5 Reasons to choose Bing over Google
Figure 1: source - mashable.com
Bing ( ) is now the fastest growing search engine. A Nielsen report shows that it currently holds 10.7% of the search market (to Google’s ( ) 65%), but its month-over-month growth is 22%, which is astronomical. Microsoft has been pumping an endless supply of dollars into its marketing and advertising initiatives around Bing, and the strategy is clearly paying off. Hype aside, Bing happens to be a very viable search alternative to Google, and offers several incentives that Google can’t compete with at the moment. Here we’ll break down 5 awesome Bing-specific features that are really growing on us. From insightful information to help us better plan our trips to cashback on purchases, and a visually stimulating or Twitter ( )-enhanced search experience, we’re starting to think Bing has some zing.
1. Travel Insight
Bing’s Travel offering is quite nice for two cost-saving consumer-friendly reasons: farecast technology and airfare deals. The farecast technology works to help identify trends in flight prices, showing you as you search whether or not fares are expected to stay the same, get cheaper, or rise in price. It’s helpful information that can really play a key role in coordinating undefined travel plans.
Consummate travelers should also keep their eye on the airfare deals provided by Bing, which serves up top cheat flight deals, record low airline tickets, last minute deals, and weekend or family appropriate options. Better yet, you can sign up to receive these fare deals, based on your home airport, via email.
The Bing Cashback program (formerly Live Search Cashback) has been an incredibly rewarding venture for both Microsoft and searchers who benefit from bonus dollars. The basic premise is that if you start your product/service quest on Bing, you can benefit when you go on to buy.
Think of Bing Cashback as a Credit Card rewards program, but only a million times better. Depending on the retailer, your purchases could net you as high as 30% of the purchase price back in cash form (though most offers are between 5 and 15%). The cashback reward is dropped in your PayPal account about 60 days after purchase (pending return), so you can even have funds direct deposited to your bank account. You can search Bing as you normally would and keep an eye out for the cashback icon, or you can browse their shopping section, which serves as a storefront for products and big deals. The program has been such a success that when Bing introduced double cashback rewards for August, they had to end the promotion early due to too much demand.
3. Visual Search
Bing’s value proposition has been that it’s not just a search engine, but a “decision engine.” When it initially launched that was a bit of a misnomer, but as they continue to release new features and integrated products, we’re starting to see the vision come to fruition. Visual Search, a US-only product, is a prime example of how Bing isn’t just your average search engine. The alternative user interface to search is one of the most interesting and innovative things we’ve seen in the search space. Instead of conducting your search with text, you start with one of their pre-fabricated image galleries.
The galleries are quite remarkable and include 30 photo collections for things like digital cameras, dog breeds, movies in theaters, new cars, NFL players, popular books, popular TV shows, and top songs. The galleries pack insightful information in convenient ways, so the NFL gallery alone grants you instant access to pictures of players that you can filter for most popular on Bing, highest paid, passing leaders, rushing leaders, receiving leaders, sack leaders, pro bowlers, position, team, salary, and school. Clearly Visual Search is more than just a tool to use when you can’t recall the name of someone or something, but a more powerful way to dive into search results and uncover valuable information. Case in point, the iPhone apps gallery, which provides an arguably better iPhone application browsing experience than Apple’s App Store.
Trending topics on Twitter are rather meaningless without context, and that’s where BingTweets comes into play. It’s Bing and Twitter side-by-side. The dual search product combines the power of real-time Twitter search with Bing search results to give you a better perspective as you search. Of course, searches don’t have to be limited to trending topics, which means you can search as you normally would with one eye on Twitter at all times.
5. Enhanced Search
Bing’s search result pages pack a few extra goodies that we’re really learning to appreciate. Two features that improve our search experience are the inline enhanced view options and preview windows for results. The latter of the two is just a simple additive that ensures we don’t click on an URL that isn’t relevant to our query. It’s quite simple, but a big time saver. Every time you search you should notice a little orange dot next to an individual result. Mouse over that to view a “More on this page” preview of content, and save yourself the headache of a disappointing dead end. Something to also look out for is the “Enchanced view” option. You’ll see it underneath Wikipedia ( ) results and you can click it to view Wikipedia content without leaving Bing. Are you using Bing more often these days, or sticking with Google?