The New MSN Search Beta…. Underwhelming

Michael Gartenberg: MSFT Search doesn’t do much for me… literally Michael Gartenberg makes some excellent points regarding Microsoft’s expanded foray into search this morning. Bottom line is — MSN doesn’t merely need to be as good as Google, it needs to be substantially better in order to pull market share from Google.

After doing some searches this morning and trying some obscure searches that pull up very few results (old high school girlfriends, etc.) I still find the MSN beta search product to be inferior to Google’s results.

Guys, Gartenberg is right, you are going absolutely nowhere with this thing if your results are inferior to Google’s – which at first blush is what it appears.

Now if you want an idea to help you pull search from Google, how about this — proprietary search results. What do I mean by this? Find sources of content that are not presently indexed by Google and Yahoo! and offer exclusive indexing of this content through your search engine. You could start by working out a deal with the networks to be the exclusive provider of all indexed closed captioned transcripts since they’ve been collecting them.

If, when I searched for Lawrence Taylor, I got not only the 60 Minutes news stories but direct from 60 Minutes an actual transcript of the interview this would be relevancy. Just as there is with books (that A9 is exploring) television remains a vast depository of unindexed content. Get exclusive rights to this content… or out-do A9 and provide deeper indexing of books… or archive and transcribe radio… and now you’ve got something.

Figure out a way to index something that Google does not presently index or you will go nowhere with this technology. As Google showed Yahoo! it only takes a slight advantage to move a mountain. The racehorse that wins by a nose is not 10 times better than the number two racehorse but he can still make 10 times the money.

Although I won’t dis you guys for the site being unavailable and slow this morning (I can certainly understand the extraordinary traffic on launch day) I will say that I’ll check back but at first blush am afraid 99% of my search will still be being done with Google.

And, by the way, could Microsoft be manipulating your search results?