Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fuh-reaking bing

Well, it looks like Yahoo has sold its innards to mickey$oft. Henceforth yahoo search results will be provided by Bing, Microsoft's next attempt to battle google.

I don't really blame Yahoo; they've been in a bad position for a really long time. Before search engines were the demonstratable Right Thing, there were two kinds of "portal" sites:

* search engines: altavista (!), hotbot (!), etc. Remember those? Do you remember when Altavista's boolean searches represented the absolute pinnacle? Nowadays it's mainly remembered as a bit of wordplay by the crack site astalavista. Not going to hotlink that one because it's usually NSFW.

* directories: mainly Yahoo. You submitted your site in a category and real humans verified the placement and published it. This model just doesn't scale in the normal sense. (You could probably scale it by crowdsourcing (having the public verify the info, like Wikipedia or something)). So yahoo left the directory behind and started a half-@ssed attempt to do spidering/search. Never really captured any mental territory.

I've used Bing a few times to see what it's like. It's not completely overhyped and useless.

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