Can Bing Now Lure More Searches Away From Google?

    October 31, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

October has been a huge month for Microsoft, and it’s going to be interesting to see how the company’s new products and implementations inspire Bing use.

Is Bing poised to make a bigger dent in Google’s share of the search market? Do you intend to use Bing with Microsoft’s new products? Do you intend to use Microsoft’s new products at all? Let us know in the comments.

Last Friday, Microsoft launched Windows 8 into the wild. I won’t get into all the bells and whistles of that here. Read this, and determine if you think it’s worth the upgrade.

One thing is for certain though. There are still a lot of Windows users out there, and there are many will make the upgrade simply because it’s the latest version, and others will simply purchase devices that come with the operating system installed. This is a chance for Bing to thrust itself upon users in a flashy new way. Bing resides on the Windows 8 Start menu by default. Sure you can change it, but how many people are that passionate about the search engine they use, and how many simply won’t bother to use Google instead?

Bing showed off its Windows 8 apps the other day. Here’s a look:

There is a standard Bing app for web search and image search, a Travel app, a Weather app, a News app, a Finance app and a Sports app. Some Facebook users (of which there are 1.01 billion), might be exposed to Bing’s social features for the first time, and find that appealing. They may like seeing their friends as they’re searching, and stick with BIng.

“Searching with the Bing app is fast and fluid, whether you use a touch device to tap and swipe or type and click with a keyboard and mouse,” says Brian MacDonald, Corporate Vice President, Online Service Division for Microsoft. “Finger-friendly results and images are front and center letting you quickly find what you’re looking for, so you can search less and do more. You can still rely on the same great Bing web experience in Internet Explorer 10, but we’ve optimized the Bing app to shine on Windows 8.”

“The Maps app makes it easy to find the places you’re looking for and helps you get there faster,” adds MacDonald. “Quickly pinpoint locations, get directions, see traffic conditions and more— all designed to be easily navigable with touch.”

The Weather app gives you a preview of the current weather and the hourly, daily, and 10-day forecasts. For the Finance, News, Travel and Sports apps (collectively referred to as the Bing media apps), Bing has partnered with brands like ABC, AP, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, Reuters and complete daily editions of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Microsoft refers to the experience as a built-in newsstand. The Sports app offers headlines, live scores, schedules, standings, stats, etc., and lets you personalize it based on the teams you care about.

That’s a lot of online content that Bing can quickly give users, who may not have gotten Google’s memo about its Windows 8 apps:

So you’ve got Windows 8, and then there’s Windows Phone 8, which Microsoft revealed this week. Here’s all the features (and here’s what Microsoft thinks about the future of smartphones). Bing has, of course, been showing some Windows 8-related improvements.

It comes with a feature called “For You,” which offeres personalized recommendations for deals, restaurants, music, videos, etc. based on a person’s location, previous searches and recommendations from Facebook friends.

There’s also a feature called “Local Scout,” which provides recommendations for nearby restaurants, shopping and various activities in a Bing-powered guide.

“Whether you’re looking for the best brunch or live music in your area, it’s all a tap away,” the company explains. “Simply pick a result and you’ll see everything you need to know – where it’s located, how to get there, who to call, when it’s open, the website, and even ratings and reviews. Local Scout includes eat+drink, see+do, shop, local deals and the new for you experience.”

Bing Explore is a feature that lets you swipe the Bing home page across to see content that it has deemed relevant to you, including trending stories, local deals, etc.

The lock screen image on Windows Phone 8 automatically retrieves the image of the day from the BIng home page, so this will provide a constant reminder that you’re a Bing user.

Bing Music on Windows 8 has a larger catalogue, and Microsoft says it’s easier to find out what song is playing by letting your phone “listen” to music. The Shazam-like feature will show you the name, artist and album, as well as where to buy it or hear it.

Bing search results will return Windows Phone Store apps that are relevant to searching. “For example, when you search for movie times, Bing will show you several of the top movie apps,” Bing says. “Bing also powers search for both apps and games in the Store. This system has also been rolled out to Windows Phone 7.x devices.”

Finally, with Bing Vision, you can use your phone’s camera to look up product info by bringing the object into view. Bing recognizes text and presents the option to select words for a search and return product results if there is a bar code. It can also read UPC codes, QR codes and Microsoft Tag, and cover art for CDs, DVDs and video games. There is a also a translation feature which you can use to translate text you come across while traveling.

Then there’s Xbox, which could be one of the greatest assets Microsoft has in terms of having an edge over Google. Google does not have a competitor to Xbox. Xbox 360 sales recently surpassed 70 million units, and we’re just getting into the holiday season this year.

Last week, Microsoft announced the ability to search the web from Xbox via Internet Explorer. That is potentially another huge way to get people doing more Bing searches.

Bing first came to Xbox last year, but was missing the key web search feature. The new update means people can use Bing from the Xbox just like they can from the desktop. Sure Google has Google TV as a living room weapon, but come on. We’re talking about Xbox here. Microsoft said in its announcement:

“Not only have the overall voice recognition capabilities and accuracy of Bing on Xbox been improved, but we’ve also added the following features to help refine your searches even further. Search the Web from Your TV: With the addition of “Internet Explorer,” you can now search across the web, as well as the content on your Xbox, to find the most relevant results. Bing on Xbox also searches YouTube for web original video. So, if you’re searching for a film with Jason Statham, you not only get results for his movies from within Xbox, but you can also view related web content within the same search.”

Bing also provides the search for the new Xbox Music service, and Microsoft has added the ability to search movies by genre.

On top of all of that, they’ve expanded Bing on Xbox to more countries, including: Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, France, Canada (FR), Ireland, Japan, Austria and Switzerland (FR and German).

Now, I’m not saying all of this is going to come together and instantly put Micosoft ahead of Google in search. That’s just silly. However, I do believe the company is making some rather important moves that could lead to an uptick in its market share, and perhaps make Bing more relevant than it has been since it launched.

Microsoft has hardly toned down the marketing since it launched the search engine with a huge advertising budget. Now people know what Bing is, and Microsoft is putting it out there more than ever. Microsoft also has some major new products with its Windows 8 and WIndows Phone 8 operating systems, which will not hurt Bing’s chances of picking up some new users, even if Google is still a click (or a tap) away.

Of course people have to buy the devices (like the new Surface) for this Bing strategy to even try to come together, but that includes Windows PCs, and of course Xboxes. Let’s put it this way: none of this is likely to make Bing lose users.

Also, remember this: Bing doesn’t have to keep people from using Google all the time to get them using Bing more.

What do you think? Is Bing on the verge of taking a bigger piece of the search market? Let us know what you think.

  • http://wredlich.com Warren Redlich

    It will be interesting to see if this turns things around for Bing. On my sites it seems like Google’s dominance in search is only growing.

  • http://www.detectorprospector.com Steve Herschbach

    The day Google lets my iGoogle page die the next day Bing will be my search engine of choice.

  • Jon Ashworth

    I for one would be delighted if more people used Bing. Personally I feel Google’s search are returning poor results, especially in the tourism sector. If Bing can keep the ads away from the top of the search results they have a good chance of gaining more new users. Having used it for a while, Bing seems to be giving very relevant search results.

  • http://www.michaelwalkeradv.com bill

    Nope, don’t like BING and never have, don’t like the results you get nor the way they are presented. I only ever go to google.

  • Ridiculous

    I actually really like bing, for a simple reason, it doesn’t hide small businesses, i find cheaper online stores with bing that i find with google, last time i was looking for special batteries and i found them half price via bing. The reason ? Well google adwords has a cost that small businesses can’t afford ( and that adds up to the final bill ) , google seo has a cost that small businesses can’t afford.
    So if you’re looking into buying cheaper and save money, consider bing !

  • http://truewebpresence.com Steve

    Personally, I think I’d use Duck Duck Go before hopping over to Bing.

  • http://www.cabinchaletdecor.com CabinChalet

    Probably not at this point – at least not until Bing Shopping starts allowing etailers to submit their products to Bing Shopping for free like they stated in January – sounded good, but they definately have problems in their organization setup that does not allow retailers to fully participate – thus less products are being shown in Bing Shopping results, meaning less choices for consumers. If the consumers can’t find what they are looking for among choices, they simply won’t use Bing Shopping. Bing is cutting its own throat, just like Google did. Unfortunately it’s the consumer that gets the short end of the stick since the popular rustic decor products are going to be limited in what is available to them via Bing Shopping. Sad…

  • Jeff Banner

    Google searches have been recently returning awful results. We’ve made the switch to Bing and LOVE it. When I’m looking for a product online Bing takes into account the number of products a company has to offer — providing us with better selection. Greater choice helps me make the right decision. It’s more difficult now to find what I’m looking for on Google.

  • http://www.spokanelawncompany.com Lawn Mowing Spokane

    I recently switched to Bing and made MSN my home page. I don’t plan on buying Microsoft products at this time, but my kids have Xbox’s and all of our computers in the house run windows (XP, Vista and Win 7). So I will be purchasing MS products in the future (again) but my 4 year old flip phone still does what I want.

  • http://www.slideoutshelvesllc.com Rick

    Google has abandoned the small businesses that have built e-commerce for the large advertising budgets of the major corporations. I encourage everyone to try Bing for a week and they will find for themselves how commercial Googles generic search results are. Word for Bing, get rid of all the ads with pictures which will clean your search pages.

  • http://mmwaxmodels.com Margie

    Bing needs more zing…. and more user friendly results.
    Think “did you Bing it?” will take over “did you Google it?”
    And Bing maps aren’t as cool as Google either.

  • Ron

    As much as i hated MS over the years for their really sorry OS’s, 3.0, 95, 98, wasn’t until XP Pro that MS even remotely had a decent OS. But what i hate even more is monopolies, Google, with their my way or the highway and increasing stupidity towards users from all spectrum’s is appalling. Do i use Bing, YES! Do i use Goggle, YES!. What other choices do i really have if i want relevant results? Aren’t monopolies great! (that’s sarcasm for those who didn’t see it)

  • Raphaelo

    I think Bing can do a much more better job than Google, but webmasters need to collaborate. Google has been a real head ache for webmasters and e-business people lately; i cannot wait for it to be overpowered by Bing. In fact, i am planing to not use it and ask my friends and family to do the same. All i see about Google now are greed and arrogance

  • Not a Google Fan

    I really dislike Google, the results are not good anymore, thier attitude at corporate sucks, I used to use adsense, still am forced to use thier webmaster tools, I wish Bing the best of luck in grabbing as much of the search market as possible.

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

    I intend to use every search engine according to it’s most time saving spot-on results and Ixquick for its’ privacy policy (no clandestine data gathering on searcher … I’ve learned never to trust Big corporations like MS (Bing) or Yahoo or Google).

  • Tom Truthteller

    I am writing a book about how one political ideology controls the Internet. I have hundreds of screen shots of searches of political issues and candidates done in Google. The results are always predictable and shocking. It’s bad enough that the mainstream media reports based on their agenda and not factual news. Now, I have to find the same intentional results from a search engine? Enough is enough……..I will start using Bing and hope that it has nothing in its algorithm that distorts the SERPS.

  • http://twitter.com/ojw_ottawa Alex

    We need at least 2 more serious players in the search engine market to reach an equilibrium that will lead to a harmonious development of the web. Right now, the web develops as Google wants, and this is not good.

  • John

    Google destroyed their own search results with their recent schizo updates.
    Since then, I’ve been using Bing more and more often and soon, I don’t think I’ll be missing Google much.

  • http://travel365.us.tc Dr Robert

    I believe Bing(MSN) and DuckDuckGo are taking big bites in Google at the moment and better search results. Yes, I see Windows 8 being another thorn. I also see a Yahoo power play coming soon.

  • http://www.graciousstore.com Nina

    I’ll you see Bing as a competitor for Google for all searches, so Google will not be a monopolist and control the web all alone

  • http://www.ilyaelbert.com Ilya Elbert

    I have difficulty using bing because I don’t use any of their other services. Google has created an microecosystem with Gmail, Google Search, Google Maps, etc….If the rest of their supporting products were just as good as Google’s or provided a better alternative, I think Bing would definitely make traction.

  • Roadkill

    Bing also has a rewards system for using it. I now use Bing all the time because I get free rewards for using it. Google will have to come up with a much better reward system to get me back.

  • http://tracc-borneo.org/ Prof Steve Oakley

    Bing Maps will not compete with Google until it becomes international, Many places & islands which are popular tourist destinations are not marked on Bing. If you are going on holiday to Kapali, then you look at a map to find it. OOPs Bing doesn’t know where it is!

  • http://lascruceswebsitedesign.com Paul

    When will a search engine ever replace the proverbial “Google It”. Bing it? Naw, duckduckit…Don’t think so. It will be a long time before another s.e. even gets close.

  • http://Mabuzi.com Kevin

    Not yet as the Bing Business Portal is not available in Australia.

  • http://poolgamesonline.eu Taberinos

    I would love to see this happening, i think there is a massive need for a real competitor of google and a diversity of services and google has the monopole everywhere.

  • http://ephedrinewheretobuy.com Mike Budd

    2 seconds ago I did another search in Bing for my preferred keywords and as already explained in another comment here, the results were really surprising. It is because I am now so used to see Google’s results for these words, I don’t know, but honestly I wouldn’t trust Bing in any other field if I don’t trust them in my field of expertise. Still a positive point: I saw some progress because last time the results were so poor that it made me laugh :) and today it was not the case. Wait and see, but for now I stay with Google.

  • Ian

    I will be supporting any other search engine after google has vertualy put us out of business since panda…No search engine should have the power they have, everyone should not use them as a protest!

  • http://www.classifieds2india.com Free Posting Online Ads In India

    As per Indian trends every three searches came from Google. So In India maximum users are using the Google. I think Google is having huge search engine.

  • http://manilacomputerrepairshop.com Computer Manila Repair

    At this time i will not used Bing regularly, but we should welcome new bing capability, I don’t to see any company monopolized the search business. very bad for all of us.

    We should try to used it once in a while for now.

  • Sami

    It should, google search seems not very accurate & more confusing, I rarely use it

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    If I ever ‘upgrade’ to Windows 8, I doubt much will change.

    I’ll just install Google Chrome, Firefox and Notepad++ for web dev, and OpenOffice and Thunderbird for the business apps I need.

    Microsoft essentially wrote the definition of ‘bloat-ware’ years ago and has only ‘improved’ on their original concept.

  • John

    God I sure hope so. Now that Google has messed up everything with the EMD, you can’t find crap! If I’m looking for a white poodle, why in the hell shouldn’t white poodle be in the domain name. Matt Cutts is a freaken moron.

    • GG

      YES! Matt Cutts is a freaken moron AND an idiot…

  • https://plus.google.com/110826622201196466178/posts Nick Stamoulis

    I can see how being able to use XBOX to search could be a pretty big boon for Bing. There are a a lot of XBOX users out there, so plenty would probably search via Bing by default. The question is would they chose Bing if they had a choice?

  • Mona

    I have three websites. Google gives me first page, Yahoo gives me first page, Bing gives me nothing! I doubt I’ll be bothering to use Bing’s search engine any time soon!

  • http://animium.com 3D Models

    Bing and yahoo is already catching up fast, search traffic from both of the search engines have increased a lot in the last 2 months.

  • TY

    I think in my opinoin, I think bing is better than google, but it needs a lot of work, because I find that it is not modern enough. I think bing is excellent, but it’s harder to do research. I really like some features, but bing is updating too slow.

    In the end, I don’t care, as Microsoft’s core company is not necessarily in search, like Google and Yahoo. Instead, they are in the business in entertainment, OS and phones. And while Bing is still a major player, I like their approach: integrating bing into those categories before anything else. Bing has a lot of room for improvement, but it has to focus on its core before it can challenge google.

  • https://bit.ly/neciFF Rse

    Win7Pro x64 and Palemoon x64 browser with DuckDuckGo search is what i need. 😀

  • http://www.paisatalks.com Ritz

    It should happen, otherwise google will make life miserable with all the changes it is doing. and we will always be searching for matt cutt videos

  • Mike

    I have been using BING after taking the challange at work and I use it exclusively now. Everyone in our office that took the challange has been using it. I think over time it will be utilized by more and more people.