Image source: Google, with a little help from MSPaint
Was Eric Schmidt defending Google or Bing in his testimony to Congress on Wednesday?
Google’s chairman mentioned Microsoft’s search engine 11 times in his speech, praising it in every instance. He noted how Bing has “continued to gain in popularity,” and delivers richer results than Google.
“In fact, according to an October 2010 study published by Comscore, Bing contained these ‘rich results’ on their results pages 54 percent of the time, while Google only provided rich results 33 percent of the time,” Schmidt noted in his prepared testimony.
Schmidt also noted that Bing’s search integration with Facebook gives it a “tremendous competitive advantage.”
And then, Schmidt landed a whopper, saying Bing could even eclipse Google by next year: “Microsoft’s Bing launched in June 2009 and has grown so rapidly that some commentators have speculated that it could overtake Google as early as 2012.”
Obviously, Schmidt is lavishing an arch rival with praise to explain how Google is not a monopoly (which isn’t even the issue, but I digress). But that last quote really stands out as complete and utter nonsense.
The “commentator” is Mashable’s Christina Warren (this is not meant to be a judgment on Warren, I’m sure she’s great). The “speculation” was from an April article, extrapolating out trend lines of seven months of Hitwise data. The trend lines crossed in January 2012, with Bing overtaking Google.
To get there, the extrapolation predicted that by now, Google would have just 55% of the search market, while Bing would command 40%. We know neither is true — Microsoft just said last week that it has less than a 15% share.
Also, Hitwise is great as a marketing tool, but comScore’s metrics are preferred by the industry (including Microsoft and Google).
The point is that Eric Schmidt knows all of this. And presented Congress with a bald-faced lie. -David