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

Looks more like Google of yesteryear

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

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.

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

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