Comparing Search Engines with

Comparing Search Engines with

There’s been substantial fanfare about the release of Bing, Microsoft’s search engine.   By some measurements, such as Stats Counter, Bing is grabbing marketshare from Google and has the potential to supersede Yahoo in search traffic in the US and globally.

Have You Tried Bing For Yourself?

If you want to compare it to Google, use This simple, useful tool allows you to run queries through both engines simultaneously and watch side by side results.  We recommend horizontal comparisons because it works best with some of Bing’s pop up preview features.

What will you find?  Bing is very attentive to usability.

Easy Image Filtering.

Like Google, Bing can filter by image size, color or black & white, faces versus other types of images, but it does it with one click instead of with dropdowns, makes those features more useable.  Search “milwaukee art museum” in, then choose “Images” in top navigation.

At-A-Glance Video Results

Instead of returning video results in one long text heavy panel, Bing returns a table of video start images with captions.  Run them side by side and you’ll notice the text associated with video searches is often nonsensical anyway.  Search “skydiving” in, then choose “Videos” in top navigation.

Click To Preview Unnecessary

Point to a search result and a pop-up summarizes the text surrounding your search term. Something similar has been possible in Google with a Firefox plug in for a while, but Bing makes it intuitive.  Search for your name in, then mouse over to the right side of Bing’s search results.

Prominent Related Searches

Bing positions a “Related Searches” box on the left hand panel, a more convenient place than the bottom of the page links that Google similarly offers.  Search for your favorite actor or actress in, and compare Bing’s left panel with Google’s page bottom.

In Depth Search Categories

Bing also positions subcategories in the left panel, and they’re more useful, too.  Google subcategories match up to portions of the single important site about the subject of a search.  Bing subcategories in left navigation extend across all sites, although under individual sites they retain site-specific subcategories. Search for your sports team in to compare.

News Alerts

Bing allows you to create alerts on the fly from their news results within their search results, as long as you have a Microsoft Live account, of course.  Try a current events search.

Of course, technology quickly evolves among major players, and we’d expect Google to learn from and quickly react to Bing’s features and usability strengths.

Enjoy searching!

Rob Sieracki

Director of Paid Search


This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. George Burroughs

    Great article – Thanks Rob!!! I appreciate how you broke things down into easy-to-understand categories. Also, I didn’t know about the site That should prove to be very useful. Thanks again.

    Dr. George Burroughs

  2. Jonathan

    Great article! I’ve been kind of neglecting checking out Bing as I’ve heard all kinds of things and didn’t figure it was really going to be able to dent the Big G anyways, but you’ve laid out a few big benefits pretty nicely here, and is pretty cool!

    One thing I noticed is that the text that comes up under my sites varies greatly between the search engines. Bing seems to pull up some random text, presumably somehow associated with my search off my site. Google takes the description meta tag.

    Not sure that I really like Bing grabbing text willy-nilly as it means as SEOs we have far less control over what is displayed… Perhaps they have a new tag they’ll use for this or something?

  3. Patrick

    I would be curious to hear your thoughts on Bing’s PPC ads vs Google Adwords

  4. Jean


    the comparison of Bing versus Google is fantastic – good to see the very different page results at the same time.


  5. Rob Sieracki

    About AdWords vs Bing…

    It’s really vs Bing. And AdWords vs adCenter.

    If you search on MSN, you get results through Bing. Bing is the branding of MSN’s search now, and the old interface for MSN’s search is unreachable as far as I know.

    Bing’s ads are shown through the usual Microsoft Advertising adCenter interface, which is of course evolving, but didn’t get a whole new overhaul when Bing came out.

    There are great differences between adCenter and AdWords, of course, but Bing didn’t change that situation. The reason to pay attention to Bing is market share. When you 80/20 your priorities, Google has such a lion’s share of the search market (75% and growing), that most of your time your medium traffic (“torso” as opposed to “long tail”) words on AdWords are still responsible for substantially more conversions than your highest traffic MSN words, so they require your attention.

    Here’s where Bing fits in. Keep in mind AdWords foresight when you look at marketshare and what could change the search ad landscape, and you see a few potential issues that could rock the status quo. Bing is one of them. Will the government take action on Google’s search near monopoly? would be another. Will Facebook’s from the bottom up, real world relationship data prove valuable in search or contextual advertising? would be another.

    Briefly, about those points… Obama appointing internet policy guru Christine Varney to the antitrust post she holds is worth watching.

    Check this out:

    Why Facebook could pose a thread to Google in both search AND content networks is explained well here.

    (Kudos to our analysts Josh Houk and Abigail Wolf for digging up those articles.)

    Anyway, that’s my big picture analysis. Watch Bing mainly for its marketshare. It’s got an outside chance to get some traction, but of course it’s also got an uphill battle against a giant.

    Other things to note….

    Google’s tried another skins/brands on their search, SearchMash, which aimed at some of the “less clicks” usability issues Bing did, but that was long ago, sometime in 2006 (!).

    An “Adwords vs. Bing [as in MSN]” nugget: Ongoing optimization is harder with Microsoft adCenter. Ad split testing is slower because of traffic and longer review times. A big part of ongoing optimization is mining your traffic flow for new keywords, especially negatives. With MSN, you have very limited space for negatives keywords, so ongoing optimization of that sort isn’t possible.

    Thanks for reading… you’re giving me ideas for new posts.

    Rob Sieracki
    Director of Paid Search
    Rocket Clicks

  6. Rob Sieracki

    From an article published yesterday in NY Times tech section, “Bing Delivers Credibility to Microsoft”….

    “They [Microsoft] have achieved a degree of respect they haven’t had,” said Danny Sullivan, a veteran search analyst and editor of the industry news site SearchEngineLand. With a tone that suggested surprise, Mr. Sullivan added: “They’ve rolled out a product that is *good*. When people spend time on it, they do like it.”

  7. Mike Brockman

    Thanks to Rob Sieracki for the excellent in this vs Bing article.
    I also appreciated the further comments that you made regarding AdWords vs adCenter.
    It will be interesting to see how things progress from here.

  8. Seo Ireland

    Great Article, Im using this tool quite a lot now.

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