What is this bing? All of a sudden, this ‘bing’ is pops up more frequently. Formerly known as Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search, Bing is the current search engine from Microsoft. Released in 2009, Bing has recently taken a larger presence, directly competing with ubiquitous, all-knowing Google.
One of the most discussed topics in The Search is the idea of the “Database of Intentions.” Sounds tricky. Really, it’s quite simple: Google has aggregated the results of EVERY search, EVER entered. All results from searches, and every option taken as a route from the query.
Let’s think about that for a second. In one day, let’s say a Thursday, how many times do you open google? Scratch that, let’s just do before lunch. Maybe 5-10 times, dependent on conferences calls and meeting schedules? Maybe you’re trying to find out the coolest happy hour spot, or figure out what’s going on this weekend, what cheap flights can get you out of here, or what movies make you want to stay in?
And that’s just you- one person, in one cube, in one office on a Thursday morning.
Imagine the archives of information, the aggregated data that can allow to be amassed. And Google’s not the only one doing it- Yahoo, AOL (or Aol, I guess) and MSN hold this massive about of data. This is a new form of history. Think about our kids and our kids’ kids looking through the Database of Intentions for information about our culture and patterns, instead of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Anthropology section.
So, which is better? Google or Bing? There’s a site where you can test your searches against each other, and see for yourself: www.bing-vs-google.com. I’ll let you make your own decisions, but I have to say: in my 10 test searches, I didn’t see too much of a difference in results, only layout. Bing prefers to give you a map result in many situations, but both engines provide images and how many results came up. Bing offers you a side tool bar with related searches that might peak your interest.
From a brand perspective, it’s arguable that at the rate Google gains speed, Bing will never catch up. Google’s massive amount of applications- who can live without google maps anymore? Has numerous applications, downloads and intel. Google is also the largest advertising agency in the world. It’s not my prediction that Bing, similar with Yahoo, for example, will continue to hold it’s own.
But, I do think as far as search engines go, the number 1 spot has been solidified. Google’s only competition: Google.