Bing The Playaaaaa

Is Bing finally starting to be a player in the search.

I’ve just logged in to my account after ages as I had written it off, but the interface is a lot better now, with some great beta tools and I hear they have increased their market share whereas googles have gone down.

It does seem a little slow in crawling things, I have to say, maybe that’s just me and I’ve not optimized for it.

Could the be one to watch.

Paul Graham put it best in his Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas article.

The point when it became clear to me that Microsoft had lost their way was when they decided to get into the search business. That was not a natural move for Microsoft. They did it because they were afraid of Google, and Google was in the search business. But this meant (a) Google was now setting Microsoft’s agenda, and (b) Microsoft’s agenda consisted of stuff they weren’t good at.

Microsoft : Google :: Google : Facebook.

That does not by itself mean there’s room for a new search engine, but lately when using Google search I’ve found myself nostalgic for the old days, when Google was true to its own slightly aspy self. Google used to give me a page of the right answers, fast, with no clutter. Now the results seem inspired by the Scientologist principle that what’s true is what’s true for you. And the pages don’t have the clean, sparse feel they used to. Google search results used to look like the output of a Unix utility. Now if I accidentally put the cursor in the wrong place, anything might happen.

The way to win here is to build the search engine all the hackers use. A search engine whose users consisted of the top 10,000 hackers and no one else would be in a very powerful position despite its small size, just as Google was when it was that search engine. And for the first time in over a decade the idea of switching seems thinkable to me.

Bing will improve over time, and maybe at some point they’ll come close to rivaling the quality in search results that we can see from Google. Google have done well to fight off SEO spam, but I think people overall are happy with the quality of Google’s search results. As Paul Graham suggests, search could be “won” by someone that can increase quality as well as keep it simple, in the same way that Google did from the beginning.

Bing won’t do this, and as such will never dominate. Even if the quality of searches were the same people would probably still choose Google. The closest to doing this is DuckDuckGo.

[FONT=verdana]I have to agree with Paul Graham’s point:

Google used to give me a page of the right answers, fast, with no clutter. Now the results seem inspired by the Scientologist principle that what’s true is what’s true for you.

Like Graham, I wish for the old days, when a Google search would simply deliver the pages that contained the words or phrases I searched for, and which had a reasonable number of inward links. I don’t want it to second-guess me on what it thinks I want, nor do I want to act as a judge on the perceived quality of the web.

Regarding market share, Darius, you’re right that Bing is going up and Google is going down. But that in itself doesn’t mean that Bing “Could the be one to watch”. It simply means that Google’s market share was so big it was unlikely to get any bigger, and Bing’s was so low that it was almost certain to go up.

An interesting discussion.



Having recently got a Windows Mobile, I’m using Bing when on my phone because it’s the default search and there’s no option to change it … and Google is a PITA to use, because if I go to it takes me to the mobile site and then gives me Google’s horrible supposedly mobile-friendly version if the site rather than the site itself, and again I can’t find a way to change that without bookmarking the very heavy full site.

So, what do I think? My experience so far has been poor. The ‘local’ search gave incorrect URLs for the two restaurants I searched for (one dead site and one parked domain) whereas Google gave the right answers for both. Other searches have not always given the most helpful results at or near the top, whereas again Google gave me the best site in the top two or three each time.

bing is my default search engine in internet explorer – i just type my search terms into the address bar and bing results come up

look, i been searching since the days of altavista, lycos, northern light, inktomi, hotbot, et al

bing’s results are fine for today

occasionally i will go to or (as craig ferguson and geoff peterson say, “here come da playas” :smiley: :D), but really, bing results usually get me what i’m searching for

WOW. You just made me feel old; reminiscing about the days when “AltaVista” was The King of Search.

To add to this discussion, I wanted to point out this very clever video. Although I doubt “bing” will be added to the [American] dictionary.

I’m still surprised to be getting traffic from Bing on certain keywords for my websites.
Not as many as Google but it slowly trickles in from Bing

I think there is always room for the next big thing. Yahoo was big years ago and like the old timers so was altavista, that was the first search I used.

I think it’s changing your attitude towards it. The non techinical people will probably stick with Google, it’s ingrained into your mind until something else comes along that everyone else is following. I’ve tried switching to Bing and DuckDuck after all the bad press of google and their invasion into peoples privacy but I end up going back to Google. It’s familiar and personally it does have better results.

Like any competitor I think it’s always one to watch. I was mainly posting in terms of the tools they now have, it’s starting to catch up in that respect with googles webmaster tools as when it first launched it was KAK…

I think it’s one to keep an eye on as maybe one day, who knows, the 1st page results in Google are not what SEO people are aiming for and you have to start all over again for Bing.

I’ll have to have a play with Bing again to see it’s results.

[FONT=verdana]Darius, it’s interesting that you think Google still gives better results. I know everyone will have a different experience, but personally I’ve been finding Google’s results are less and less relevant for my particular searches. Like most people, I use it mainly out of inertia.

If you do have time to experiment further with Bing, please post your further findings here.

By the way, one other search engine to consider is Yandex. Someone here in Sitepoint recommended it a few weeks ago. I’m going to get round to trying it out when I get a moment.