Internet Explorer is the dominant browser, Windows the dominant desktop, yet Microsoft’s share of internet search is apparently declining. Here’s why. I’m researching Yahoo Pipes; I forget the exact url for the Pipes home page so I type the search into the IE7 search box, where Microsoft’s “Live search” is the default.
The page I want is not on the first page of results. The ads are irrelevant. Some of the search results are at least relevant, but they are not what I would call top tier results.Even the O’Reilly link is a page for all articles tagged Yahoo, not one of the actual Pipes articles.
So I switch to Google search. The page I want is top of the search results. The other entries are more relevant. Even the ad is moderately relevant (at least it is about software Pipes not metal tubes).
This is of course anecdotal. It was also a tough test, considering Yahoo Pipes is new. Perhaps there are hundreds of other searches where Live Search gets better results. All I can say is that I rarely discover them, whereas I frequently find Google’s results much better. This just struck me as a good example.
Microsoft will never improve its share of search unless it can deliver at least equally good results.
See also my IT Week comment.