So Bing, the “new” search engine from Microsoft is out, ahead of it’s planned date to a much surprised techie press.
Microsoft’s previous search engine incarnations have been given a hard time (rightly!) over the last few years. This was mainly due to the lack of relevance of the results compared to the king of search engines, Google. The computer giant hopes that this latest version will help it gain a bigger share of the search market – with Google currently taking 64%, Yahoo! 20% and Microsoft currently only a paltry 8.2%.
Is Bing any different?
Well they’ve certainly spent a lot of time and money in the background so something must be! From initial testing it would appear to be much improved with a nice clean interface (no doubt taking a leaf from it’s competitors book). I particularly like the video preview option after you search for video clips – the best match videos (which are not always relevant to be fair) are shown at the top and simply hovering your mouse pointer over them plays them instantly. A great feature that saves you having to click through to each site.
The actual search results with Bing are a little irratic – sometimes the relevance seems very good and on occasions better than Google but on many others it’s pretty poor.
For example, a search on Google for ‘IT Support Liverpool’ where, and I’m trying to be realistic and modest here, The PC Support Group has a major presence offering this precise service, produces a result with our web site ranked number 2 alongside some of our known and respected competitors, whereas on Bing we come a lowly 17th with companies offering such services in London coming higher up. Does this make sense? No!
Will Bing make in-roads into Google’s share of the search engine market? I have no doubt it will but ultimately the most popular search engine will be the one that produces the most relevant results for a particular search and at the moment that still appears to be Google.