Since the arrival of Microsoft’s Bing search engine they have steadily prized a small piece of Google‘s market share. I personally still use Google for the vast majority of my search needs but am currently working on my dissertation looking into the effects of white hat and black hat seo techniques – uk severe weather.
This has lead me to use three of the top search engines in Google, Yahoo and Bing. Although Yahoo and Bing have announced their merger to try and take on the giant Google at the time on this writing Yahoo and Bing are still separate entities.
Using Bing however lead me to think how similar the new Bing’s SERP pages look and feel exactly the same as the traditional Google SERP pages most of us are used too. Surely Google have an issue with this blatant copying but is the fact that we are all used to that colour scheme and layout the reason for this?
Looking into the matter more however leads me to find that Google, Yahoo and Bing use each other’s ideas all the time. Like for example when Bing first came along they had their large image on the main search page which then lead Google to copy this exact idea.
This “copycat” way of working of course isn’t confined to just this industry, all companies see their competitors do something which leads them to do the same. For example the car industry is a prime example, if BMW release a car with 500bhp Mercedes will release one which 510bhp shortly after in an effort to remain competitive in what is a tough market.
In conclusion I don’t think that Bing is the only guilty party, it seems that all the major search engines look at the competition for ideas, perhaps when copying there’s a hint of “ooh that’s a good idea, get to it”. Then again there might be a simple explanation as to why they are similar.