Bing’s outage shows how little competition Google Search faces

Bing’s outage shows how little competition Google Search faces

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Microsoft’s Bing search engine has crashed Very early morning today. This means that searches from Microsoft Edge browsers that have not yet changed their default providers were not successful. It also means that services that rely on Bing’s search API — Microsoft’s Copilot, ChatGPT search, Yahoo, Ecosia, and DuckDuckGo — have similarly failed.

Services were largely restored by morning eastern business hours, but the timing appears either opportune, alarming, or a combination of both. Google, Consistently dominates the search platformjust last week Announce AI Overviews debuted as a default add-on for all searches. If you don’t want the AI ​​to respond but still want to use Google, you can look for the new “Web” option in the menu, or you can, Per Ernie Smithput “&udm=14” in your search or use Smith’s own search Konami Code shortcut page..

If you are frightened by an AI hallucination, energy withdrawal, or… Pizza recipes What you’re worried about – besides broader Google issues involving privacy, tracking, news, SEO, or monopoly power – is that most of your other major options have been shot down by a single API outage this morning. Getting past this kind of individual weakness will take some work, both by the industry and by you, the one wondering if there is a real alternative.

Search engine market share, as measured by StatCounter, from April 2023 to April 2024.

Search engine market share, as measured by StatCounter, from April 2023 to April 2024.

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Up to a billion dollars annually

The vast majority of search tools that offer an “alternative” to Google use Google, Bing, or Yandex, the three major search engines that maintain huge global indexes. Yandex, being Based in Russia, is something that is not welcome to many people around the world right now. Bing offers its services widely, most notably to DuckDuckGo, but its ad-based revenue model and privacy details have caused some friction there in the past. Before his company could block more of Microsoft’s tracking scripts, DuckDuckGo CEO and founder Gabriel Weinberg He explained in a Reddit reply Why companies like his weren’t going the full DIY route:

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… [W]We source most of our traditional links and images specifically from Bing… In fact, only two companies (Google and Microsoft) have a high-quality global index of web links (because I believe it costs over a billion dollars a year to create), and so literally every search engine needs Another global to run using one or both to provide a main search product. The same goes for maps by the way – only big companies can similarly place satellites and send ground cars to take street photos of each neighborhood.

Bing makes money from Microsoft, then Not quite profit Until now. It’s in Microsoft’s interest to keep its search index stock and API open, even if its focus is almost entirely on its Chatbot AI version of Bing. However, if Microsoft decides to withdraw access to the API, or it becomes untrusted, Google’s default position becomes stronger. What will non-conformists have to choose from next?

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