“Who’s playing against OSU this week?”
“I don’t know. I’ll google it.”
Although Google is the only search engine to pop up as a part of speech in Webster’s, the search engine giant has been feeling the heat from competitor, Bing. Our first whiffs of Bing came from word association TV spots that made us laugh but got us thinking: what IS this thing?
So we googled it. And what we found was a slick screen and a search bar, leaving us with a new question: how is this any different from Google?
To start off, Bing’s homepage differs from Google by keeping it interesting with its ever changing photo. However, Google’s plain screen has its advantages. The all-white look is sleeker, making it seem less cluttered. Users feel like they’re starting with a clean slate.
Once a search is conducted, Google brings up a litany of results ranked from most to least relevant. It’s new Google Instant feature attempts to give users that extra push towards more specific searches to make the more relevant searcher even MORE relevant. Bing takes a slightly different approach by categorizing answers into instant answers, deep links, multimedia and other relevant categories. This targets user results and makes them easier to shift through. Google does provide results filter options on its SERP, but the user must filter the results manually.
When it comes to Google vs. Bing, it’s hard to say which is “better”. In the end it depends on what you’re looking for in terms of search.
More than results
If you want to go beyond getting good results, Google has the upper hand on the extra “stuff”. Things like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Talk and Google Reader make it easier for Google to keep users coming back. If you’re chatting with a friend on GChat and need to look up some info before sharing a presentation from your Google Docs, no doubt Google will be on the brain.
Staying on the SERP
Many users find the ability to stay with their SERP important. Bing wins out with these users as it provides ways to preview results without leaving the SERP. There is even an option to share the previewed result via Facebook, Twitter or over e-mail. Bing’s video search plays videos when the cursor crosses over them, allowing users to see what they video is about without having to open a larger video or leave the SERP. Similarly, its image results bring up a results bar on the left side of the screen after a result is chosen. Although Google is comparative in filtering both videos and images, Bing keeps users on the SERP, making them happy.
Quantity of results
Google still outranks Bing in the overall quantity of results pulled. However, this does not mean each result is as relevant as the results Bing provides.
Bing’s travel search options trump Google in a big way. Bing has a separate SERP for travel searching that provides all the info you need to book your flight or hotel. Google trails by only sending the user to a new travel site like Expedia or Travelocity.
Google stays on top when it comes to mobile searching. With mobile search becoming the dominant way of searching, Google wins here. Being the default search engine in the newest smartphones has its benefits.
In terms of location searching, Google and Bing are in a deadlock. Although Google was first to come out with its maps and Street View, Bing came back with comparable maps and the Bird’s Eye View. When it comes down to it, location searching depends on brand loyalty.
So, which is better?
Bing and Google have their wins and losses, but which is better? Again, it does depend on what you want. If you prefer more time on your SERP and targeted results, Bing is your go-to. However, if you’d like to chat, share docs, e-mail and get more results, Google’s got what you need. Essentially, Bing may do search better but Google does it more.
Still can’t decide? Compare for yourself at Google-vs-Bing.com.