It's been about a month since I started a Bing experiment
, and it's gone pretty well. Search results are about as good as Google (NSDQ: GOOG
), sometimes better. After a month, though, I've decided to go back to Google. The problem isn't with the search results quality; it's all the other things that Bing doesn't do -- and some things it does that I wish it wouldn't.
I do at least a dozen searches a day. The Google page is no-nonsense and boring, with nothing there to distract you from your goal of entering the search terms and getting on with your work. Bing, on the other hand, opens with a breathtaking page of full-color distraction. Okay, I'm going to search for ... wow, Morocco, how exotic! I'd rather be there than sitting at my desk, but it's 11 in the morning and I really need to get some work done ... what was I searching for again?
They don't take a lot of space on the page, but the searches related to the pictures are distracting nonetheless. It's great to know that I can find "Deals on water slides" and "Ice cream treats nearby," but right now I need to get some work done. The "What other people are searching for now" section at the bottom of the search page is usually full of celebrity gossip. In the past month I've gotten an in-depth education about Jon and Kate, Tye Strickland, Maria Chapur, vitiligo, and other important issues facing our society. This ambiance gives me the impression I'm in the wrong place if I'm interested in doing serious business searches.
When I do want to know what's going on in the world, Google's customized searches and news pages do a much better job of delivering the news I want than Bing's search. I can get Bing to email me the results of a keyword search, but I can't view a customized page with the search results I want. Bing just doesn't match the depth of features that Google offers, and doesn't integrate them together the way Google does. Microsoft has a jumble of services under Bing, Live, and MSN with the potential to compete with Google, but they need better organization.
Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT
) also needs to drop the hammer on sites that employ cloaking
such as Experts Exchange
. If you come to an Experts Exchange page from Google, you'll see the full discussion thread related to the topic that probably brought you to the page. You may have to scroll down a lot
but the real content will be at the bottom. Come there from Bing, though, and the real content won't be there. All you'll see is a come-on to pay so you can see the answer. If they tried that with Google, they'd be thrown out of the search results.