Give Bing A Chance
I'm not optimistic that Microsoft's new Bing search service will be able to displace Google as the king of search, but I am going to give it a chance. I think the biggest challenge is not convincing users that it is better (or even as good). I think the biggest problem is erasing our collective muscle memory that causes us to go to google whenever we want to search for something on the Internet.
So I've taken the step this morning of installing the "official" Bing firefox add-on which puts Bing into the search box at the upper left of Firefox. And I've also moved it up to the top of the list of search engines I use in Firefox. I will use Bing as my default search engine for the next week and see how it goes.
I'll report back next weekend on how this experiment works out. And I encourage all of you to do the same thing and let us know how Bing is working for you too.
I’ve been trying it since it came out.I forget I’m using it. I think I’m using Google. Is that what Microsoft aims to do? There was a great quote from Asus saying they intended on “Out-Apple Apple in the MP3 Player Market”Is Microsoft trying to out-Google Google? Thats what a multi billion dollar company *strives* for?Peter – @plc
I don’t understand your sentiment here, Fred. Shouldn’t the onus of excitement and possibility and desire be on Bing itself to *make me* want to use them? “Give Bing a chance” makes me think of the kid always picked last for the team in gym class. I agree that habits (Google) are hard to break, but shouldn’t that be Microsoft’s problem?
I really don’t think breaking the habit of Google is the hardship. I think making it worthwhile for users to switch is the hardship.I remember switching from YHOO to GOOG and breaking that habit – because I got more value from GOOG.
i like to try every new web service out there and bing is no different.
Then after Bing, try Duck Duck Go 🙂
I think the idea is to break from the mind-set, however briefly, of slavishly worshiping at the altar of Google. It’s the consumer’s problem to do what’s best for him / her, and most of us reflexively assume that because Google’s been the best search out there, it will always be the best search out there.
OK, then here goes nothing. A week w/ out Google, should be a cakewalk…
I changed my homepage from Google to Bing a week or two ago. When I hit ‘home’ or when my browser starts I actually don’t mind the Bing experience [esp. the integrated vertical search experiences with travel, video, etc]Muscle memory has been the big hurdle to overcome to truly immerse myself in Bing searches. I’ve probably done 3/4 of my searches on Google by unconsciously navigating there when I wanted to find something.
http://www.readwriteweb.com…I use Opera and Chrome, and there’s still no easy solution for changing it in Opera… but I have gravitated to Chrome for search since making the switch.
I have been using Bing lately found it an excellent addition to my social media tools-it stands on it’s own I use Google Topsy Mahalo Lijit and add items with my Glue Toolbar -and to Likaholix To add to My Glue Toolbar and Likaholix all the search apps work for me ! I post with Posterous and My Google Toolbar and have a Twitter account – Don’t worry about Bing, Steve Ballmer is no fool plus he Graduated from the Same High School I did-but I graduated in 1954 from Detroit Country Day-At 73 years old I know in any Venture you really can’t evaluate it till it has a long run-I have a problem on the net with Geeks who waste time Knocking Apple Google and Microsoft while they make billions -there is room for everyone-Nice Post Mr Wilson
I think the notion that you have to try something out (especially in technology) to determine if it is good seems to be a stretch. I’ll second the comment that when I started using google it had nothing to do with trying it out, it had to do with the fact that it was significantly better than yahoo search.I think that’s the case for any piece of technology, especially technology seeking to overtake an existing star such as google.
I’ll trust you guys to give me an excellent bing review. Google’s doing fine with search for me. I tried bing a few times and didn’t see a good enough reason for swapping my default
I hope Bing gets some marketshare just for the sake of giving Google some competition. It’ll force both of them to create a better product. Google has made minimal UI changes to their product in 5+ years.
I’ve been forcing myself to use Bing for the past week. It’s like starting a new exercise regime – the muscles complain at first, but deep in your mind you know it’s the right thing to do (try it that is).I’m not there yet – I still check back with Google for certain things. I think I’m just used to it, but I can already feel that urge waning. Before long I suspect I won’t have to make the logical case for why Bing is a better search engine, and it will become intuitive, but until then it still feels a little uncomfortable…The killer feature for me is the infinite horizon in the image search – I search for images a lot, and my mouse scroll-wheel was no use on google.
One day into my ‘give bing a chance’ experiment, I agree with you about the images. Really well done
I’ve already done this like many others, it works great was actually quite pleasantly surprised.
I haven’t been too impressed yet. When I do a search for myself on Bing, the first thing that pops up is someone elses Windows Live profile, that doesn’t happen on Google or any other search engine. That makes me wonder if Microsoft is giving preference to their own tools.
Google plays a similar game with youtube and maps/localBut I agree with you that the best search engine is neutral (and returns you first!)
I agree with you 100%. For too long, too many incomes have hinged on where they are found on Google. Google rules the Internet search and your online businesses depend on where Google places you “today”. They need competition AND the public needs a more fair chance for their online businesses to be found without having to depend on ONE search giant.Yes to BING! Thank you for promoting this!
I’ve primarily used Live Search, now Bing, for about two years. I can rarely find something with Google that I can’t find with Bing, and that’s been true for over a year.There is more than ‘muscle memory’ to overcome. There’s the Google default in every browser that’s not IE, that’s sometimes difficult to change; the Google toolbar which everyone seems to have installed, though most I’ve asked don’t know when or why it appeared; the branding power, as results from Bing on Google’s results page viewed as ‘better’ than on Bing results page; and the negative bias towards all things Microsoft in small segments of the population. That’s a lot of work to get done.
Agreed. That’s why I downloaded the bing add on for FF search
I made the change to Bing the day it came out and for about 80% of the queries I am satisfied with the results and the experience. I still find myself using Google for the remaining 20% which is fine.Whether you are an advertiser who concentrate most of your search marketing spend on one engine or you are a publisher who relies on Google to monetize, I think that the tech/internet community should support Microsoft in the effort to bring an alternative to the market.
I think Fred’s exactly right that Google’s brand stickiness is made up of things like:– Engrained habits– Tool familiarity– Plug-in penetration– and so on.I get into why Google’s real edge is not the algorithm itself, but these type of brand attributes and other economic advantages on my blog: http://bit.ly/dQoL3
I think you are absolutely correct concerning habits and how important they are when it comes to internet adoption. This just goes to show you that no matter how “new” of a platform the internet really is (relative to other communication channels), that it’s still age-old human nature that will dominate how new products are accepted.The internet does introduce a new level of openness and reduced barriers to entry – but the real tough barriers will always have to do with the basics of human beings, i.e. inertia, complacency, laziness, etc.
Is there really something new with Bing? I monitor stats for our website indexing and the results from live have just been replaced by bing.com. Also the traffic we were getting from maps.live.com is now coming from bing.com (/maps). So why would I try Bing, if I had no intention of trying live before?I’ll wait for your report instead.
Google is standing alone on top of search business and only Microsoft can afford to fight Google with its own weapon. It has resources, money and time to waste. They entered market aggressively advertising both on web and traditional media.So, after launch and initial peak in trends, recently interest in this search engine stalled ( http://bit.ly/En2xA ). It might not be proper source graph, at least it can tell a lot about initial buzz launch created.Also, this graph tells me that bing has not brought us any true value. But, anyone worked with web data knows how fuzzy they. Categorizing, mapping, relations and properties of entities, tweaking and tuning of rang algorithms … it just goes on … And bing needs us to become better and thats why they wanted Yahoo! deal so much.This is point where I come to beginning of comment : they have money , time to fight G with its own weapon, but launch of bing is not sensationalbtw this strategy is sooo Gizmo style
Bing has a great buy (at least for me) as the top ad at Drudge. Great way to get huge # of pageviews and to get in front of internet users in a way that most of their ads won’t – it can atually drag you into trying it.They will get their chance, we’ll see if it’s really as improved as they claimed.
I tried this for three days after I came back from vacation last week (Bing launched while I was on vacation). I found the overall experience sub-par. My measure is (a) did I find the result I wanted on the first page and (b) if yes, then how high on the page was it. If I didn’t find the result on the first page, I did the same search on Google.I had success with Bing < 50% of the time and often the result was near the bottom of the page. When I tried a search on Google, I generally found what I wanted in the top three search results.I’m back to Google.
Brad, the weird one I’ve found is “777film” (talk about muscle memory) in Bing, the moviefone site is listed 4th. Apart from that for branded search, I think both sites are about the same. But I really like Bing for images which I use all the time, and the other big factor is splogs, Bing seems to have lots less SEO/SEM crap.My question to you is: even if they are close, doesn’t it behoove you to throw Bing your traffic, urge others to as well, just to force GOOG to improve itself?
It seems like Google is doing a much better job with blog posts / articles. That’s a lot of what I’m searching for. I agree that the “find a company stuff” is pretty similar.I don’t think my traffic being sent to Bing will have any impact on Google.
Google has always understood people generated media should be first. Microsoft still doesn’t get that
Yup – it’s pretty obvious when you start using Bing. That said, Google Blog Search has been “mediocre” to “broken” for a while now, which I’ve never understood.
The search function of BuzzLogic is so much better, I’ve never understood why GOOG hasn’t copied it. $1K a month proves the value is there.
So far its Bing’s handling of images that has impressed me the most
My gut is I will get a similar experience brad. How much of this is how google has trained us to write queries?
QUOTE”I think the biggest challenge is not convincing users that it is better (or even as good). I think the biggest problem is erasing our collective muscle memory that causes us to go to google whenever we want to search for something on the Internet.”UNQUOTEInteresting. It’s intriguing how we become attached to particular ways of doing things.For example, I’m a huge fan of Diigo.com. With the Diigo toolbar installed, I can highlight a word or phrase in any webpage and then choose from various options/ next actions. One of them includes “Search Web” with further options that refine which search engine I want. The default, though, is search results from Diigo and then Google. I didn’t even notice at first that Diigo was on top (so to speak).I’m so married to Diigo and all its functionality now that my “muscle memory” is firmly attached to the menu it serves up. It’s not fully available in Chrome yet, and every time I use that browser, I feel like I lost a limb or something. Then I get a ghost pain in that muscle… 😉
I can’t use chrome because I’m similarly addicted to all my FF extenstions
I was just about ready to switch over to Chrome from FF, even foregoing my delicious plug in but then I discovered feedly on FF (I love it) – I’m not going anywhere until Chrome gets feedly.
I’ve been using it since it came out and now its just a part of my online routine (like google was). However, the one area I go back to google for is maps, not sure if it is because I am in Shanghai but Bing defaults to Multimap.com which politely informs me it has no listings for Shanghai, China!
With our firefox add-on, called “wunbar” you can search either google or bing (or many others) from the same firefox search bar using keyboard shortcuts, without having to switch back and forth. You can also do this directly at wunbar.com. “g: plasma tv” searches google, while “b: plasma tv” searches bing.No prefix defaults to google, so I typically search that, however when I’m not happy with the results, I just throw a “b:” in front of my search string to see if bing is better!
I did the same thing a few weeks ago when Bing launched, and before that a few months ago to try out Yahoo. I’m not anti-Google, but I wasn’t impressed by a few of their decisions, and I think competition is needed in search.I hate to say the following because I like Yahoo as a company. But when I replaced Google with Yahoo, I found myself not finding stuff that I knew I should have been able to find. I kept going to Google manually and finding what I needed.Different story with Bing. I’m finding what I need on there, and the results are often better than Google. I haven’t gone to double check a search on Google, not even once.Yahoo should do that deal with Bing and quickly. I sense a real competitor.
I agree. Yahoo should make bing their search engine. Not sure they should walk away from their search monetization platform though.
The rumor I heard was that it might be MSFT sales force, Yahoo monetization platform and Bing search engine.
That makes sense to me. But I don’t know why they wouldn’t leverage both sales forces and many others too
On Safari it’s unfortunately (and inexplicably) not even possible to change the search provider from Google.But I’ve been using Bing through Firefox and, dare I say it, it’s pretty good! It’s almost there on general search. And it exceeds in some areas such as images and videos.
That’s exactly my take one day into my experiment
What’s inexplicable about Apple building closed platforms? ;)Agree with your take.
recently finished the same week-long test.puzzled by how that product even grabbed headlines.if you’re out to market a pig, at least don’t forget the lipstick.
Okay just tried it, couldn’t see a compelling reason (from a user perspective) to switch even for an hour, let alone a week. Now if Microsoft bought Twitter and incorporated Twitter search into Bing, instant switch over from me….
Hey Fred looks like Microsoft are serious about buying Twitter then! … there seems to be a big enough budget http://www.businessinsider….
search already has a dominant incumbent in google, so i doubt another search engine that simply makes an incremental innovation rather than a disruptive one is going to be able to take the throne from google. i don’t see any of the big infrastructure players — MSFT, AMZN, YHOO, EBAY, crapple, etc — being able to dethrone google; this is a startup’s job, specifically a startup that has a radically different cost structure and profit model than google.
MS doesn’t have to beat Google to win. I see a three-part strategy which will probably be successful in the end.1) Commodify search. Convince people that the top search engines are roughly the same. Since this is in fact true, the meme will gradually spread.2) Stackify search. MS and Yahoo have much better search APIs than google, and they treat their developers better. As search gradually moves under the hood, you won’t care which engine you’re using. Hundreds of thousands of specialty developers can do a better job for their core users than a single monolithic search.3) Distribute the revenues. MS doesn’t need all the search revenue. They just need to spread it around, so that there’s not a monolith like Google to challenge their core business. Content producers in fact deserve a much bigger percentage of the pie than they currently get.I would say that stages 1 and 2 have seen a decent launch this year. Once stage 3 starts, the majority of web players will start seeing Google as the enemy, and MS as an ally helping them build their business.This is the way MS wins, when it wins.
That’s the playbook for sure. I love the word stackify. Look for it to show up in a blog post shortly!
After reading your post I said “ok, let’s give it a chance”… unfortunately one hour is more than enough to understand that Bing is a very poor product at this stage… sorry but I’ll end up back on Google…
Hey at least you gave it a shot
Good advice. I have been using Bing over the past week and am surprised to be really liking it.
2 searches was enough. Bing is not as good as Google.
I did the same thing last week… Google has become the global search engine utility, the reliable tool we instinctively turn to for any search query…. I’m curious to see what Bing has to offer. I also like the fresh picture that’s updated daily on the homepage… So far one thing I’ve noted is that Google’s results for daily news items are better.
Google is more supportive of user gen and real time content for sure
Quality of service will be a factor. I will give Bing a chance because the Gates Foundation is doing good work and in times like these it’s important to this consumer that corporations have a social giveback component. Despite the general awesomeness of their products, I’m not sure the Harrier Jet the google boys purchased qualifies as socially conscious.http://bits.blogs.nytimes.c…It’s always interesting to watch a company loose it’s bearings.So Bing gets a Firefox install.
I did the exact same thing when it launched and i have to say that i’m fine with it. While it’s better at some things (image search), it’s also worse at others.All in all i think it’s just as good and i’m keeping it as my default search for now just to keep things different.
Hey Fred,Have fun with your experiment. My friend and I tried the same thing and didn’t last a week. We went back to Google for a couple of reasons.First, the search results in Bing weren’t as good. We kept a log of where Bing failed:1) [python haskey] didn’t return meaningful results; Google recognized that the search was for the “has_key” method2) [True Blood ep guides] and [true blood site:epguides.com] didn’t work3) [python ln] didn’t work; Google realized the search was for the natural logarithm function4) [McAllen Texas] did not include a map with Bing; Google did5) Ditto for [fedex 20th st nyc]None of these are major failures, but Google just consistently works better.Second, the UI is a little funky in Bing: the left nav keeps changing depending upon what your search is. Sometimes it’s related content, sometimes a special-purpose app, sometimes your search history. When it changes so often, it becomes meaningless to the user: you have to re-learn what’s there with each search.I think MSFT’s in for trouble with Bing: they’ve built an incrementally better product as a means of attacking the most innovative large company of recent memory. I’ll bet that they’re back to 5-6% market share by end of year.
Great comment. Love the examples!!!
You (and a few other bloggers) convinced me to give it a try.Here’s a side by side comparison of Google and Bing on a simple product search on the Palm Pre.http://img.ly/XOLet's say it’s rather illuminating!
That’s illuminating but keep in mind it is not core search but Shopping search which typically relies heavily on feeds. I’m a bit surprised Microsoft didn’t have that in place for launch.
Since we’re talking about Microsoft strategy here, I couldn’t agree more with an earlier post. Microsoft wants to cut into Google’s revenues, force them to defend their near monopoly of search.The biggest mistake for Google right now would be to play defense. Google should develop an Operating System. One that would take Windows head on. I was thinking about this recently b/c I have an XP x32 system, and I’m getting annoyed by the RAM limitations (can only address 4GB) and I want to upgrade… but to what?XP x64 was abandoned by Microsoft, no longer receives driver updates by anyone. I’m told that Vista x64 kind of sucks (as patched as it is). After a 3 year stint with Vista, Microsoft is abandoning it for Windows 7. In a few years, it too will have driver problems (with sound cards, printers, etc.).If Windows 7 is anything like previous first releases of windows, it will also probably suck for another couple years.Imagine now you are some business built on an XP x32 platform with god knows how many computers…. What are your options as for upgrading past a 32 bit system? You have an array of bad options.A Google Operating System would be way more devastating of a blow to Microsoft than Bing could ever be to Google search. I’d rather that Microsoft work on improving Windows, and I’d certainly give a Google Operating System a shot.
Isn’t chrome goog’s os?
I think it’s actually Android, and Chrome is the app engine.Windows 7 actually rocks. I’ve been running it for several months now. Light years ahead of Vista or XP. Lots of cool useful stuff. Frankly, it leapfrogged the Mac in some areas and Apple is now playing catchup.That being said, web apps are quickly commoditizing the OS. But I predict it will be years before a Google OS could be really viable.Here’s an example: there’s a CS department at a company I work with. Ten reps, all running Windows XP systems. No complicated apps like Photoshop where you really need native code running. It would save the company a lot of time and hassle to simplify and go to Android.But even then, there are some major issues. All these reps use Yahoo Messenger to communicate. Can’t get that on Android yet. There’s a web version, but it’s not as good and needs Flash. Last I checked, Android can’t run Flash.They also run proprietary Avaya VOIP software that manages the call distribution so they can see their queues and calls holding. Perhaps the company has a web version, but they might not.So suffice it to say, it’s great to talk about a new OS, but there are a lot of protocols and platforms a new OS needs to support, and even then, there will be cases where you can’t get away from Windows or at least virtual machine/emulation.
You are definitely right when you say that developing a new OS is no small undertaking. But remember that Google is google. They definitely have the capability. All they need is the vision.I think they probably don’t want to be overly distracted from their core mission, which is to organize information, but even if they developed something light and powerful for a niche market, that would be pretty awesome.An OS geared towards engineers, scientists, and graphic designers would be pretty awesome.I would just like to see a serious competitor for windows emerge.Btw, Windows 7 really is that good? No crashes, driver problems, compatibility issues?
Google has an OS in Android, and a web apps engine in Chrome, so without a doubt they have the capability. The question is…can put they put all of the other pieces and platforms together to make it switchable for the average person?They need a simple, easy-to-run virtual machine running Windows. As simple as, I put in my Windows XP key and the Windows app opens inside of an Android window, and I don’t even realize it’s a Windows app any more.If that happens — and the Google Docs stuff gets way better — they have a shot. But right now, the desktop is not the phone. A lack of apps is not going to stop the Pre from a strong launch. A lack of apps will definitely stop an OS.Why isn’t the Mac a serious competitor to Windows? I have to be honest and say that they’ve almost got me. Now that Snow Leopard supports Exchange Server, that may be one of the last remaining obstacles. I’m waiting for it to come out and then I’ll visit the Apple Store and play with it for a while.Yep, Windows 7 is rocking. Been on it for about 6 weeks now. Very stable, beautiful interface, boots faster than my BlackBerry, no kidding. Vista should have been called Windows 7 Beta, but it doesn’t deserve the “7” name. 🙂
The two questions I have:A) Will it support CS4 and 64 bit versions of Maya and other stuff out of Autodesk-land?b) if yes, The arts industry moved to Final Cut Pro( Especially after Apply took Avid’s designer). Apple, rumor has it, is about to release a lightweight version (if they haven’t already) for newsroom use. Is it worth it to try and illegally do a dual boot?I need to invest in a computer for my BA. Best setup? I’m tired of crashing…
I’ve basically moved off the OS and now use firefox almost exclusively as the only open desktop app
Sharp perspective Aaron. Will give win7 a try now. Each replacement of windows systems dictates a complex trail of software that will need to be recreated in a web environment. Reliable VM/emulation will definitely speed up any change acceptance. The cost analysis will dictate the move away from windows, including all the time and software replacement needs.New businesses will have a better chance of starting out without windows reliance, and finding solutions outside of windows from the get go.
Android is a good start. I like that Google is battling Microsoft in the cellphone market.
If Google can successfully develop a 64 bit OS that runs seamlessly with 32 bit drivers, they have a killer app for a lot of niche fields. Or Apple, just anyone who can support graphics.Apple has a great OS, but it is not 64 bits. At the end of the day, any professional field that relies on image rendering (and there are more popping up every day) will need a machine with an OS that is 64 bits to use up a hell of lot of memory.Only from experience. I crash Illustrator CS3 regularly on fairly currents DualCore Apples with excessive memory, due to importing huge text files. And my problems are not atypical.I have a friend having the same problems with Older versions of Maya. High rendering quality is out of the question- it crashes.Such a waste of time too.
and how many billions has mr balmer poured down the Bing drain? here’s to looking out for your shareholders, steve.
What I am thinking so far from a cursory lookIt has a beautiful CSS. May more people give up the bubble look and copy Bing. (God do I hate that bubble look).I’m unsure of the past history feature. One one hand- great to know what my random mind is thinking. On the other hand, I am not sure I would want that sort of feature on a publicly accessible computer, or a computer located in certain countries. (Say a public computer cafe in Iran this weekend, would you really want a list of past searches right there?)The one thing I hate is a lack of a smart spell-check/dictionary/thesaurus in the search function. I often use Google as my dictionary, and it helps that I know I do not spell many words well. Having Google double check for me, or even double check the meaning of a word, annoys me to no end.(Nothing like being home after finals)
Still can’t claim..any word on why yet? I’ve switched OSes…though I am still using Firefox…
I don’t think that Bing was made to take over Google in the first place. I know this has been mentioned quite a fair bit, and I’ve used Bing and still I am not inclined to use it further. Yes, the images are better but the only reason I use a search engine is to look for something.I’ve even used Google Squared, and I am more impressed with that than Bing, even though it is primarily not a search engine but it is used to narrow down your searches more.Another thing that has made me excited would be Opera. It released a new version today, and so far I have used the file sharing, music library, note services and it has been impressive! How about giving that a chance?
Good idea. I’ve tried opera a few times but I’ll give this new version a try
Agreed. I am another supporter of the notion that Bing may not be trying to compete with Google. It seems that user intent may be quite difficult to determine in many instances. For example, someone more familiar with linux would prefer more technical search results with the search term “linux” compared to the average Joe or Jane.I guess a question is whether a search engine can truly be all things to all people. Perhaps Microsoft’s determination of user intent simplifies down to which search results would be more meaningful to the greatest number of people to maximize ad revenue within the most profitable target market.I’m also have been trying out Bing. The images and video are great…some searches work…some searches don’t. but maybe my experiment will only ultimately lead me to conclude that I’m am or am not in Microsoft’s target market. Like many new products, I often think “gosh I would never use or buy that”. But then they’re not trying to sell those things to me in the first place.
Even Google has challenge to promote Google check out, Google answer and so on.. It is hard to break the habits even with better products.
I set up Bing on My Latest Version of Safari using Gimp did a search on Seth Godin I think the results are pretty impressive http://www.bing.com/search?…
http://www.bing.com/search?… Adaptive Blue Search Using Bing On Latest Version Safari set Bing Up on Safari Using Gimp
Stumbled upon my first reason to try Bing out today, worked surprisingly well: http://bit.ly/V79MA