Bing – First thoughts

Now that Bing has mysteriously gone live (the live date was listed as Wednesday here in Aus?) I thought I would post up some initial thoughts, so I had a bit of a play around with it doing some searches for terms I had recently searched in Google.

Fight Club and David Fincher were my first two little tests. These are obviously fairly broad, non specific searches and both Bing and Google delivered near identical results, the only difference being that Bing positions its related searches towards the top left of the page, which some users may find helpful in narrowing down their search results (note that google have related searches they’re just positioned at the bottom of the results page).

Okay, so in general information seeking “pub quiz” style terms its a moot point… lets try some ‘decision’ searches, these are after all what Bing is marketing itself as being the answer too.

Best restaurants in Glebe Here we go, some different results, new kid up first,

Bing: I get 3 paid ads as the first 3 results, followed by broader ratings and review sites such as http://www.bestrestaurants.com.au, http://www.bestvenues.com.au and http://www.menulog.com.au/glebe. To be honest I was expecting more, from the look of the video for Bing I was hoping for the engine to draw some information and aggregate it for me to browse without clicking off the SERP.

Google: Google has no paid ads above results, only to the right. I am presented with a map of Glebe, featuring markers of the restaurants in the area as well as a list of locally listed restaurants. This is followed by two results for http://www.bestrestaurants.com.au and then a slew of other sites similar to the results from Bing.

Now what I have done is far from a detailed testing session, I haven’t the time for that now (perhaps over the weekend), but what I have gained from this little testing session is that although Bing is a dramatic improvement on what live search was, certainly FAR less ugly, it is still a few steps behind Google. Not only does it fail to deliver on its promise as a “decision engine” (which of course is how we fall out of love with brands) it fails to do what MSN need it to do, offer enough value to users to break the Google habit Australia possesses. Lets face it, we no longer search for information, we Google it.

And from the looks of things we’ll never “Bing” them…

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