Bing Out-Googles Google With Clean Results Pages. Like It?

    May 17, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

When Google rose to popularity, ever so long ago, it was considered to be revolutionizing search. Think about what search was like back then. AltaVista, Yahoo, and a bunch of others were competing for your queries, but Google brought a different approach. PageRank was a huge part of that, and is often credited as the big differentiator, but another key element to what made Google stand out was its simplistic design.

Do you miss the days when Google’s design was simpler? Do you think Bing is outdoing Google in design and usability? Let us know in the comments.

Google still largely maintains its simplicity on its homepage (though it has a less simplistic homepage option in iGoogle), but in the search results it’s another story. Search engines in the pre-Google days were essentially portals. Google, in its early days, was just fresh, clean search. These days, Google is much more portal-esque, with all of the company’s various products that are not only available from links across the broader Google experience (the top navigation and whatnot), but also injected into the search results in various capacities.

Much of what Google has on its search results pages these days has been added at different times. It wasn’t all overnight, but Bing’s redesign really shines a spotlight on just how much more complex Google results are these days.

When Bing launched, we saw Google start doing various things that looked more like what Bing was doing. That’s why it’s interesting to see today that Bing has implemented some Bing changes that are more reminiscent of Google, or at least a past version of Google.

Here’s what Bing’s results look like now:

New Bing SERP

Here are Google’s for the same query:

Google SERP

One of the big differentiators of Bing when it was first launched was the left panel of search options, which Google also adopted. Now, the two search engines have essentially reversed in design.

Of course some Google results are even more cluttered. Look at this one for “hotels”:

Google SERP

And that’s before the addition of the new paid inclusion style sponsored listings. You have the Google+ pages being promoted, the maps section, etc. It is very cluttered compared to Bing’s version:


Bing’s blog provides a nice before and after comparison of its new design:

Bing Before and After

“Over the past few months, we’ve run dozens of experiments to determine how you read our pages to deliver the link you’re looking for,” says Bing Principal Group Program Manager Sally Salas. “Based on that feedback, we’ve tuned the site to make the entire page easier to scan, removing unnecessary distractions, and making the overall experience more predictable and useful. This refreshed design helps you do more with search—and gives us a canvas for bringing future innovation to you.”

“The new experience is more than skin-deep,” says Salas. “You will also notice faster page-load times and improved relevance under the hood. After all, our goal is to help people spend less time searching and more time doing. And changing how we look is the next big step in doing just that.”

Bing’s new design also highlights its use of Facebook (as opposed to Google’s +1s) in a more restrained and appealing way by showing thumbs up next to results that your Facebook friends have liked:

Facebook likes on Bing

Josh Costine, who points out the Facebook-related tweaks, reports that the changes are fully rolling out.

Bing’s integration with Facebook is nothing new, but it’s likely that Bing will continue to look for ways to make it more useful, and this may appeal to users who have been on Facebook for years, establishing and cultivating relationships, who just aren’t getting the same kind of engagement on Google+ (if they’re using it at all).

The whole design element is kind of funny, considering that Google has historically taken a simplistic approach to design, which is still evident on its home page. It really illustrates how Google has evolved away from this approach on the results pages though, for better or worse.

Google is packing a lot of features into search results these days, however. Do you think this makes the pages more usable, or too cluttered? Let us know what you think. What do you think about Bing’s changes?

Bing says it is also testing out new ideas for its homepage, including a larger version of its daily image.

  • http://ofinteresttome.com Bing is Awesome

    Looks to me that Bing is getting more DuckDuckGo-like.

  • Sherry

    With the changes Google has implemented over the past year it is very difficult to obtain an accurate search. It is very cluttered but the end search result is very poor. They need to break up all of the extra features they have added into tabs so that if you are searching for a map you can go to that tab. Bing has more accurate search results at this point and is much easier to read.

  • http://www.generalopinions.com Just my opinion

    I think Google could separate their other products from their search types. Other than that I have no problem with Gooogle’s design.

  • Jerrie DeRose

    I dislike Google as a search these days, in fact, for the past year. I cannot find a lot of websites or url’s and end up going to bing or yahoo, where I can always find what I want. I think google has focused too much on ads, collecting large media libraries,and panda, while bing and yahoo continue to add web sites to their search engines.

    • http://nichewebsitehelp.com denzil

      Which world are you living in? Google index more web pages than Bing and yahoo put together.

  • http://www.web-direct.co.uk Steve | Web Direct

    It makes you wonder whether Google ever do a usability test on their search results.

    It seems like because they can offer all of this, it is a good thing to offer it all. Like a shop that tries to sell so many different things at the same time, it generalises and hence confuses, rather than specialise and focus the attention of the visitor.

    Total overkill IMHO.

    They might do better to offer complimentary result add-ons in the same way they offer their what I call snap view, where you click the double arrow and a snap view of the web page pops out to the right, something that Ask Jeeves did a few years ago it is worth noting.

    And.. with the recent Penguin update, and subsequent allegation that Google results are of worse quality as a consequence, Google as a search engine may have seen its best days behind it, caught up and relegated by a search engine offering the very thing that Google gained such popularity for… quality results on a clean and uncluttered page.

  • http://www.mesrianilaw.com mark

    I can’t say that I hate google because of the penguin and panda update. It just happened that they prioritize their own services like google ads and paid listings. so getting on top for free and organic search is minimal. especially to the new update called penguin. millions of websites are affected with this new update.

  • http://www.zebracomputers.com Michael

    I find Google to have the most concise results for me, and that may be due to the fact that I have been using it longer.
    I find Bing ok, but I have better results with Google, for the most part, but it is clear that paid SEO is polluting clear concise results.

  • Howard

    I find Bing to be significantly more effective in providing meaningful search results. Google keeps refining their algorithms, supposedly to get more relevant results. Possibly the results are more relevant for Google, but not for users!!!

    How is it possible that a website shows up on page one of a search one day and then on page three another day after Google has rolled out another algorithm change. That does not happen with Bing. I find Bing to provide more useful, relevant results.

    Some people speculate that Google’s search algorithm includes whether the website is using and paying for Google PPC advertising.

    For the things I am usually searching for in support of our business, I absolutely do not want Facebook and YouTube activity/popularity to be a factor in deciding which sites show on pages 1 and 2. That has nothing to do with finding suppliers and other pertinent information.

    Perhaps it is time for Google to have separate search engines for individuals and for businesses to do their searches on???

  • http://www.lucyart.co.uk Rob Haigh

    I have always found bing to get great results but it’s a fact most people use google and I hate doing it but I have to use sponsored ads for my business on google as I get the most conversions. We do ok naturally on bing but most searches are on google so my effort goes into that. I will definitely take a close look at the new bing and see if we can drive more organic or paid traffic through to our website.

  • http://www.stayinkos.com Vasilis P.

    it seems to me that the next big search engine to become is Bing. especially after the latest Panda and Penguin updates they (BIG G) are loosing ground. Watch for Bing and prepare all your sites for them.

  • Wendy

    We are noticing better conversion from Bing visits than Google. We are an e-commerce store that includes a blog. Google has treated us as a blog that has e-commerce. Our Google Sitelinks bring up only our blog entries, while we have a very broad store menu and the blog is only one piece of our site. Our base is older and not power web users…they aren’t hanging out on Google+ at the moment. Google was the online company I respected most. I’ve been considering a Bing paid search campaign because their quality actually seems better than Google at this point.

  • Spamexterminator

    I refuse to use other Search Engines due to the massive clutter. I go to a search engine to find a page or video or pic, and don’t want to see a ton of advertisements, Background images, and/or flashy-Flash based banners. A sleek easy to read text based search engine; Loads faster, is easier to read, and when their results are atleast in the ball park of what I’m looking for I will continue to use them. See for yourself do a speed test of all these Search Engines using Dial-Up and time how long you have to wait. I now have satellite internet but I don’t care I will still use the faster less cluttered search engine.

  • http://www.airbase1.com Rob Duncan

    Ditto Facebook and YouTube, etc. One the hook has been set, they pollute the results pages with more paid-for ads and features. The addition of Google maps to select hotels in your example is certainly a nice feature, but it should be optional, not always sent to everybody’s browser and causing further delay.

  • william

    Bing is so much better than Google now

    Google might as well just be
    Amazon, Overstock, eBay and Sears.

    after the last PEGUIN update BING is by far the real deal

    Google has sold out to corporate search

  • http://smurgle.net Dan M

    I don’t care if Bing starts sending me solid gold thank you cards, I refuse to use a search tool powered by Microsoft.

  • http://www.bowmanlamps.com Mary

    I’ve pretty much switched over to Bing because Google is trying to do too much. Too many distractions.

  • Brian K

    Google is on it’s way out. Bing is much better as far as results, Maps etc. But seems like there is much room or newer better searches.
    Google is basically a big,fat,old,pig who’s day is in the sun has turned into a dark gloomy demise.

  • http://www.vimeo.com/8336589 Brian

    getting amazon.co.uk as a top search result when querying on google.com is not relevant. Google wants content and is rewarding box sites like Amazon and Overstock because they produce “content” en masse everyday, even though the “content” is just new product pages, ie ADVERTISEMENTS. I fail to see how this enriches the internet or user experience. Pushing small ma and pa shops out of the way to give Amazon, Overstock, Sears, and eBay top search results turns Google into a bunch of obsolete code. I hasten a guess the intent is to get smaller shops to buy more AdWords and the larger stores to buy into Google Analytics Premium.

  • http://www.advancedreading.com Bonnie James

    Hate the way Google lists results. Even if you type in the actual url you are 1/3 or more down the page to actually find what you want.
    Wish more people used BING.

  • Razor

    Bing is so much better than Google now
    Google might as well just be.

    I go to search engine only for searching Pics, Music, and Movies.

  • Jake

    I have to ditto much of that. Google has become commercial centric instead of user easy for people to do a simple search and get the best choice. Once they tried to do behavior searches it all went downhill. Perhaps they should focus more on their space mission.

  • http://www.rwrinnovations.com Ron Nixon

    I used to love Google, but, it is way too cluttered. And, I am tired of seeing Amazon at the top (paid and organic) of product search pages.

  • http://www.Southampton-City.ac.uk Jonathan Smith

    I do agree with the consensus here that google is “bloated” and has too many products currently – I love to see google go back revoke days of yore….
    Google and the world has moved on, I’m sure they’ll simplify at some point – fingers crossed.
    But with fingers in so many pies, it’s hard to see how that is going to happen, but I will stick with google as this is where majority of my SE traffic comes from.. Love google

  • http://www.marketsharewebdesign.com Kathy

    Google is like second nature to me. But after what has occurred with the last update. Bing maybe the up and coming engine. I will be using it a lot more. I’ve about had enough of Google.

  • http://www.cookingnook.com/ Karen

    Google is beginning to look way too cluttered. I don’t use it any more. I’ve been using Bing pretty much exclusively for the past couple of months.

  • http://blog.onlinecompetitions.org/ Mark

    I have switched to Bing after the penguin Google results are a real mess.

  • http://www.shipping-worldwide.com Andy

    Google needs to rethink rankings and not manipulate exposures. The looser is the user.


  • http://www.admain.co.uk Admain

    I’ve longed for the good old days were the ppc ads had a brightly coloured background and there was only search results, not news, not videos, not maps, not googleplus pages, just honest to god websites.

    Google now reminds me of a modern day Lycos.

  • http://www.coffee-grinder.com John B

    Bing’s results are hands-down better for shopping, Google’s are better for research. Shopping results in Google are no clogged with large corporate names that have no place dominating keyword searches… if I want to buy from a specific company, that company is easy enough to find. Now they have all the pie.

  • http://Www.mywebpixie.com Lydie B

    I think Bing has a better design layout for search results. I often prefer Bing search results to Goigle who is always trying to impose what Google thinks I want.

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steve G

    Google needs to put more control in the hands of the users. This way the users can tweak their results how they see fit. If I don’t like video or book or even social results showing up, why can’t I tell Google not to show them? I like the buttons that Google has so I can say, ok only show me videos or images that are related to my query. See at first I really thought Google had gotten the message when they started segmenting search with buttons on the left, but then they started injecting those results into the basic search when if you were to simply allow Google to display what is relevant without injecting results on purpose those results wouldn’t rank very well, and with good reason. Google simply can’t create the links it needs or write quality content to be able to rank those pages well and since it’s their product, they feel they have a right to show those results and take up valuable 1st page space that other sites have worked very hard to be there. I think if Google honestly wants to make it’s search engine fair for all, they need to start with themselves. I think we saw that a little bit when it came to their Chrome browser advertising reprimand, and I’d like to see more of that. It’s one thing to say that competition is a click away and another to do everything you can to stop competition because you own the search engine everybody is competing on. Google has gone from gateway to gatekeeper and their results are worse off because of it. One of these days Google won’t have to worry about competition being a click away, because people will have already moved to a competing search engine simply because they are fed up with spammy results. Google has never been this bad in the past, except maybe in their start up days. If Google wants to recover, then they need to do more testing to prove they have improved results, rather than trying to rush the testing process by using small data samples just so they can launch an update.

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone

    My favorite search engine was Profusion (a beta program) being run at/by Kansas State University.
    It was the pioneer of the “on going or constant” search which would scour the internet for everything pertinent to your query and email the results to you (daily, weekly, monthly) and allow you to refine the query with each email.
    I’d give-up Google in a heartbeat if Profusion would come back but unfortunately it was X’ed when its creator left the university (and created Alibaba or something equally big, I believe).

  • http://ripsychotherapy.com Mike Adamowicz

    Thanks for the article. I’ve been using Bing more and more lately. That’s mainly due to frustration with the clutter on Google. It wouldn’t surprise me if someday soon the whole first page of a google result becomes ads and clutter.

  • http://www.seo-deutschland.de/ Khalil

    The results of Bing looking so clean because they do not have so much advertising clients. Everybody wants to advertise their products at Google and not at Bing. Thats why the result pages of valuable keywords are full of ads. In some cases you get only 2-3 organic result and 10 ads!

    This is a real danger for the big G. The transformation from a search engine into a advertising platform.

  • http://www.designfishstudio.com Google Guy

    Search Google for “hotel” and the mish-mash of results, as pointed out in the article (sponsor, organic, map links, then organic) is, well… a bit of a pigs ear! A good example though, Id have picked the word hotel to illustrate the same point, having done much seo in that field.

  • Bill

    To be honest, I haven’t really tried Bing. But, based on this article I am definitely going to give it a shot.

  • http://publicdomaine-books.blogspot.com arminius

    Google like Facebook became user unfriendly, yes. I got rid already of some Google products (Analytics, Webmastertools, etc.) that I used daily before I got tired (to say the least) to look for old version links.
    Guess, they live in a bubble of arrogance from where they think to show off. Its time to ignore them.
    Like it just happens to Facebook right now, many people (will) close their Google accounts.

    Btw: I opted out of Ads in Gmail … but still get ads in my “very private” account. Let them die for it!

  • http://glennfurniture.com Glenn Madden

    I think Google should start a secondary search engine like they used to have.

    No Gimmicks
    No Local search
    No Search for you based on your history

    Just simple

    I think they would be surprised at how many people do not like all the extras.

  • DoesNotMatter

    Wow, Google doesn’t get much credit overhere. Is that because of most people here were hit by an update or ..?

  • http://postlynx.com Erik


    What´s matters for me is the RESULT, from a web-owner-site´s perspective, although layout can be “interesting and funny”.

    You can check http://postlynx.com at both Google and you´ll see the different result how it looks like. However, if you want to catch Russia and and China you should do Baido and Yandex too. To be or not to be is the difference. If you do like I did you´ll catch them all
    and whatever they´ll all try you´ll be there despite any lay-out changes. You may compare the 4 search engines with my site and you´ll see for yourself what I mean.


  • Joe

    I was a Google fanboi for years. No more. I have been using Bing for a very long time; maybe 3 years now. I love their design, the video search. Not too much the image search but the video and everything else search is a keeper for me. I also don’t see ads on the web with “Adblock” on.

  • http://www.sentinel.com.au CeeBeePee

    I have switched to using Bing rather than Google for the simple reason that I grew tired of constantly being force-fed promotional material for Google’s “other products”. The most obvious example of this being the ongoing promotion for Google’s Chrome Browser. I tried Chrome and didn’t like it so I uninstalled it but the reminder from Google never goes away … and so I parted company with Google. My homepage is now set to Bing and since I switched I found that my search results are more consistent and more reliable than Google.

  • http://www.kbsconsultants.com Sankaran Sivaramakrishnan

    Google is becoming more commercial and lists sponsored results the publishers of which may use one or two keywords contained in the search. So the Search results are corrupted. Relevance is missing.

    If Google does not change the outlook towards search results, then with mobile technology moving fast, google will lose its place for “Search”

  • edna hampton


  • http://www.idigitalhosting.com Guido E. Zecckine III

    I optimize for Bing, Yahoo, and Google search engines. Having a few Facebook Fanpages, I try to make sure I’m good in Bing though, as Facebook search results are from Bing. Google has the majority of the search market, yes, but Bing is pretty good, and getting better. Make sure you optimize for Bing, and Google results will fall into place. Google’s getting too big for their britches, and I wonder how much longer they will remain the top dog. You also have to consider that a lot of people, like Cox Communication users or AOL will typically use the search engines that their internet service providers use. Just my pennies worth…

  • http://www.wesselvandermerwe.co.za Wessel

    I am going to use Bing from now on!

  • http://whiteeagleaerie.com/ Nathan

    Google is still okay for the quick search for me, but with this new look to Bing, I might try it out for when I want more info in the future.

  • http://floodlist.com Marc

    Some interesting comments. I too am starting to use Bing more than Google. I also like DuckDuckGo. Google’s layout is way too messy for me – cluttered up by dozens of ads top and right, shopping results, images, then predictably all the big name stores, plus eBay and Wiki…Come to think of it, it’s not just the layout, the results are a mess too!

  • http://www.essextraders.co.uk Gary Waterhouse

    yes I agree with the points in your email, Google is too clogged up and lists too many adverts on the pages, especially on page one where we all try to get to. The “Places” adverts are the worst of them all because you don’t even have to go through Google to get there, you can achieve these listings via Thomson Local, how stupid!!!

  • Marie

    I have already changed by default search engine to BING as its results are much better.

  • Arthur H. Tafero

    Bing cannot compete with Google as a search engine because they only show about 1% of the items that Google shows. People who use Bing for research are completely out of the loop of professional researchers.

  • Danni R.

    After the penguin Google results are a real mess, and I mean truly. For example, when I search for a simple query, such as [medical assistant], I do not mean medical assistant job, medical assistant school, medical assistant training, or a one page blah-blah page written off other authority sites so they can get useres to click on their over-optimized ads. Autority sites, that define the search term, and offer original content for the said key word are virtually gone, even the Bureau of Labor (BLS) page for “medical assistant”, and that is sad. Users who type medical assistant are usually looking for a definition.

  • Terry

    Bing works fine for me, if they got rid of the sponsored ads it would be even nicer!

  • BOB

    Yes, the clean looks is much better for Bing than for Google.
    Google has become a total sellout to every info harvester and advertiser there is, not to mention the Magic Lamp and whatnot.
    I refuse Chrome, I’m sick of them trying to pin down my exact location every time I turn on a PC, and as much as I hat M$ practices along the same lines, Bing is less pervasive. Blekko is another good choice. Google… what used to be a great tool is now on the way out, and they did it themselves.

  • BOB

    Hey – how about a seach engine that just strips google of the crap and serves you results of what google actually found – devoid of paid advertising. Y’know… content based. Real, organic content.

    So when you looked for batteries… you’d find batteries, and not experts discussing the cost of ppc for battery consultants who advise battery makers how to make batteries for niche sales to battery seekers on robot generated battery sites! “Batteries. How to look better and stay fit now!” “Are you looking for batteries? We have thousands of ways to be batteries here” “Batteries lose weight on this amazing diet” “Batteries, would you go back to school if you qualified for a grant?” “Amazing hot batteries in your area now click here”

    And it goes. Yeah, gooooooogle. Google has beer goggles on.

  • http://fauxpaintingatlanta.net/ Maddy

    I am NOT surprised at all!!
    Google seem to be obsessed with getting “clean” searches and more advertisers and that is not such a good combo for us who wants to find relevant stuff!

  • http://freeminecrafts.webs.com mario lover

    i prefer google :0

  • http://freeminecrafts.webs.com bob

    HOW :0