UPDATED 18:38 EST / JUNE 23 2009

Bing vs Google: MS Should Use Transparency as a PR Tool [#velocitycon]

image Everyone is well aware of the Bing Decision Engine launch from Microsoft and their on going $100 million dollar campaign.  The early results are getting some good attention and reviews both from users and from the media.

The O’Reilly Velocity Conference is going on this week in San Jose.  The conference covers all things architecture, performance, methodologies for the image IT/Ops crowd.  During one of presentations today during the morning keynotes there was an interesting talk co-led by both a rep from the Bing and Google dev teams.

They were presenting about user experience tests they ran on a select groups, similar to A/B testing, where they placed programmatic delays throughout the page rendering experience as well as sending down "extra data" in the form html comments that would add some slowness to the payload going over the wire.

Both web giants want to test and create benchmarks around what effect request data size and response rendering times have on search sessions from # searches, # clicks, time to first click, etc.

It was very interesting to see the folks from MS speak first, show their slides and results of their study, then be followed by Google who showed some data, but did their usual "we are unable show all test details".

image Secrecy is the Google style and everyone knows it, it’s nothing new.  It was interesting to hearing the response to the talk and level of interest from the crowd in learning more and applying similar tests on their sites/environments.

The fact that MS is sooooooo far behind in search market share I think there is a nice competitive advantage opportunity there for them.  They should be as open as possible with their new search efforts not only from a dev and API perspective but also from a communication, sharing, geeking out perspective.  This type of sharing makes for great PR and having people talking about your org and/or service in any positive capacity is great.

I am not 100% positive, but I overheard a couple attendees talking about how Google joined the presentation after they heard the Bing team was presenting.  Overtime this can act as a great tool for MS to get Google to open up a bit more with some of their secrecy.

Follow my Velocity stream @kaiyzen, and use the #velocitycon tag for all conference info.

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