So I’m sure you’ve all seen the (amazing) Bing commercials on TV, saying its not just another search engine, its the first DECISION MAKING engine in the world. But what does this mean to most of you? Probably not a whole lot. Is it manipulative marketing jargon, or does Bing truly have something that Google doesn’t? Well, since I adopted Bing early, and have been using it for a good while now, I can tell you, in plain terms, why Bing is a hell of alot better, cleaner and more intuitive than Google. There are tons of little additions that are pleasant (Such as the dynamic search screen with a new wallpaper everyday), and you will find those when you decide to take my advice and switch Bing to your homepage, but I’m going to focus on the top 3 features Bing has that you didn’t know about Google doesn’t. Once you switch, you will never go back.
3. Travel Features
You may or may not have seen the commercial about this, claiming that Bing is much more intelligent than most travel sites, because of a price predictor as well as other intuitive features. Well, yes, these features will be absolutely amazing when they are fully worked out and implemented, but for the time being, you can only catch a glimpse into the potential of the service. (This feature would probably be reason #2 or #1 if it was fully functional). The majority of airports are not included in the price predictor, but to break it down for you, the price predictor essentially asks for your departure city and your destination city and the dates around when you want to travel, and it will give you a graph showing what is the cheapest day to travel on. They call it “Farecast technology”. Here’s an example of a flights from Seattle to London. This will be an amazing feature when the airport database becomes more comprehensive.
2. Visual Search
This is a relatively unknown feature of Bing, but it is really, really cool. the concept is basically exactly what you’d expect from something called a Visual Search. It allows you to search through pictures to find what you’re looking for rather than the standard Text Link we have come to expect from a search engine. Sounds amazing…and IT IS (I actually had a hard time deciding whether this would be number 1 or not). The visual search is currently in beta form, so the categories you have to choose from are: Entertainment, Famous People, Reference, Shopping and Sports. Even with these categories, its amazing how much information you can find. If you’re wondering what the hell you’d use this for, here are a couple of examples. If you want info on NFL players, then you can search them through pictures and names (almost like a catalogue), and once you click on a player, it will bring up stats, as well as a comprehensive list of search results. It really is an awesome feature. The coolest way that I’ve found to use this feature so far is in the “Shopping” Section for Iphone/Ipod apps. it lays them all out in a bright colourful format, and you can just click on one to find a list of search results which include reviews, so you can find out more about it before you buy it. You really need to check it out to understand how comprehensive it is, but basically, Google ain’t got sh*t on Bing’s Visual Search Engine. Here’s a couple of pics of the NFL players screen and the Iphone apps screen.
The hands down, number 1 feature that has the ability to make Google crumble from its might perch is the cashback feature. Microsoft has teamed up with some of the major internet retailers to offer the incentive of cashback if you use Bing to find the product you want to buy. Sounds complicated, but really, you look for a cashback symbol next to the item you want to buy, and it’ll give you a percentage of cashback available depending on where you buy it (Usually, cashback is between 2% and 10%, but it can reach up to 30% for some items). So to break it down, if you buy an Acer EEE netbook for example, for $300 and it has 10% cashback, you will receive $30 either in your paypal account on right into your bank account about 60 days after your purchase. Everyone loves free money. All you have to do is look for the cashback symbol when you’re searching Bing (either in the shopping section or even in the general search). Here is a pic of a shopping search for “netbooks” (notice the cashback symbol)
Ok, so I’ve shown you the three top features Bing has that Google doesn’t. There are several more, but I like to keep my posts as short as possible (while still getting my point across). You should switch to Bing because it does everything Google does, except it does it better. It returns your search results in an organized way (like if you search “Cats”, it will give you a number of headings with search results underneath like Cat Health, Cat Facts, Cat Toys, Cat Care), and it has these three, among many other intuitive features that Google does not have. Really, at the end of the day, they’re both free services, and you obviously want the most you can get, and Bing has more unique features, and the features that both search engines share, Bing does them better. It’s as simple as going into your browsers settings and replacing http://www.google.com with http://www.bing.com. Do it now. You can thank the Dale later.