It’s search tool open season at the moment! A few weeks ago ‘WolframAlpha’ was launched with a fanfare and the headlines saying it was a ‘Google Killer’ which it obviously was not, and now it’s Microsoft’s turn.
Having pretty much failed to set the world aflame with ‘Live Search’, they hope their next big thing will be ‘Bing’.
On the face of it, Bing has two things that stand out, a silly name and a nice picture on the front page.
You’ve gotta ask yourself, will you ever ‘Bing’ a site and will you feel enticed to search for something based on the fact there’s a lovely image of a landscape (or a tiger, or one of many other images) on the page?
I dunno. I mean, already I’m thinking ‘Bing’ isn’t that bad but I still don’t think I’d ‘bing’ anyone in the same way I’d ‘Google’ them.
But the big thing with this new search is obviously, how does it perform? Well for that we need to do a few searches and compare them to see if they return what we’re after. It’s also good to compare next to the Google itself, if that’s the benchmark these days (which it is) then we should check that out too.
How the search performs
We did a couple of searches and compare them, we started with an obvious one:
Search engine training Birmingham
This is what we get on Google, a respectable third place, although we fluctuate between two and three usually. OK, nothing that exciting, what about Bing then?
That’s interesting – top two results are us. Now I’m obviously going to say that it’s the best search tool to use in this case, I mean, it puts us at the top of the tree – but does that mean it’s better?
Dunno, but hang on – there’s something else. Next to each result there appears to be a little button, what does that do?
If you hover over the little button next to each result, you get a pop up with some extra information in it and a number of links to other parts of the site.
At first glance you wonder if anyone will actually use this, but it does mean that you can check out the content without visiting the site (something that’s quite frustrating if you find the landing page to be not what you’re after).
You can also go directly to other links on the page that may be more up your street. This is actually quite a neat feature, jury’s out on whether many people will use it though.
So is it a ‘Google killer’?
Problem is, it’s a few years too late. Microsoft have paid dearly for their failure to grab hold of the Internet and exploit it when it was young and so they’re now playing catch-up. Google dominates because it’s easy and Bing is easy too, so maybe they will grab more users, but it really comes down to whether they can provide results that people want. So far, it looks like it’s doing a pretty good job but only time will tell.
Far more interesting though is that it doesn’t appear they’re going after Google at all – they’re after Yahoo. They failed to buy them so they’re going to beat them. Low hanging fruit is always an easier option, and I think they’ve got a chance with Bing.