This last Thursday night I decided to tune into #seochat, a week after I was featured on it (it was quite an honor; here’s the recap!). Duane Forrester, who manages Bing Webmaster Tools, was the guy answering questions this time around. Even though I didn’t realize it beforehand, I saw this as my opportunity to ask for a Bing replacement of Yahoo Site Explorer.
But since I was so used to a search engine disregarding any type of request I might have, I went on my way, listening to the great guys on #seochat and hoping Duane would at least address my question.
Well, he did. And then some. Here’s what he tweeted.
— duane forrester (@DuaneForrester) March 30, 2012
Could this really be the day we find a replacement for YSE?!?
But more importantly, as I was sitting there smiling like a little boy having his first taste of ice cream, I realized something far greater at play.
What the hell is Bing waiting for?
Resentment of Google is older than dirt. Well, at least that’s how it feels. With search results like this, it’s hard to figure out why. But the unfortunate part is that Google is honestly getting away with it. And deep down, once you bypass all of our futuristic talks of “Google isn’t going to last with crap like this”, we know they’re getting away with it.
And yet, Google’s main competition is sitting, waiting quietly, almost too quietly. And it’s time for that to change. The time for Bing to take advantage of a company once driven by innovation but now driven by Wall Street investors is now.
Honestly, Bing doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. Just look at how Google climbed to the top. Google’s two characteristics that catapulted them into a world of success were:
1. Better search results
2. Putting publishers first
Now, Bing isn’t going to have better search results (I’m sorry; Google has great results, but let me finish), but they can do two things to not have crappy results:
1. Not having a ton of paid ads
2. Not overdoing social integrated results (SPYW)
At the same time, they can also start serving publishers that are desperate to be treated right. The outcries over [Not Provided] and the penalization process (goes back to negative SEO) are just a couple examples of what not to do.
Going off of what I started this post with, Bing should get their act together on a Site Explorer. That was Yahoo’s best asset for publishers. Yahoo probably wouldn’t have made it as far as they did if they hadn’t created it. Since Google is stingy about this topic and not willing to budge, this is Bing’s chance to set themselves apart, because honestly, so far they haven’t done a great job of that.
But why should Bing treat publishers right?
Because if publishers lead the way, everyone else will follow.
Who knows, but what ever battle they’re fighting, I don’t see them winning without first serving to publishers. Sure, I could just be saying this because I’m hoping somewhere, somehow, a Bing executive is reading this, agreeing with it, and adding some added features for publishers as a result, but honestly, think about it. Just look at the wide range of products for publishers that Google’s created. Analytics & Webmaster Tools are the two best that come to mind. Can you honestly sit here and say that those two weren’t at least partly responsible for their rise to fame?
Luckily, though, Bing’s making strides. I just wish we saw more progress in a time of when Google’s vulnerability was loud & clear. Who knows? Maybe Bing isn’t the Google killer some are hoping it to be. Maybe it’s another search engine out there (Blekko FTW!). Regardless, I think it’s time that Google starts to suffer for their neglect of both searchers and publishers, and it’s only a matter of time before a search engine like Bing to take advantage.