What Bing Does Better Than Google
In my review of Woody Allen's “Midnight in Paris,” which, to me, is about traveling to a place and time where art and literature matter, I made a passing reference to the fact that even Philip Roth doesn't read fiction anymore. He said so in a recent interview with Jan Dalley, “Life After 'Nemesis,'” in Financial Times. I wanted to provide a link to that interview so I Googled two terms: “Philip Roth” and “stopped reading fiction.” Here are the top results for that search:
- The New York Times artsbeat blog referencing and linking to Dalley's FT article.
- The Atlantic referencing and linking to Dalley's FT article.
- Althouse referencing and linking to Dalley's FT article.
- Salon referencing and linking to Dalley's FT article.
- Yahoo News referencing and linking to Dalley's FT article.
- James Russell Ament referencing and linking to the Salon article, which references and links to Dalley's FT article.
- Slate republishing the entire FT article with Dalley's byline.
- ArtsJournal referencing and linking to the Slate article.
- The original article.
Ninth. Above it, you have all the sites feeding off it. In the Google world, in the tech world, there's little respect for original content. To me, this lack of respect filters down and you wind up with some aspect of the shitty culture we have.
As an experiment, I cleared my cache and tried the same search on Yahoo, expecting similar results. Nope. Much better. The original article appeared third.
Then I cleared the cache again and tried it with Bing. The original article appeared first.
Guess I'll be using Bing more often.
Now if we only stop calling it “content” and get back to calling it “writing,” maybe it'll pay again.