is running out

Search is a timed game. The moment one service bests another, the declining product has a finite amount of time to fix the problem before users go elsewhere. Unfortunately for Microsoft, it finds itself in that position. Over the short term, it might not lose a significant share of the search market. But if users continue to find that Instant provides a better experience than Bing, it won't be long before they leave Microsoft's shores forever.

10. The mobile play

The mobile market must still come into play when discussing the future of search. As Google has proven time and again over the past couple years, the mobile market is growing and the company that can dominate search in that space stands to gain heavily. With Instant on tap, Google might eventually decide to port it to its mobile platform. If that happens, Microsoft will be blocked out of another space. The software giant needs to start thinking about mobile search. If it doesn't, Google will easily gain the upper hand.

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