Why I Don’t Think Microsoft’s New Bing Search Engine is For Me
Ned: Phil? Hey, Phil? Phil! Phil Connors? Phil Connors, I thought that was you!
Phil: Hi, how you doing? Thanks for watching.
[Starts to walk away]
Ned: Hey, hey! Now, don’t you tell me you don’t remember me because I sure as heckfire remember you.
Phil: Not a chance.
Ned: Ned… Ryerson. “Needlenose Ned”? “Ned the Head”? C’mon, buddy. Case Western High. Ned Ryerson: I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show? Bing! Ned Ryerson: got the shingles real bad senior year, almost didn’t graduate? Bing, again. Ned Ryerson: I dated your sister Mary Pat a couple times until you told me not to anymore? Well?
Phil: Ned Ryerson?
For the past two days I’ve been using Microsoft’s new Bing search engine exclusively. I’ve stopped using Google and instead used only Bing. The main reason why I did this was because I’d like to see viable competition to Google in the search engine space — plus I just like to try new things. After using Bing for two days exclusively though, I think I’ll probably be going back to Google. I’m still going to give Bing a couple more days but so far the Cons of using Bing outweigh the Pros.
As it see it, following are the positives and negatives of Bing.
1. The fact that Bing starts playing video thumbnails when you mouse over them in search results is super slick. This really helps in finding the video content that you are most interested in.
2. I really like image search on Bing. More specifically, I think the results are generally good and I *love* that I don’t have to page — that Bing incorporated live.com’s endless scrolling of search results.
1. The biggest negative to me so far is the fact that Bing burries news search off the main page. I do many news queries every single day. Frequently I’ll be searching for something via Google and click on Google news. The fact that Bing makes you click on “more” to get to news search frankly flabbergasts me. This seems so basic that I honestly can’t believe someone at MSFT could not figure this one out. Instead of getting “news” search on the main page you get Shopping, MSN and Windows Live. How is it that MSFT has room for those search items but not “news?”
2. I’m not entirely happy with the search results. A case in point. Earlier today I was trying to find Microsoft’s Bing Blog so that I could leave some of these comments there. So I did a search on Bing for “Bing Blog” Microsoft. What comes up? Lots of less than relevant stuff, but anything but the actual Microsoft Bing Blog. What I was looking for. By contrast, I do a search for “Bing Blog” Microsoft on Google, I actually can find the Bing Blog in the first page search results.
It also feels to me like Google consistently has wikipedia entries higher up the search results list than Bing. I might be wrong on that, it’s just the impression that I got after doing several searches. Frequently wikipedia contains the most relevant info on a search subject and I like seeing them displayed more prominently.
3. The Bing stuff feels sluggish to me. Several times when I tried to load the Bing Blog (and most frustrating after I typed a lengthy comment) the page wouldn’t load. It seems to be hanging on “transferring data from analytics.r.msn.com” and so the community experience has not been good.
4. Microsoft only lets you set your settings preferences to allow 50 results per page during searches (Google by contrast allows you 100 items per search on a page). Paging sucks and the less that I have to do of it the better.
5. Microsoft Maps need a ton of work. I use Google Maps a lot. Mostly to set up maps of things that I want to photograph in various cities. MSFT seems to have a similar way to build your own maps using Bing Maps. They call them collections. I started making a “collection” of neon signs in San Francisco that I still need to shoot, but was really put off that my “collections” list is a huge box that blocks about 40% of my map view (you can’t drag this menu any place but directly over your map). With Google your saved locations sit in a column on the left side of the page and doesn’t block your map view.
Given that I use Map Search so much and that Map Search feels so clunky with MSFT, this is probably one more reason why I’d want to go back to Google.
I’m going to keep trying Bing for the next few days to see if things improve. But most likely I’ll be going back to Google as I doubt that they can improve any of the above negatives very quickly.
Update: It looks like “News” is now on the Bing home page. This definitely was not what I was seeing yesterday on the site. This is good news.