NY Post: “Fear Grips Google” — Really?

Perhaps now more than ever traditional media’s challenge is to get and keep attention. That can lead to overreaching and hyperbole, as in the case of a headline and story appearing in the typically sensational NY Post over the weekend: “Fear Grips Google.” Cue the music.

CNET picks up the story as do others. The Post story asserts the following as evidence of the apparent fear “gripping” Google:

[Google co-founder Sergey] Brin, according to sources inside the tech behemoth, is himself leading the team of search-engine specialists in an effort to determine how Bing’s crucial search algorithm differs from that used by the company he founded in 1998 with Stanford University classmate Larry Page.

Bing is probably better than Google anticipated and early indications are favorable in terms of user adoption; however not on any scale to threaten Google’s position. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google is taking Bing seriously and trying to carefully assess its algorithm.

Google actually needs strong competitors and is in fact itself pointing to Bing’s initial share gains in meetings with reporters and others as part of what CNET called Google’s “charm offensive” to show it’s not a monopoly or worthy of anti-trust regulation.

Meanwhile, Matt Cutts points to a range of sensational NY Post headlines from the past — a greatest hits if you will — about Google.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Critics | Microsoft: Bing


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://www.searchmarketingcommunications.com Cohn

    As fewer consumers pay attention otherwise, offline media are increasingly becoming attention thieves – going to ever greater lengths in their attempts to claw back the consumers attention.

    The NY Post is probably one of the world’s best at getting attention albeit momentarily via their headlines.

  • Michael Gray

    Coming from NY and having seen NY Post headlines before there was a google, I’ll say the headlines do have a bit a sensation slant to them. That said would it have gotten anywhere near the traffic and links if it was less dramatic say “Google Executives Discuss New Microsoft Search Offering”.

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