What’s with the “Bing will destroy Google” articles today?
This morning I woke up to cruise the day’s news and current cultural happenings and found myself confronted with a series of articles about how Microsoft’s Bing is poised to take over the world and render Google search arcane and irrelevant.
Ostensibly this news was based on new data from Hitwise showing that Microsoft Bing searches through Bing.com comprised 14 percent of total searches in March, and Yahoo, which is now “powered by Bing,” received just over 15 percent. News that Google’s search volume dropped 2 percent, from 66 to 64 percent, was supposed to signify that the tech giant is on the ropes, about to be overtaken by Bing.
Funny thing, though: The sites where these stories were running—Mashable and the Huffington Post—both run lots of advertising from Bing. Indeed, Mashable’s article, which used March’s data to extrapolate a hypothesis that Bing would overtake Google search as early as next year, was accompanied by a prominent Bing ad right next to it.
Huffington Post, who ran the article “Why Bing is better than Google,” runs a content-integrated ad platform for Bing at the bottom of each page that prompts readers to search Bing for related topics.
A recent article from DigiDaily explains how Huffington Post earns revenue from “sponsored editorial” content, which is of course becoming a prevalent online practice. According to DigiDaily supposedly “HuffPo labels all advertiser blogs as such.” But “the idea is to bring the advertisers into the conversation occurring on the site—and toe the line with mixing editorial and advertising.”
Of course, what I’m insinuating is entirely speculative. I don’t know whether Mashable or Huffington Post were paid to write these articles about Microsoft Bing’s imminent take-down of Google, nor do I particularly care to. But I do find it interesting that supposed “news” of Bing’s encroachment on Google wasn’t covered by any of the major tech news sources: TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Gizmodo, Business Insider, Wall Street Journal, even Huffington Post’s new sister site Engadget were all mum on the supposed “story.” The only outlet that seems to have picked it up was PC World, who referenced Mashable’s doomsday graph foretelling the end of Google search.
Not that this site is above working with our advertising partners on sponsored editorial—we’re happy to “bring the advertisers into the conversation occurring on the site.” But the notion that Bing has Google on the ropes doesn’t seem to be a conversation occurring anywhere.
*Editor’s note: we’re not accusing Bing, Huffington Post, or Mashable of any malfeasance whatsoever (sponsorship is their own business)—possibly just some out-of-touch editorial.