Is Bing Making Google Better?

Competition Breeds Better User Experience

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Since Bing’s launch, the search engine has garnered quite a bit of attention. This is no surprise since Microsoft invested so much money into marketing it. It may still be too early to tell, but it seems to be paying off so far. Bing’s numbers have edged up since its launch.

While Google still dominates the search market share by a very wide margin, the company does appear to view Bing as a legitimate competitor, and while not marketing on the scale that Microsoft is, the company has been quick to highlight some of its own search features that might appeal to those infatuated with Bing’s "decision engine" functionality.

Last month, Google put up a page, highlighting some of the special searches you can perform on Google to get your answers right in the results. These included things like weather, movie times, dictionary, calculator, sports scores, stock quotes, etc. There was even a link to this page right on the Google homepage under the search box (although it no longer appears there now). The move seemed to say, "Hey everybody, Bing’s cool, but you know we already have this stuff right?"

Now Google has quietly added a minor feature to its image search that might look familiar to Bing users. You know how Bing has the little menu under the search box, where you can pick what kind of filter you want on your results? Google is now including a similar feature.

Bing image filter

Google image filter

Perhaps Google saw that Bing users liked this feature and added it themselves. It makes you wonder what other ideas Google might get from Bing. I’m not saying that they need to get too many ideas from Bing. Google is clearly the leader of the market right now, and the company got there by doing something right. I am also not suggesting that Google is going to start copying everything Bing does. But, if there is a little feature (such as the above example) here and there that can enhance the usability of Google and its search products, perhaps the entire search industry can benefit.

The concept is nothing new. Search engines have been getting ideas from each other for years. It’s how they stay competitive. Really what the above example illustrates is how competition makes the entire industry better. You can see this illustrated in the social media space as well, as Facebook adopts more Twitter-like features, while maintaining most of what people like about Facebook at the same time.

Google recently acknowledged that it has plenty of competition. The company says it must keep innovating to stay on top. Adjusting products to accommodate less innovative, but popular features is a good way to do it too. That seems to be the way major Internet players think.

The image filter feature is a small thing, but it reflects a bigger picture. The more competitive the industry is, the better it is likely to become for us users.

Is Bing Making Google Better?
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  • WillC

    “The entire search industry can benefit.”
    That statement is probably the most important part of this whole “competition”. Having a dominant leader in the industry does not seem to hold a very inspiring future for the business and the users who rely on search.
    Not everything that these engines shuttle out is going to be original or serve a different purpose from its competitors, but every search engine has the opportunity at some point to bring something new to the table. Innovation is always the goal. If something like Google feeling a little left out as far as recognition and lights a fire under neath to improve a service which still has tons of room to grow – then so be it.
    As pointed out here, Google realizes it has competition so supposedly they are not resting on their hefty lead. You have to figure Bing, Yahoo on down to lesser known searches like eZanga.com are always a few meaningful clicks away from turning the tide in the long run. Competition will make everyone better.

  • http://www.doors-and-windows.net/ doors and windows

    Although not a serious contender yet, it definitly bodes well for the future. My site still isn’t ranked by google yet but Bing has it second top of page 1.

  • http://www.controldatainc.com Agency collection

    I have been saying this since Bing came out. We should thank Bing for all the changes we see in Google. Its about time someone gave them some competition. Google has an interesting marketing plan to combat Bing. They simply have been issuing changes like crazy to try and keep in the headlines. This keeps their name in the headlines and keep people seeing their name.

  • John

    Google is taking control of global communications, once it becomes self aware we’re all f’d in the a.

    I’ve seen this before with SkyNet

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com Diamonds

    Definitely, any competition no matter how small makes you strive for the better.

  • http://gadgetsnall.co.uk Guest

    I think Bing is fantastic, i have to admit i sceptical at first but having used it regularly and seen the traffic it drives to my sites.. i think it’s great.

    Plus anything that shakes that pedastal google has placed itself on is in my opinion a damned good thing.

  • http://www.KevinWebb22.com Kevin Webb

    I wish Google would do the preloaded images all on one page similar to Bing. I like not having to click through page after page… just scroll down while the images load automatically. Is there a reason why Google would NOT do this?


  • http://www.secure-safe-home.com/ Matt Matty

    One of the things I’ve noticed about Bing users is that they are of a higher quality and they converter better. They don’t seem to be the “Hop, Skip, and Jump” kind of surfers. They give my sites a chance to present themselves, they are more engaged with the site and they converter MUCH better.

    The bounce rate from these folks is much lower as well.

    Sure Google sends me more traffic but I would much rather have the Bing (and Yahoo) users as they are interested in what I have to say and just seem more mature.


  • Guest

    want crazy MYSPACE AND WEBSITE traffic ??? like 10k views a day ?? let my promo team help you on a cross promo level ( no money ) needed.



    check out myspace.com/kayomarbilus

  • Ron

    I don’t know what the difference in their searching algorithms are, but in every side by side search test between google and bing, I find bing shows me better results and more of them. As everyone knows, any random search topic sent to google is likely to give you a hand full of decent pages at the top, but are often mixed together with irrelevant hits, which only gets worse as you continue to look down the page (i never go to the second page of results). Bing on the other hand gives me all the relevant pages google gave me, plus several others that were buried with the junk in the google search that I had not seen before. I often find that with bing (unlike google) I don’t have to spend nearly as much time trying to reword my search to get relevant information.

  • bob

    Google boys are scared. Now they want to take on Microsoft with a new OS to show they have nothing to worry about. It will fail just like many of their products. Google is a Jack of all trades, master of none. Google will be history within the next 5 years. Twitter and Facebook alone could send them packing.

  • OK.

    Competition is good and it is about time somebody stood seriously to Google. Expect less adwords/adsense accounts banned and better behavior from Google to its users. They are gonna need every penny.

    Google is gonna be our b***** now. LOL! Now we tell Google to sit on that chair and not get up ’till we say so…

  • Robin

    I’ve enjoyed shopping with Bing Casback! Bought a pair of boots from Shoemall.com for $99.95 and received $18.99 cashback from Bing. Not only that I even returned the boots because the fit was not quite right.

  • Guest

    So far as I know…Google has had a safe-search option in its image search for a while…all they have done now is to make it much much easier to toggle from one setting to another.

    Bing is great, but come on…give credit where credit is due.

  • sean

    Hey i love bing and all but google had the filter search before bing.

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