Bing may actually be a better search engine for you than Google. I know it sounds crazy because Google is both a noun and a verb when it comes to Internet search. No search engine in the world has even come close to taking on Google’s massive market share since it overtook Yahoo what feels like a lifetime ago. But, could we be sticking with Google due to a false assumption that it’s actually the best search engine? Could Bing actually serve our search needs more accurately than Google?
These were the questions I asked myself when I dropped Google as my primary search engine a month ago and used Bing exclusively for a period of three weeks. Only Google’s non search-specific services such as Google Docs and Google+ remained a part of my daily routine during this time. Bing, which is owned and operated by Microsoft, was my home page and default search engine for everything I wanted to do online. The results of this experiment were quite surprising.
I tend to browse the news section of whatever search engine I happen to be using. This gives me a quick look at what’s currently going on in the world in one central location free of lean or bias (at least I’d hope so). I found Bing News to be surprisingly elegant. It looks a lot like Google News, except the slight advantage of being able to access local news from the front page by mousing over the News link was quite nice.
Google News is customizable (as is Bing to a degree) and can be catered to my particular needs. While I find each service to be equally targeted to my personal tastes, I found Bing to be a touch easier to use.
I went into the experiment thinking that I would eventually miss the wide variety of search results offered by Google. After all, what search engine has more information on its users and offers as many services as Google? Fact is, that’s actually kind of creepy. Google know what I search for, what I do throughout the day, where I go by way of my Galaxy Nexus, and what I talk about with my friends via Gmail, Google voice, and Google+. The idea of taking one of those tools away from Google and reclaiming it for myself (search) was extremely appealing.
After a couple weeks of using Bing, I didn’t miss Google Search at all. The results I get from Bing are just as relevant as the ones I was getting from Google, and I found the format of the results page to be slightly more pleasant to work with.
Both Google and Bing have social integration tied into search. Google displays results based on what people in your Google+ circles have decided to +1. Bing does roughly the same thing with Facebook Likes (Microsoft owns part of Facebook). It came down to how much I wanted Google+ to become part of my search versus how much I wanted Facebook to do the same. I could go into incognito mode with either and enjoy a clean experience, though normal users don’t do that.
When it came down to it, I enjoy Google+ more than Facebook. Because of this, I find my results targeted by way of people I circle to be a little more accurate. This could vary for anyone, and it just happened to be how it worked out for me.
Take the Blind Comparison Test for Yourself
If you’d like to see which search engine works better for you, why not take the “Bing It On” comparison test? It’s hosted by Bing, though after some tests myself I can say that Google does indeed get a fair shake. Google and Bing have both scored victories in my blind tests at about a 50/50 ratio.
Which search engine did you prefer?