Bing – The Socialized and Upgrated Search Engine!
How often do you use Bing.com and do you use it at all? Probably no! Google is the search engine that takes all the glory while Bing is left aside in the corner. In the recent years the word “google” has affected our life so deeply that it has even replaced the verb “search” – if you don’t know something simply google it! The truth is that Google are holding a massive share of the search market while Bing is just Microsoft’s search engine that most of the time takes negative comments and no one really uses. But taking into account the events from the last months – the introduction of the so called new Bing and some of the “improvements” of Google that weren’t liked by the general public – more and more factors are indicating that we might be approaching a turning point in the search industry.
Better Search Results + Great Social Integration = The New Bing.
When using a search engine you normally expect it to provide you with something useful and helpful. Type in your query, hit search and browse all the links, labels, pictures and maps. But how search engines work – they work with keywords, link juice, Alexa Ranking and a bunch of other metrics, metrics that are measurable – they are combination of numbers, symbols, letters and nothing else. I am not saying that search engines provide useless results – on the contrary they have got even smarter after all the Panda and Penguin updates, particularly from Google, all the combinations with Maps and other services. My point here is that 2/3 of the people usually ask some of their friends for advice or recommendation when it comes down to take a decision – from small ones like which train to take from Washington to NYC to big ones like where to organize my wedding. So what is both really valuable and can’t be found in the search engines results – genuine human opinion. Of course forums, chats and review sites are out there to help, but most of them require registrations, additional applications and are time-consuming. What lefts on the horizon are the social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others. OK but using them would lead to opening a new tab in the browser, entering Fb for example, and starting to look for particular people that can help me. Can’t it be easier? Of course it can! The developing team of Bing has come up with the idea to greatly improve the search engine and to make it much more helpful and easy-to-use – they have integrated something like a social searching panel that provides 100% relevant and authentic results. Ladies and gentleman, I am presenting you the New Bing and the so called Social Sidebar. Simple, Smart and Unobtrusive! The sidebar will always be on the right side of the window and will become active only if you want to use it (just click it). How it works? You only have to connect your social profiles with the search engine once and Bing will do the rest. If you need any help for, let’s say, good Chinese restaurant in LA downtown, you can place your query not only in the search bar of Bing but in the social search bar on the right. Your question will be posted directly on Facebook and therefore brought to the attention of all your friends who could give you a real time tips and support. And that is not everything – Bing examines your profile and those of your friends and tells you who might be helpful and who is experienced in the particular field. For example if you look for a Chinese restaurant and some of your friends live in LA downtown, have liked such a restaurant in LA, have posted pictures from Chinese restaurant in LA or even have Checked-in via Foursquare in such a place, it will be taken into account by Bing, and the friends in question will pop-up in the section “Friends Who Might Know”. You know what the good thing is – you can also help people by following the Activity Feed where queries from your friends are being posted.
The New Bing – a Turning Point for Google? Really?!?
Well it would actually be pretty bold to claim that Bing will replace Google from the number one place among the search engines. However there are many factors that would act as a substantial boost for Bing and if not replacing Google, it will at least gain more market share and will become much more used and favored by people. Beginning with the better organized organic search results which in the past were a big problem for Microsoft, going through the Snapshot, feature that enables you to quickly and dynamically preview particular result and even share it and finishing with the upper mentioned Social Sidebar. Actually don’t think that Microsoft are the only one who came up with the brilliant idea to use information and data from the social networks. Google have also made some changes and have lead in social search results but with one main difference – they use data only from their own social network – Google+ which became notorious as really unvisited “place”. In the mean time, as long as Microsoft don’t have their own social network, they use data from the other “guys” in the industry like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and including Google+. 4 against 1 – looks like here Bing has an advantage over Google. Furthermore the gathered data from all these sources is again being examined and if something is found relevant it pops up in the section “People Who Know” of the Social Sidebar. If we return again to the example with the Chinese restaurant in LA, if Bing locates anyone who is not a friend of yours but is constantly tweeting, sharing or blogging for that particular subject, it enables you to contact him/her on the spot or simply check out what he/she has said over the matter. Not to mention that the socialization of Google consisted only of providing results with the avatar of the author on the left (if he/she has a G+ account of course) and nothing more. Social sidebars and helping panels can’t be found yet.
Surely Microsoft are doing a lot with the presentation of the New Bing with its new search results, Snapshot and the Social Sidebar but still a lot has to be done in order to shake the solid foundation under Google. Maybe it is a little early to talk about serious Google vs Bing war, as long as the new Bing is still in test period and furthermore – it is available only in the US. On the other hand factors like the new OS of Microsoft – Windows 8, the new mobile OS – Windows Phone 8 and their new tablet – Microsoft Surface should not be put aside because Bing is the default search engine there. Think about the fact that if the default is good enough, why should you change it at all. Moreover bit players like Apple Inc are continuing their de-googlization with the removal of Google Maps and YouTube App. One the they might change even the search provider (Bing is a prospective).At the same time Google are continuing to disappoint both users and SEO optimizing web developers with its numerous non-stimulating updates. Time for changes might come, but at least after a year or two. No one can be the biggest (Google) forever and you know – the bigger you are, the harder you will fall.