Bing for Better Searches?
The fact that you can search online for anything from candy bars (Twin Bing Cherry) and famous singers (Bing Crosby) to NBA players (Dave Bing) and steel processing (The Bing Group) is amazing to people who used to wade through microfilm. How could it get any better? Well it has, if you believe the folks at Microsoft who recently launched Bing, a search engine at bing.com that takes online research to a new level.
Categorized and Personalized Results
Rather than presenting thousands of random results, Bing uses behind-the-scenes methods to add structure, so you are more likely to see exactly what you need. Bing groups results into categories. It also bases results on common searches and opinions of authoritative users. On a personal level, Bing automatically detects your geographic area and presents results fine-tuned to where you live.
Bing helps you further drill down to the information you need through second-level categories in a left-hand navigational bar called the Explore Pane. If you search for “Bing Cherries,” for example, the categories include recipes, calories, trees, and how to grow them. You can save a history of your searches to make it easier to return.
More Streamlined Process
Perhaps more important than article quality, Bing presents rich information within results to help you understand what you’re viewing, decide how to process it, and do it more quickly by reducing wasted clicks. Hover over a video thumbnail to get an instant preview. Hover over a touch point to the right of your search results, and you can read a substantial clipping to help you decide whether to take the time to click in.
Some people say Bing is not so different from Google and doesn’t present as many results. That’s probably true, and it’s unlikely that Bing in its current form will significantly ding Google’s armor. (In July 2009, Bing’s U.S. market share was 9.41 percent, compared to Google’s 77.54 percent, according to Internet data company StatCounter.) The noteworthy thing about Bing is that it presses ahead to change the way we think about and manage online searches — making them richer, more intuitive, and more productive.
Bing also makes searches more fun. Every day, the home page includes a new and beautiful photo. Over its face lie a number of hot spots where you can see interesting information, along with links where you can learn more. Maybe one of these days, while Binging, you’ll see a stunning ocean photo with a hot spot leading to details about classic surfboards (designed by Bing Copeland).