Normally I blog in Dutch, but this time I’ll try some American English because I need some people at Microsoft / MSN / Bing to read this.
So what’s the problem? Well, Google nearly has a monopoly in Search. In The Netherlands they have a share of about 97% and I believe monopolies are always bad in the end. Microsoft could be one of the main competitors of Google.
I’ve been blogging about Microsoft trying to compete for a long time now. I even went to Redmond in 2006 to visit the MSN team. (thanks for that!) And they make cool stuff! Their birds-eye view in maps is cool. And that new street slide thing. And how about Photosynth, that’s cool too! Furthermore they came up with new ways of presenting search results and the endless scroll in image search. Their search engine isn’t bad at all. Regular people that don’t work in the online business everyday won’t see any difference in search quality between Bing and Google. So there is a lot of potential up there in Redmond and I honestly hope they will succeed in getting a bit more market share.
But on the other hand, sometimes they just suck. And they don’t seem to care about Europe. Yeah, I know, Europe has all those nasty laws and a lot of different countries with people speaking strange languages. Sorry about that. But can you guys at least pretend to care about us?
Most cool new fancy Bing features aren’t even available outside the US. When you do a search for ‘new york hotels’ you would expect a map and some related searches and maybe some video of tweets and all that, but for us the page looks like this:
Looks like a 2006 search engine to me…
Oh, and about that crawler you guys have: MSNbot. What did you do with that? Is there some rule it can only access .com domains or something? This website has been live since July the 8th. Google indexed it on the 9th. On the 26th I got impatient so I checked Bing and my site isn’t there. So I installed this crawl checking thing. Here’s a screenshot. No Bing.
So I made a Bing Webmaster Tools account, installed Silverlight (What the ?) and uploaded my feed as a sitemap on July the 30th. The Silverlight thingy even told me the sitemap was a ‘success’. However, when I just checked Bing again: site:remivanbeekum.nl
Come on! This site has been live for almost a month now. I got some links and submitted my feed. It shouldn’t be too hard to index a couple of WordPress pages, right?
I got a comment from Bas van den Beld here saying that you guys probably focus on a couple of countries where you already have some market share and where there is more search volume. Because more volume means more money. He could be right. You know what? I even think that’s a pretty good strategy.
But focussing on one thing doesn’t mean you have to totally neglect the rest. So please fire that crawler of yours up and index some non-American sites too. You owe this to all that people that have IE pre-installed on their PC . Otherwise you should just put a big ‘Bing is not available outside the United States’ sign on your homepage.