Recently, Microsoft decided that it needed to release a new search engine. The name of that search engine is called Bing. Of course, when people think search, they usually think Google. Bing may be tempting to take a look at for people who commonly search the web.
What’s the difference between Bing and Google? Does one offer anything different than the other?
I decided to run a few test searches just to see what types of information I was able to find. I ran the same types of searches on both search engines and here’s what I found.
Travel – the Black Hills
The first test search is related to travel. Let’s say I want to go the Black Hills.
I’ll start my research by going to the Google home page and searching for “Black Hills”. Google’s home page is familiar and loads quickly as usual.
I type in my search for “Black Hills” on Google and get a very relevant result immediately at the top of the page for a site that contains anything I’d need to know about the Black Hills and vacationing in South Dakota. In addition to this first relevant search listing, there is a section of links for “hotels” , “cabins”, “things to do”, “maps” and so on – Google is giving me links that go to specific sections in this first, most relevant site in it’s listings. Pretty slick.
Other than that, the results are pretty much what I’d expect. The second result is a Black Hills page on Wikipedia. Googles paid advertisers are also listed on the right as usual.
One thing I really like about Google is the little “More options” link that let’s me drill down the results by recent time windows or types of web site.
After searching Google for “Black Hills” I went over to Bing. Bing’s home page takes a little longer to load and loads a high resolution photo in the background of it’s search box and other links. It looks pretty.
The first thing I notice about Bing is that it’s throwing more at me on the home page. There is an “Explore” section with links for “images”, “video”, “shopping”, “travel”, “shopping” and “news”. These are the topics that I’ve people say Bing is concentrating on. Fair enough. I don’t want to expore the site yet though, I just want to do a search.
I punched in “Black Hills” on the search box and got a page of results. Low and behold – the first result listing was the same site that Google had in the #1 slot. The mix of pages in the following results were pretty similar to Google, but just ordered differently with a few different obscure sites mixed in. All the sites that I would consider relevant to what I was looking for were listed in both Google and Bing. Not a whole lot of difference there.
The big thing that jumped out at me with my first search on Bing was that I didn’t get any ads on the sidebar. It looks like there’s space for it, but I’m thinking that maybe Bing is new enough that any people running ads for Black Hills related stuff haven’t set up campaigns on Bing yet.
Another thing I noticed right away on the results page for my search on Bing was the Search History. Bing is keeping track of my search history and showing it to me in the sidebar. I can clear it at any time I want, there’s a link underneath the history list to do so.
On the Bing search results, when I mouse over a result, a window pops out to the right that pulls in some data from the site that’s hiding behind the link. This little window usually gives me a recap of some the site content and contact information from the website. There are also links to sub-pages on the site, so I can jump straight to sections with certain topics on the site that showed up in the search results.
Bing also has a related searches section on the right sidebar. When I searched for Black Hills, it showed me related search links for “black hills jewelry”, “black hills vacation” and so on.
What are my thoughts so far? Bing has more bells and whistles at this point, but it’s a got a little more overhead to it.
Next Up – Sports
Ok, so now I’ve found all kinds of info on both search engines regarding the Black Hills. Now I want to check up on the Minnesota Twins. Let’s see what happens when I search for the Twins on both search engines.
The first result contains data regarding the Twins record and latest games. Good stuff. The second listing is their official site. That’s good.
The rest of the listing seem quite relevant to my interest in the Twins. As usual I can drill down by date or by type of site using Googles options to find specifically what I’m looking for. I really like Google’s date range options for sports searches, since most of the time I’m looking for stuff that just happened within the last day or two.
The first result is showing me the results of the last two games and also the times of the upcoming 4 games. This is more data than Google provided in a similar type of first result section.
Bing also broke out it’s first page of results into different related keyword topics. The first section of results was for “minnesota twins”, the next section of results was for “minnesota twins schedule” and so on.
What is my conclusion? After using both search engines to run a few searches I found that they both seem to have pretty similar search results, at least for the topics I searched for. Both nailed the top search result for each of my searches, so I know that the top listing on those searches is probably the most relevant site out there.
The main difference to me is in how you can browse those results and dig deeper after your initial search. Both Google and Bing allow you options to further streamline your results but they do it in a different way.
I would suggest to anybody who is curious about Bing that they just go out and try it. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the features. However, I just don’t see how the search results are any more relevant that what I was searching for on Google, which is a big component of the ad campaigns out there for Bing.