So Microsoft officially changed their Live search to Bing a few days ago. I was never one to use MSN Live to search (ever), but when I put it through the paces, I have to say, it’s not bad at all!
Although the name sounds a little campy to me, what matters is performance. Unlike Cuil which has already been largely disregarded as a lame search engine, Bing looks and behaves amazingly similar to Google, except with a little more bling added (pardon the pun).
Bing has a better image and video search, which kinda reminds me of the old Google Searchmash. If you look in the Extras section on the top right corner of Bing, there are a few extra features that you might not have noticed, which varies depending on where you specify yourself to be from. To change your geo-location, just click on the country at the top right hand and you will be presented with a whole list of countries and language options.
The most number of features is currently limited to US based surfers, in which there is a Cashback savings option, meaning you can earn back money by buying from those participating merchant’s whose advertising fees are “passed back” down to you. I do not know how Microsoft intends to manage this whole cashback thing efficiently to properly credit everyone (should it really get popular), but it looks like there was an old Cashback option at the old Live.com (which obviously never took off).
And then there is a “Webmaster Center” which only seems to apply for US folks as well. I submitted a site of mine to Bing using their “Webmaster Tools” by uploading an XML file given by Bing. Very similar to Google’s Webmaster Tools except much more basic of course. There is also a (basic) Blog option which isn’t available for all countries. But like Yahoo 360° which is closing down shortly, I don’t see this going anywhere.
Notwithstanding all these quibbles, Bing is performing well, and have these in its favor:
- its search results are strikingly similar to Google’s (I wonder why?!)
- auto defaulted to become the default search engine on IE 6 and 7
- curiosity factor
- good video and image search
- the text search look and feel (and sponsored links) are nothing short of a Google clone
- mousing over the results gives additional info about the site or page
- nice wallpaper background which change every day and come with “hidden” Easter eggs
The reactions from Yahoo and the public are expected. I do not think Yahoo is going to be overtly concerned with Bing, because of its strong position in social media. But if China’s ban on Bing is any gauge of its efficiency, I think this “new upstart” should pat itself on the back.
While still very premature to think that Bing will become a strong contender to Google, but judging from its results, it looks like it could become a Google junior. But It’s Not Google, definitely.Share This: