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Thread: Microsoft (Decline Of)

Another victory such as this and surely all is lost -- King Pyrrhus of Epirus.

Bing Sinks In The Cruel Sea Of Search

Chronogical Blog Entries:

Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 21:24:23 +1000

Newsflash: Bing Is Sinking! You read it here first! Contary to the hype, Bing now seems to be sagging quite sadly.

Also, on the OS front, Windows 7 advertisements are appearing. Recently, the "Green Guide" (in "The Age") started running ads for Windows 7. "Fill in the coupon and be the first to receive a copy of Windows 7!" That was how the advertisement exhorted readers. But how many XP users will fill in the coupon and mail if off for a brand spanking new Microsoft operating system? Considering that XP users must do a fresh install rather than an upgrade the answer is, probably, not many! Certainly a lot of Vista users might consider it ... Just about anything would be better than Vista! But shouldn't the unfortunate Vista users be offered the upgrade for free? After all wouldn't that be only "just compensation" for the many serious injuries already sustained as a result of the Vista atrocity?

Well, dear reader, as your humble blogger predicted here things have gone awfully quiet on the Bing front. Before too long, no doubt, the folks at Microsoft and Yahoo will be doing their their level best to pretend that none of it happened ... But your humble blogger will be here to remind you about it. That is when he is not preoccupied writing an IP sinbin script. As you might gather, dear reader, that is a script which sends badguys to an IP sinbin (more about that another day perhaps).

From time to time, Sydney webmaster and country music aficionado, Brian Robson, sends your humble blogger information regarding his site statistics. Brian is the webmaster for the Bondi Beach website. If you type the word "Bondi" into any reputable search engine, his website will come up at the top of the list. Also on the same page you will see the URL where his site used to be, with a link directing you to the current page .. So whatever it is he is doing with his website seems to be getting results. Being number one in the entire world for a single word search is no mean feat!

In a recent email, Brian mentioned that he had noticed a surge in traffic to his Bondi site. Here is how he described it in his own words.

Around noon, I went to a cafe to download my log files and have a cuppa. The file for 21/9/2009 was over 6MB, the biggest ever for one day. Normally it's around 3MB and around 14,000 rows (hits) for the day. In essence this is say 1000 visitors at 14 hits each. Proper visitors make more hits than this, but there are a lot of single hit visits.

I have written about traffic surges before, especially the one when around 3000 people looked at the same pic of a dog smoking in 24 hours. That was almost 400 hits in the first six minutes! They were very American, and with very geeky computers. There have been a few minor surges since, but not big enough to skew the results analysis.

I was fully expecting more of the same, but today was quite different. There was no specific page being hit more frequently, just more traffic than usual.

I tested for duplicates ... In case the log file had been doubled up (PowWeb used to do this ... When they were not truncating the files!) but it was pretty normal. A total of around 26,000 hits.

It soon appeared that there were a lot more visits than usual to the Bondi Beach home page; also I ran the search engine group analysis and got Google 90.6, 4.4 Yahoo, Bing 2.5 and others 2.4 for the seven day period.

This was pretty wacky, because I ran it yesterday for a period of six days (just for fun) and got Google 89.1, yahoo 5.1, Bing 2.2 and Others 3.6. A big shift for just one day!

Anyway I soon did some countries-analysis and found the bulk of it came from Germany. Would you believe around 6400 for the day? Including around 5300 in one hour 7pm GMT. Countries around Germany also had huge increases ... i.e. Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands ... But not France.

Perhaps there was programme on TV about Bondi? Although not everything was at the same 7pm-8pm time-slot. Also big jumps in the UK, Canada, USA and even Australia.

Next I looked at the IP addresses coming from Germany. A total of 311, with 272 cases covering the range 10 to 85 hits. All quite normal. Then I looked at the searches.

One analysis gave 246 Searches from Google, 6 Generic/Others (and I verified these as correct) and none from Yahoo and none from Bing. That's Germany right now, folks!!

In another analysis, there were 218 searches for Bondi Beach, 7 for Bondi, 4 for Bondi Beach Australian and three where the analyser glitched on the German search engines.

At this point I frantically started doing more country analysis to see what's going on with Bing.

The USA figures are Google 86%, Yahoo 7%, Bing 4% and others 3%. This is the sort of stuff we see quoted in the media, but I have always measured worse than this. I did do some country figures like this a few months back, but the Yahoo and Microsoft positions seem to have eroded since then.

Try France on 93% Google, UK 91%, Canada 93%, Australia 93%. For Germany it's 96% Google, and the same for the group of five countries around Germany. That leaves 4% for the rest. The sample of 814 (Germany plus 5) gives Yahoo 0.7%, Bing 0.6 and Others 2.3.

For a group of major Asian countries, I get Google 87%, Yahoo 8%, Bing 2% and Others 3%. Yahoo is big in Japan, China and Hong Kong (and also in Australia).

None of this bodes well for Yahoo and Bing in Europe. The only cases where they have small but respectable share is Bing in the UK and Yahoo in France.

Huh? But two months ago, spin-doctors, underpaid part-time tech-journalists and BS artists were telling us Bing rocks! Bing is like On Fire! Dude! And now today, the webmaster of a humble Sydney site, who by constant forensic scrutiny of his logfiles has elevated his site to the number one spot in page rankings for the word "Bondi", thinks otherwise. He seems to think that Bing is sinking ... Has sunk in fact! So who do we believe dear reader? The spin doctors or the guy working at the coal face, examining logfiles?

But don't tell anyone about this dear reader! It is secret between your own good self and your humble blogger, who won't tell anyone either ... Just you ... So keep it under your (grey?) hat, ok?

Meanwhile things are pretty quiet on the OS front also. Here at the humble abode, most computers run Linux. All of which upgrade themselves very nicely thank you. There is one exception ... A Mac Pro, which your humble blogger decided to upgrade with OS X - Snow Leopard

When Snow Leopard started shipping late in August, NYT blogger David Pogue listed the ingredients and opined that at $29 (USD) the decision to purchase it was a "no-brainer". Even for us humble Aussies who must pay $39 (AUD), it didn't require a post-doctoral thesis to calculate the value.

And so your humble blogger ordered the latest Mac OS X.

The Setup menu was simple and reliable. Open source programs which appeared to work Ok included Gimp 2.4.7, VLC media player 0.8 and Gvim 7.0.224. Other programs which seemed ok were Spore version 3.0, Logic-Pro 7 (Version 7.2.3). Firefox Version 3.0.8. ... and (at long last) the Firefox update works! For all users! (I had installed Firefox in the /Applications folder --- and in the past had had difficulty persuading the update to work for all users). Of course all the Apple software worked (one would hope that they test out their own software) ... The only program which your humble blogger could not get to work was Google Updater ... But that was because Google had disabled it (sometime well before the Mac Upgrade).

So from your humble blogger's perspective, if you own a new Intel Mac, the upgrade really is a "no-brainer". The best thing your humble blogger can say about Snow Leopard is that he can't really say much about it. The entire operation was as difficult, bothersome, painful and complex as pouring fresh chilled milk into a long glass. (In other words --- not very).

Remarkably some bloggers have criticised Snow Leopard for lacking "features". These ill-informed critics pointed out that after the upgrade there were the same old menus with only a couple of little extras ... No new frills and/or additional eye-candy! <sarcasm> The only thing offered was a full 64 bit OS with a smaller footprint, better performance, bug fixes and security patches --- Oh Dear! Is that all? - By golly I think I'll rush off now and fill out that coupon for a copy of Windows 7! </sarcasm>

Your humble blogger suspects that such commentary from an unrepresentative handful of bloggers was mostly the work of sad, mis-guided microsofties whose perception was somewhat blinkered by Vista blindness ... And the Vista sales and marketing team? They can employ Frank Zappa's adjustable slogan ... Read it and weep, Guys! Read it and Weep!

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