Like a Fat Kid Playing Halfback in Soccer, Tries Really Hard to Keep Up

Tom Smykowski: It's a Jump To Conclusions Mat
Tom Smykowski: It's a Jump To Conclusions Mat, the new search engine from Microsoft, launched last week. And at the end of the week everybody was jumping to conclusions about Bing overtaking Yahoo as the #2 ranked search engine in the world. And that would have been pretty cool. I guess. Everyone in the SEO world would love to see Microsoft have a great product. And maybe it would have been cool if just for one week, could have jumped over Yahoo. It would have proven that you can throw out a new product and a lot of marketing and have a tremendous opening. But alas, Danny Sullivan is reporting that it wasn’t a Cinderella story after all.

Like many other search marketers, I was waiting for Nielson, comScore, Compete and Hitwise to weigh in with Bing vs. Yahoo data. Please check out Danny’s post at for more detail. But here’s the message:

What these data collectively show — and we’ll update if/when we get more — is that Bing has received a potentially significant traffic bump compared to Live Search/MSN since launch and rollout of the marketing campaign on TV and online. However Bing has (so far) not surpassed Yahoo for the number two spot.

Well, good luck, Bing! And on a side note, maybe you could answer the claim that is switching title tags with search queries to increase clickthru (here). I mean, that would be crazy. Replacing the title tag from a page with the exact search query – only to increase clickthru? Well, that is definitely grey area. It makes me kinda happy in a way, but my clients are not going to like it. Just sayin’ is all…

Also, remember that scene from Groundhog Day, where Ned Ryerson yells “Bing!” about 100 times in 60 seconds? Why isn’t Microsoft using that video as the official marketing video for It could have gone viral. Just ask Rand. He’d agree. Well, probably not. But I seriously would not be surprised if this scene from Groundhog Day did not play a role in naming the new Microsoft search engine. I mean, everyone loves Ned Ryerson. Why not use his quote as the name for a search engine? Check out the video and see for yourself:

Google Going Pac-Man on All Other Search Engines

I saw this data the other day, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Google is going Pac-Man on those other search engines
Google is going Pac-Man on those other search engines

You remember Pac-Man, don’t you? He would bust out of this prison-like cell and then start eating up everything in site. It brings back memories just thinking about it. And Ms. Pac-Man? Yeah, she was smoking hot. But I digress…

Clearly Google is morphing into Pac-man. Google continues to eat up the competition in the U.S. Keep in mind that in most other countries, especially in Europe, Google is driving >90% of all search traffic. Together, Google+Yahoo+MSN account for 96% of all search traffic in the U.S. You e-commerce marketing directors better make sure you’ve got your sites listed in those search engines. However, you should pay extra close attention to Google. If you’re not ranking in the top 3 pages for your important keywords, you need to make that a top priority, or soon your business might go tits-up like Circuit City (not that they had trouble ranking for stuff, but you know what I mean). Also, you should not forget about Yahoo. I’ve got friends who work with the Yahoo paid inclusion program, and I know that program is the most reliable way to break into the top 10 results on Yahoo. It’s like having paid ads appear in the organic listings. And you can track all of it! Yahoo’s 18% market share is nothing to sneeze at, so make sure you have a paid inclusion feed running on Yahoo.

In the spirit of video games, I’d like to continue this post, though I know it should have just ended. With Google turning into Pac-Man in pie graphs around the world, I thought it might be fun to give the competition some fun nicknames. Here are Pac-Man’s original enemies from the arcade game:

Pac-Man's Enemies from the original 1980 Pac-Man arcade

Notice that there are 4 ghost characters: Shadow (aka Blinky), Speedy (aka Pinky), Bashful (aka Inky), and Pokey (aka Clyde). I kinda like these guys. I, too, would be pissed if some yellow freak was on my property eating all of my stuff. Google also has 4 competitors:

Character / Nickname
Yahoo / Can’t Follow 301 Redirects
MSN / Can’t do a link: command
Ask / 302 on the Homepage
Other / Excite Who?

I really don’t see any of the these guys closing the gap on Google. I know Obama is promising change, but I don’t think these percentages are going to start going the other way. I mean, Google is now a verb in our vernacular. Good luck to Yahoo and MSN in overcoming that obstacle.

Well that’s it for now. Until next time. Make like some trees and get outta here.