Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What do I think of Bing.com?

In the days since Bing launched, I have been asked, on multiple occasions, what I think about Bing? At first, I ventured a guess at my answer, but not content with conjecture, I have spent the last few days using Bing as my primary search engine. Here are my findings:

- Google is still King when it comes to specific searches. If you know exactly what you are looking for, you might find the most relevant result on Bing or Yahoo! On Google, the success rate is very close to 100%.

- Google suggest is superior to Yahoo! suggest, if only marginally, because of their lead in Search relevance.

- The spelling suggestions provided by all 3 search engines are equally good.

- Bing and Yahoo! trounce Google in *vertical* searches like Travel. Actually, if the search query wasn't specific, Google's results were all over the map. In my opinion, this is uncharted territory in the online Search market. By nailing searches for common verticals like Travel, Shopping, Entertainment (movies, restaurants), and Answers, Bing and Yahoo! can really make a dent in Google's lead. Yahoo! Answers is a perfect example of the validity of this theory - too bad Google indexes Yahoo! Answers better than Yahoo! does.

The initial numbers are out; a combination of Microsoft's ad campaign and a better search experience, Bing has leapfrogged Yahoo to become the #2 search engine in the US. These are early days though, so let's wait and watch this unfold.

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