So Microsoft have now released their new Search Engine that will replace Live, and aim to be a rival and competitor to Google. I was demonstrating Bing (But It’s Not Google) today to the team at work and there were some varied comments.
The home page of Bing is pretty awesome, but I’m not sure how long it will be before the novelty of a great photo will wear off as people become blind to these sort of things. Today we were greeted with a great picture that made me want to go back on holiday.
Bing has lots of cool features that I really like and its got to make Google think of ways that they need to improve the user experience when people search, as Microsoft has really brought some great new things into Bing.
I love the video streaming while you are still in the listings, just hover over the video and you can get to see a snippet without having to load it up, plus I love the never ending photos, and that you can just look at black & white ones. These are niceties, but what about the actual searches?
The UK is still weak, and some of the search results are a little skewed but I reckon Microsoft will get that sorted in the next year or so and get caught up. The great part of Bing is that you can do a search and get a whole host of other related information and commonality searches come up, along with related images, related searches, reviews, site previews, shopping, local and news …. whichever fits into the results the best. To get the best look at the data set I hopped over to the US and did a search for “canon EOS” as I’m a bit of a camera geek.
On the left hand side is a block of the commonality searches, or what people normally would search for next, so the first page is then broken down into sub sections where you can see the individual results from the next level of possible searches. Really clever UI stuff!
But I can’t make my mind up yet whether the next “feature” is good or bad from a brand protection point of view. Its pretty awesome if you are UPS the transport company, but if you are APC (American Power Conversion) and you want to rank for UPS (as in the power supply) then you’re a bit screwed! On the major plus side 3 things you should notice is
a. top left – commonality searches, or what you may search for next
b. mid left – related search results
c. top right – websites like this site / company
One of the comments Anthony made today when we were playing with Bing is that there is too much to take in … but in a good way. I think that Microsoft have launched a product, that given the right focus to improve the listings and data, will make them a really good alternative to Google and I reckon with the features they have added will capture a whole new search audience who will lap it up.