Is Google Afraid of Bing?

Google vs Bing everything-pr

Google’s Monstrosity vs Bing’s Cute Intimidation

Bing, the over hyped search engine, continues to make waves in the media. Recently, the New York Post, reported that “Fear Grips Google” in an article that suggested that Google’s Sergey Bring, has assembled a team of top engineers to study Bing and to work on urgent updates to Google search.

Once the post was published, a number of publications rushed into perpetuating the rumor. The New York Post bases its news on the statement of a “Google insider” who remained anonymous:

“New search engines have come and gone in the past 10 years, but Bing seems to be of particular interest to Sergey.”

The article paints a scared Sergey Brin, who leads a team of experts trying to decipher Bing’s algorithm. The New York Post thus insinuates that Bing is superior in search technology to Google.

Bing was well received by the critics – with a few exceptions (some criticizing the name, some still lobbying for Google).

I will not debate at this moment Bing’s superiority – I reserve the analysis for a search engine related publication. What should raise some questions, however, is the ambiguity of the news related by the New York Post. Can we seriously believe news from unconfirmed sources? Is it possible that Microsoft rewarded (money-wise or another) someone from the above cited publication to write an alarmist story? Was the New York Post pulling a link bait stunt or is Google really scared? What do you think?


  1. Ladislav Kocbach says

    I think this is actually more serious. “Tom” attacks the language and formal issues, but it is pretty clear what is the aim. Ms Liliana Dumitru-Steffens dared to attack Microsoft: “Is it possible that Microsoft rewarded (money-wise or another) …. ” This is the actual reason for the attack. I am not sure if “Tom” is rewarded Money-wise, but he definitely is one of the “Microsoft defenders”. You meet them many places – and as you all noted, they can be cruel. There are many of them, so I do not think that they are all payed by Microsoft. Find any Linux-related discussion – or netbook discussion – and you will find Toms in large numbers.
    I understand people who take side of a weaker part and do inappropriate things (like throwing rotten eggs or shoes) towards the perceived wrong-doer. But what kind of people can get attracted to a corporal oppressor of Microsoft type? Organization scrutinized by legal bodies not only for unlawful monopoly, but particularly for the possibly very unlawful ways in which this monopoly is maintained. Who are the Toms? In my understanding, those Toms can not be really mentally healthy. If you look at the big picture, Microsoft is relly fighting at many fronts. And the sick Toms are their small “freedom fighters”. Which freedom is it?

    The serious question is: how dangerous are these “Toms”? Do they remain by cruel and offending words, or are they so disturbed that they can do worse things? Reading all the hate which “Toms” are spreading over the web, I am sometimes affraid.

    Dear Ms Liliana Dumitru-Steffens, please, do not be depressed by this attacker. I think that you should get over this shock simply by continuing your writing. Immediately! You will get positive response and that will make it easier for you to come over the bad experience. And tell the story to anybody who would listen. It will do two goods: it will help you – and it will make your friends aware of the Microsoft Toms whom I described above.

    One more thing: I admit with apology that I have not read everything on this page crefully. Now I re-read some, and I learned that this particular Tom pretended to be interested in a job with you. I wonder if the police might be interested in Tom. I would try, but then, I live in Old Europe (by the way, I am not applying for a job with you. I have one as a scientist)

  2. Mihaela Lica says

    Pearl, I was tempted to publish Tom’s email, and reveal his identity – but we are better than that. It would be nice for Lilliana if he’d be man enough to apologize, but I think this is a kind of person who is convinced that no harm was done and that he was right. In Romania we have a saying: if ten people tell you that you are a donkey, they are probably right. I don’t care what he does next. Seeing the support from our faithful readers makes things worth-while for us.

  3. says

    Oh Man! I can’t believe Tom missed the point of the post entirely (and eventually the boat I might add) LOL.

    @Tom: Phil is being extremely polite to you in saying ‘we will call you’.. My response would have been ‘we are looking for qualified people. better luck next time.’

    Of course you wouldn’t use this article ‘coz most students might stop signing up for your classes after reading your cruel, out of context comment and the responses here. Forget about getting a job with Pamil Visions, it’s possible you might lose your current job as well.

    And why were you using a PR article for an ESL class anyway? Oh, may be you missed the point of that class as well!?! My heart goes out to your students. I once had a professor who was waaayyy out of line, out of context, out of curriculum, the kinds who habitually ‘miss the point’ you know? and at the end of class got booted out of his job based on student evaluations!

    Also, its generally a good idea to stand by what we preach so next time you decide to critique someone, please have the strength and courage to leave a link to your online presence so we can all see how you are changing the world.

    At this point, it might be a good idea to come forth, be a man and apologize to Liliana and Pamil Visions as I think you don’t possibly realize how many ‘potential’ employers you might have ‘pissed off’. :)

  4. Deborah says

    In addition to all that has been said here, please allow me to speak plainly and simply about what others appear to have tip-toed around in their comments.

    Tom, your comment berating the author for her writing errors is utterly cruel, heartless, and unprofessional. I have seen on occasion where a reader has pointed out an error or two, but the manner in which you carried on to extreme is the likes of which I have never seen, and I’ve been around the block many times.

    Grammatical errors are trivial in my opinion, especially when not written in the author’s native tongue; what matters is that the information is accurate. Do I notice errors in people’s writing? Yes. Do I point them out? No. What does anyone gain by it? We are all human, and as a result, we all make mistakes.

    I have, by the way, read your email requesting an opportunity for employment with Pamil Visions. I am going to make an exception to my rule by pointing out that your email has numerous grammatical errors. It’s one thing to write with grammatical errors, but as an English teacher, it would appear that you need to further your education before seeking an employment opportunity in the U.S. in the capacity of an English teacher as you mentioned in your email.

    I pride myself in my natural-born talent to be able to read a person. While I may not be entirely right in my assessments all of the time, I usually am. As an employer, what I see between the lines by your behavior is that you are a cut-throat, and not a team player, which are very undesirable traits in a potential employee. Your unrelenting manner in which you carried on also indicates that you are obsessive compulsive, not to mention insensitive, and intolerant. In effect, you have made a very poor impression of yourself.

    It’s been said many times that it takes a minimum of ten positive statements to negate a single derogatory one. Derogatory statements are typically an attack on the self-esteem of the one that it has been inflicted upon, and can be very difficult to overcome. I can attest to the fact that I have never forgotten a cruel comment someone made to me more than 20 years ago. Do you understand at all how vicious your attack was? That’s why you are receiving a tongue-lashing by other readers.

    What was the purpose of your attack to begin with? If it was to show your ‘expertise’ in your command of the English language to gain a job at Pamil Visions, you have failed miserably. Let this be a learning lesson for you in ‘what not to do’ when it comes to seeking employment, and proper treatment towards others.

    • Liliana Dumitru-Steffens says

      I kept silent till now, because Tom’s behavior really affected me. I only blog since January this year, and yes, English is a second language for me. However, I believe that nobody is infallible, not even native speakers. For me it is really difficult to spot all the errors Tom pointed, for obvious reasons. I will not continue on this note, I am still very upset, but I want to thank you all for your support. It really means a lot!

  5. says

    Wow, like Phil, Matt, Mihaela, Laura, Genesis and Matthew before me, I am at a loss. I applaud Pamil Visions for your responses: defending fellow colleagues against unwarranted attacks is a respectable and desirable character trait, and you have done so with professionalism and integrity.

    I’d also like to get in a little dig of my own. Mihaela, you quoted Tom as writing “I know one foreign language, and am struggling to learn a third.” Not only is his math questionable, but his grammar is also incorrect! The comma is inappropriate; the sentence should read:

    I know one foreign language and am struggling to learn a third.
    I know one foreign language, and I am struggling to learn a third.

    Keep up the great work, Pamil Visions. Liliana, please know that we all love your writing and Tom is a true cad!

  6. says

    Wow. And this Tom guy teaches ESL? Man, would I hate to be one of his students.

    Tom, as a former ESL teacher in Central Europe, allow me to introduce a new vocabulary word into your lexicon for your second or third foreign language: douchebaggery. Though I suspect you already know this concept, as you appear to be living it.

    You purport to love and respect “the Queen’s English” but are not behaving like a true gentleman of the realm. A much more constructive approach to the errata with which you have taken umbrage would have been to point out your concerns with the content of the article, and reserved your analysis of the grammar, spelling, and punctuation for a private email. Instead, you chose to flay Ms. Dumitru-Stephens publicly, which is why you are now being flogged.

    A more obvious flame-baiting comment I have yet to see. You, sir, deserve every ounce of scorn currently being heaped on your head.

    Good luck with that.

  7. says

    I can´t believe someone would be this cruel. Some constructive criticism is something that we can all use, for sure, but Tom’s comment was simply mean-spirited (note the use of a hyphen) and uncalled for.

    However, I must say that if we are attracting this type of comment, it must mean Pamil Visions is going places, because this always happens to the best!

  8. Laura says

    Wow! I can’t believe that someone was rude enough to leave a comment like this on Liliana’s post.

    It’s one thing to disagree with a posted opinion – blogging is all about the give and take of opinions. It’s another to completely ignore the substance of a post while picking apart miniscule and unimportant details about its structure.

    I see that you’re an English teacher (good for you), so perhaps you are used to correcting students publicly. However, the poster is not your student.

    For future reference, if you feel the urge to correct someone’s grammar online I would suggest that you send them a private e-mail. It’s much more polite.

  9. Mihaela Lica says

    Tom, there is one thing I learned in life, and that’s not to throw stones if I live in a glass house. Apparently, you never did learn this, or else, you would have never sent an email containing the following:

    “I know one foreign language, and am struggling to learn a third.”

    How can you learn a “third” without going through the process of learning a “second” beats my logic. This proves that no one is flawless in English writing, not even a native.

    Liliana’s errors you pointed out are minor in my view. You guessed right (in the email you sent), she is not a native speaker. I would love to see your writings in the “one foreign language” you speak, and I am warning you that if this happens to be Romanian, French, German, Italian or Spanish, you don’t want me to go through the text.

    One more thing I’d like to add, you must have really big “cohones” to send an email asking for a job after you publicly bashed a potential colleague. I am not sure this is a quality employers look for in an employee, I for one am not.

  10. says

    I enjoy reading everything that Liliana, Mig, Phil and others write on Pamil Visions. It is a fun, refreshing and an all absorbing site.

    I understand that English may not be the first tongue of some of the writers here, but that isn’t a big deal. Your perspective is what counts and your knowledge is apparent which is why I regularly return.

    As a native English speaker, I encourage the Pamil Visions team to rock on. I chalk Tom’s comments up to youth otherwise he wouldn’t have pointed out these “errors” publicly. Give him a decade or two and that problem should resolve itself naturally!

  11. Phil Butler says

    Dear Tom,

    Thanks for taking your valuable time to come here and comment. As for these comments, obviously many of your suggestions/instructions are correct. As for the tone, and whether or not this is a “pissing contest”, I think we both know the real answer to that question. I expect I should explain a little about who you are criticizing. I hope you will bear with me, as I surely am bearing with you.

    Liliana is a Romanian national. She speaks and writes 5 languages fluently, including English. Her position with our firm is an account executive, as well as an expert in SEO, search engine technology, and any number of other specialties on which she reports. Not that it will matter to you, but perhaps more importantly than these rather minuscule errors you point out, she is a very meticulous and kind person – she will be fairly hurt that she even made an error at all.

    As for your admonitions/instruction, I think since I decided NOT to delete this comment, I should probably address each and every one. Following this, I hope you will bear with me still further as I express my personal opinion outside my position as Senior Partner in this firm.

    Overhyped/Over-Hyped/Over hyped – Not conclusive
    Unnecessary comma – Correct, and point well taken
    Brin/Bring/Bing Psychology – Actually a purposeful transposition
    Perpetuated Rumor – Awkward perhaps, but inconclusive
    (R)ushed versus rushed? Perhaps better to state so: rushed to perpetuate…
    Thus? thus? thus? In this manner – what’s the problem?
    Reserve – No analysis was offered in this post, so reserving said analysis makes sense in this context.
    Seriously – Journalistic license and applied social news personalized style. In this context the “seriously” modifies the “we” and not the “believe”. Can we seriously, in this case implies something to the effect; “Are we stupid?”
    Is it possible – In this case the author is reflecting her own questions onto the canvas of this discourse. Of course anything is possible. but questioning the possibility in this case is correct. The sentence is not perfect, I will grant you.
    Money wise – A mistake
    Above.cited/Above cited – An error, point taken
    Title Aspect – The browser title you mention is an SEO technique that helps Google and others find this article basically. Being an expert as you suggest, I thought you would know that?

    Cad – A man whose behavior is unprincipled or dishonorable.
    You know, I have been doing this blog thing for a while now. From that perspective, and being the world’s worst typist, I know what it feels like to be criticized in such a fashion. Such criticism is especially painful when one is more focused on getting things out to people, expressing passionate concern about hugely important subjects, or simply “communicating” light content among a network. What is amazing in this case Tom, is that anyone would have the unmitigated audacity to come and criticize an author so, suggest this criticizm to be nothing other than professional courtesy, and in fact do so in a ham handed effort to get a job!

    At the same time I was putting together what was to be a “gentle” reply to your comments, my partner (founder of Pamil Visions) Mihaela Lica opened her email only to find one from you sir. You know, I have done some stupid things in my life. However, I am pretty sure I have never tried to gain access to any position with a strategy so honestly caddish. I would post the email here for all the world to see, but I am honestly about ready to end this discourse. Suffice it to say; “You are a cad sir!”

    Instructions for New Age PR
    There is a new age before us in the communications arena. You may wonder at our sometimes scathing way of criticizing any number of businesses or individuals here. This is not something we do as a matter of business methodology, but instead, it is part of this “new era” I am talking about. Transparency and “telling like it is” are buzz terms for most people. Certainly, even my answer to your comments is not what traditional PR experts would suggest, but there is the caveat to a new form of conversation. Sooner or later, people, businesses and even governments will want no BS people in their camp. The ability to tell the truth, expose injustice, and reveal importance to th world will be a very highly prized commodity. This is the logical end to human discourse. So it is that anyone out there, leaving a “Web footprint”, as it were, should be wary of making a mistake like the one you just made.

    Sending an email, to the owner of a company you want to work for (one who I might add is a Romanian national as well, and sensitive to the difficulty Liliana sometimes has), lauding one’s (I must say rather mediocre) credentials, and asking for a job on the heels of this little treachery, is a form of idiocy tantamount to … I am for once at a loss for words. I cannot actually believe anyone is that stupid. In looking at a few of your literary masterworks, it is fairly evident that know a verb from a noun is not all there is to journalism on the Web. One post, while regurgitating some news in what appears to be juvenile paraphrasing, just happens to reveal not only limited journalistic license, but given that the text is posted twice on the same page, not actual acumen with regard to how the hell stuff works.

    For anyone applying for a job with Pamil Visions (or anyone else for that matter), perhaps this animated response to Tom here will serve as an example of what “not to do” to get a job. First off, claiming to be a technical writer and technology expert sort of implies that some degree of expertise with regard to PR or social media might apply. Obviously, this is not the case. You see Tom, though it appear we (or me in particular) simply “call em as we see em” without any supportive evidence, the opposite is by far more true. These apparent opinions are for the most part, supported underneath by a wealth of information that you probably cannot imagine. Think about the why, where and how of this. At the end of these discussions, people will ask; “Just who the hell knows what they are talking about?” It is at the end of this question our intent lies .

    The only possible good that can come out of such conversations Tom, is when someone learns something. For you, I hope that your methods at least can be modified. As for your character, I can never hope to modify long lived character flaws. With regard to the world reading this commentary, anyone seeing truth and transparency as a new model for PR and community will certainly cheer th expose. As for the job search, I think I speak for Pamil Visions in saying; “We will call you.”


  12. Tom says

    You wrote:
    “Bing, the over hyped search engine, continues to make waves in the media. Recently, the New York Post, reported that “Fear Grips Google” in an article that suggested that Google’s Sergey Bring, has assembled a team of top engineers to study Bing and to work on urgent updates to Google search.”

    ‘Over-hyped’ is one word; some hyphenate it, some don’t.

    You have an unnecessary comma after ‘the New York Post’.

    Sergey’s last name is ‘Brin’. I think you combined ‘Bing’ and ‘Brin” subconsciously.

    “Once the post was published, a number of publications rushed into perpetuating the rumor.”

    “[R]ushed into perpetuating”?!

    That’s not really grammatically correct. It’s definitely very awkward-sounding.

    “The New York Post thus insinuates that Bing is superior in search technology to Google.”

    “Thus’?! Huh?!!

    “…I reserve the analysis for a search engine related publication.”

    Do you mean, “…I will leave that to a search engine publication”?

    Or, “…I will write about that later in a search engine publication”?

    What *does* “reserve the analysis” mean? I have never heard anyone use ‘reserve’ in this manner. ‘Reserve the right’, sure. But that’s a different phrase.

    “Can we seriously believe news from unconfirmed sources?”

    Is that valley-girl-speak?

    How else does one believe news…’unseriously’?


    The following is not an English-language issue, as the above corrections were:

    You wrote: “Is it possible that Microsoft rewarded (money-wise or another) someone from the above cited publication to write an alarmist story?”

    Of course it’s *possible*. Anything’s possible.
    Do you have any *evidence* to cause you to raise the possibility of such a thing?


    This *is* another English-language comment:
    “money-wise or another”?!
    That is not grammatically correct.
    ‘Money-wise or otherwise’, maybe.
    How about,’financially or otherwise’?


    Here’s one more:
    “the above cited publication”
    should be either
    “the above-cited publication”
    “the publication cited above”.

    (Or better yet, “the Post”).


    You asked at the end of your post,
    “What do you think?”

    I’m not trying to be ‘offensive’, or engage in a ‘pissing contest’…but… I think your writing is in need of some editing, and your command of the Queen’s English is a bit weak.
    It’s not every day that I read a blog post so replete with English-language errors.

    I in fact was simply searching for an article relating to PR for one of my advanced ESL students, when I saw a previous post of yours, and chose to click on a link from that page, to your “Who Is Afraid of Bing?” post. Suffice it to say I’m not going to use this article.


    (Btw, this likely is not your fault, but the tab in my browser is confusingly entitled “Who is Afraid of Bing?” when I’m on your page with your post entitled, “Is Google Afraid of Bing?”.)

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