I have to give Bing credit. They are still plugging away at the whole “We’re really going to compete with Google in search etc etc” task they have in front of them. The latest push to show that they are are the Avis of the search world (We’re #2 so we try harder!) comes with their announcement of the latest change made to their maps routing engine.
From the Bing blog
Did you happen to notice the new routing engine we implemented on Bing Maps? No? I suppose that’s a good thing since your service was never interrupted. However, I can tell you that we’re enjoying the reduced latency, high performance, low overhead benefits of a new route calculation algorithm that changes the game in how driving directions queries are computed.
There is more to the maps update which are about finding traffic issues and some have commented on the improvement over Google’s same results set. That’s pretty cool and quite useful.
What I found was even more telling was the first line of the post from Bing Product Manager, Chris Pendleton. I am quite sure this was completely unintended but he kind of captures the problem that Bing suffers from when it does anything in search in his first two sentences by saying “Did you happen to notice the new routing engine we implemented on Bing Maps? No?”.
His point was that your service was not down for this to happen which is great but the way I read it elicited the thought in my head of “Well, of course I didn’t because I never consider Bing as an option for this kind of thing”. I know I am not alone. Each month the search market share results play that out. As an industry follower I will now take a look at this option (especially since yesterday I experienced a Google navigation fiasco that could have had me driving in circles if I wasn’t really paying attention). But will the rest of the world notice? Without the “Bing and Decide” ads popping up like they used to during sports events I forget that it even exists. I am not being mean here, I am just telling the truth.
Now that the airwaves are being invaded by Google advertising, Bing runs the risk of being further marginalized in the search race. Well, I guess they could always turn to their Fair Search efforts and try to legislate increased market share. But any self respecting company wouldn’t go that route now would they? I digress.