It isn't quite up to the New York Post's gold standard -- "Headless Man Found in Topless Bar" -- but the Post's "Fear Grips Google" story over the weekend certainly got some attention, if only for its over-the-top headline.
According to "insider sources" the Post conveniently declines to describe, let alone identify...
Sergey Brin is so rattled by the launch of Microsoft's rival search engine that he has assembled a team of top engineers to work on urgent upgrades to his Web service, The Post has learned.
[ Earlier, InfoWorld's Robert X. Cringely asked: "Is Bing worth a fling?" Find out what he decided. | Stay up to date on Robert X. Cringely's musings and observations with InfoWorld's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]
Well, duh. If Google weren't paying attention to Bing, it wouldn't be Google. But "rattled"? Please. When you own 60 to 80 percent of the search market, depending on who's counting, I don't think a 2 point percentage gain by a distant-third-place competitor is worth pulling the covers up over your head at night.
(Though I have to admit that Hannibal Lecterish graphic the Post ran of Ballmer is kind of frightening. He looks like he's about to bite Larry Page on the face. I'm gripped with fear just looking at it.)
SearchEngineLand's Greg Sterling has a somewhat less adrenaline-fueled take on what's likely happening over at the Googleplex:
My take: This is Rupert Murdoch's way of jabbing his poison pen into Google, which newspaper publishers have loudly (though somewhat inaccurately) blamed for the demise of their industry. Or maybe he sees it as a competitor to MySpace, or maybe it's just cuz Al Gore is on their board, and we all know how Rupe feels about green pinkos (or is that pink greenos?). In any case, it's a hit piece, and it's not the first one the Murdochians have aimed at Google.