Danny Sullivan Gives Microsoft The Hard Truth

Dec 31, 2008 • 9:06 am | comments (2) by twitter | Filed Under Bing Search

Danny Sullivan writes about the problems about Microsoft search at Search Engine Land, and he explains what they need to do in order to get it together.

Some reasons are that Microsoft's key executives don't care about search. For example, in Danny's experience doing conferences, Microsoft has yet to send a key player such as Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer run the keynote conversation. They simply don't think it's worth it. (On the other hand, other conferences are fair game for these guys.)

Another reason for Microsoft's failure is that they seem to emphasize that they care about search, but they certainly aren't practicing what they appear to preach. Danny points out the following taglines: Google's tagline is "Search, Ads & Apps" and Microsoft's is "Software + Services." Where's search, Microsoft?

A third reason Danny cites is that Microsoft still doesn't get search. At least not the way we see it. He says that Microsoft perceives search as software, and that's not it. Search updates are rolled out on Google on no schedule, but with Microsoft's (cough) bureaucracy, it seems that changes must be done on some sort of schedule.

Danny goes into a lot more detail, explaining that there are executive inconsistencies, lousy advertising, requiring integration of services, and lame distribution deals that are not swaying people away from Google.

All in all, Microsoft in the search market is destined to go down. Or maybe the key players in Microsoft should take a good read at Danny's honest and forthright opinion so that they can make some real changes that can actually improve the perception of Microsoft in the eyes of searchers.

Forum discussion continues at Sphinn.

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Michael Martinez

12/31/2008 08:35 pm

Danny makes a lot of good points (Microsoft's marketing strategies are all over the board and that disunity has hurt them) but he still hasn't come to grips with the reality that 100 MILLION PEOPLE USE MICROSOFT SEARCH EACH MONTH. Microsoft has achieved with the Live Search Brand what it could not achieve with the MSN Search brand. If, as Danny and others have speculated, Microsoft is about to do away with the Live Search Brand, they will be taking a great risk. Then again, switching from MSN Search to Live Search a couple years ago worked out for them. Microsoft doesn't need to participate in Danny's search conferences. It does, however, need to focus on a successful strategy and stop spinning its wheels. There was absolutely no need for Microsoft to pursue Yahoo! aggressively this year. Yahoo! has managed to lose market share and Microsoft has managed to grab market share. They'll have the advertising base they wanted. Ballmer just got greedy and wanted the advertising revenue right away.

diarmuid ryan

01/02/2009 01:27 pm

microsoft don't have the influence to take on Google, they don't have enough respect in the search market, even if live were to be default search in new IE releases people will still use Google, MS has lost a lot of consumer confidence between vista and other fiascos

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