As Google’s dominance as a search engine is nigh on absolute, the challenge for the marketer’s of Bing is (aptly) to communicate its relevance into a market place happily served by the ubiquitous magical white page of search results.
Inherently, there is nothing wrong with Google search. Most times we find what we want in seconds – usually within a couple of clicks. In fact, Google’s dominance is both perception and reality. They have made a business out of being a technical think tank and attracting some of the best minds on the planet to work for them. For Bing to challenge them on “better accuracy” would be somewhat on the kamikaze side.
So the team at Bing have clearly sought to make a weakness out of the search giant’s best known feature benefit – its hundreds and thousands of its returned search results. The attribute that best communicates this idea is Bing’s use of a 5+ page pagination for search results compared to Google’s 10+. It’s subtle. As is the idea.
Targetting the category of people who have a vague idea of what they’re looking for definitely can extends the usage occasion for search to include the bored or the brainless – and lets face it, we all feel a little like we need someone else to give us inspiration and directions on tedious search tasks sometimes.
But it is disappointing. The marketing is slick, and the stock archive footage is very pretty. But the message is logical, not emotional and therefore, wallpaper.
Furthermore, the adage that actions speak louder than words is made abundently clear to anyone who, based on the initial promise of a “difference” are led to try the service. Beyond the optimistic and vibrant homepage, Bing’s SERPs are styled in the familiar Google-esque blue, green and grey link palette. With the core content looking so similar to its major competitor, surely Bing has committed the ultimate cardinal sin of not living up to its promise of “difference”, and instead, simply joined the masses of Google replicants battling it out for the <20% of search traffic that isn’t Google initiated.