Is Google Dropping the Ball?

LiveIs Google dropping the ball? Microsoft launched its Live Search tool today, and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s very fast, has comparably relevant results to Google and takes advantage of more recent advances in web technology, such as Ajax. Best of all it presents results in an ever-scrolling list. No more “nexting” through pages of results. You just keep on scrolling, and the contextual ads will automatically change as you scroll. Nice one.

Whilst impressive, Live Search’s features aren’t exactly a revolution. Ajax has been around for ages. What has Google changed in the last few years? Relevancy? Sorry, I haven’t noticed. I like Google’s “keep it fast and simple” strategy, but they’re taking it too far. Microsoft is likely faster since they’re relying on Ajax to download results as you scroll, rather than getting the whole page. Works for me.

Google has thousands of engineers and some of the best minds in the business, and they’re seriously saying the current Google Search page (the mainstay of their business) can’t be improved. Ball… oops… dropped… “Mom! Microsoft made me drop the search ball!”

Integration to is also interesting. Search directly whilst doing other “live” things. Store common searches. RSS feed integration. Lots of room for the innnovation train to continue to roll. It makes Google Search look very much its age.


  • Mike Arrington has some nice things to say – though I personally didn’t find the search slow.
  • Niall Kenedy looks at some of the features.
  • Read/Write has a good overview and the comments are interesting.

3 comments so far

  1. Conspiracy Bob on

    I think the new MSN search engine is awful. Are you using Internet Explorer? It doesn’t work well in other browsers. You can’t have it display 100 results and then use Ctrl-F to search the results. This is one reason that AJAX is a bad idea for a search engine. Also, the results are just as bad as the current MSN search.

  2. Martin Wells on

    I did some comparisons of regular searches and I found the results similar. Not particularly better, but on par generally.

    And I was using Firefox.

    Finding on 100 results is still better than google, which lets you find on 10.

    The main thing I like is the endless scroll… it’s just faster to roam through results.

  3. Lazy Drive on

    Microsoft’s new “live” search

    Martin Wells points to this new search engine from MS, and I checked it out – and it seemed impressive. Its fast – very fast. And the scrolling feature means I almost read it like a newspaper.
    Cool! Yahoo search has already beaten Google on image searc…

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