Bing : Initial thoughts

Posted: June 2, 2009 in Bing, Google, Internet, IT, Microsoft, Search, Search Engine
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Microsoft’s new decision engine is now out in the wild and like many others I took the opportunity to try out the most talked about search engine (oh rather decision engine) these days.

I started off with trying my search in the shopping category as it was the one most talked about. I searched for “iphone”. The first two page results that I got was all about “iphone accessories” rather the “iphone” itself. Well usually I don’t I go looking for something beyond first two pages of a search result if the first two pages doesn’t satisfy what I am looking for and I think that’s usually the case with most of us. But then I thought what if Microsoft somehow already knew that I already have an iphone, after it is their “knows it all” engine. Freaky!!!. So I changed my search, instead of “iphone”, I tried, “itouch”, got just the accessories. How about “ipod touch” or “ipod touch 16 GB”. Alas never got the results I was looking for!

After 15 mins of trying to find “iphone” or “ipod touch” I gave up and started looking at the cash back offers on the iphone accessories and guess what they weren’t cheap. I had bought a iphone screen guard and body cover with arm band from a local store for 7$, but Bing cash back results just for the arm band was 18$. Obviously you had a 2-3% cash back as promised by Bing. You see they don’t lie to you. They just charge you more and then just give you back a tiny portion of the extra amount they snatched from you.

Alright, I decided that from now on I would still prefer going to the individual websites or stick with Google for my online shopping needs and gave up on the much hyped shopping category. I moved on to the regular techie search, that I always do on Google. The results from Bing as compared to Google was not that great. The results were just from some well known API documentation web pages, but that is something a developer never searches for. Those API links are usually in his bookmarks. What he/she searches for is answers to the problems they face.

However, apart from dislikes, there were actually a few things that I liked about Bing. The first one is the flashy and cool user interface and the second one was their result presentation for images and videos. The news segment was pretty much updated. A search on the Air France disaster showed me the latest news article was posted 53 mins ago while on Google news the latest news article was posted 9 hours ago.

The left hand dynamic categorization is pretty cool and classifies the search result. Say for a keyword on “Air France”, the generated categories were, News, Reservations, Flights, Jobs, Schedule etc.

Well from what I have seen so far, I won’t completely rule out Bing as my search option at the moment and would prefer to give it some more time analyze the user’s search behavioral patterns and improve its results. However one thing is for sure, Google is definitely here to stay for long.

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