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Technology should make our lives easier
• Fast and fun
• Strong social searching feature
• Easy to use
• Entertaining video search
• Less intuitive search than Google
• Fewer features
Bing is impressive, but not quite good enough for us to consider switching from Google just yet. Search is fast and easy but the selection of features is less than Google so if you’re looking for a little extra you’ll find Bing lacking.
Bing is not as visually attractive or as intuitively designed as Google. But does Bing offer a similar search experience as the market leader? We checked out Google’s biggest competition to see what this search engine offers.
Bing scans the Internet to create an index of sites powered by complex algorithm technology. The Bing search results are designed to be as accurate as possible and therefore as interesting to you as possible.
Bing’s search results aren’t as slick and intuitive as Google’s and it shows – a few pages turn up that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see. However, the results come fast.
Bing lets you easily narrow down your search results to a specific region/ country, and language. These preferences stay with you as you search. This is a useful feature if you are looking for certain news articles, for example, or research specific to a certain country.
Bing offers quick answers to many commonly asked and searched terms, such as measurement conversions, flight status, definitions, and health conditions. This is great if you are in a hurry and don’t want to search though a whole page of results.
Bing doesn’t group together different page results from the same site, which can be annoying as you may end up with a long list of hits from the same website.
As with Google, Bing offers you the correct spelling if you mistype when searching for a word or phrase.
Image search – The image search turns up a large amount of results, which take a long time to load in certain cases. You hover over the small image to find out the source and size of the image. Narrow down your search by size, color, layout, style and people. The page with most popular image search results is entertaining and interesting. You can search primarily for computer wallpaper, or black and white images.
Video search – The results for the video search load very quickly. There’s a good amount of choice in terms of how you can narrow down your search to find what you are looking for. A useful search feature is the “most recent” search option. The video section is a fun feature, giving you the opportunity to create playlists and watch a variety of content related to your search.
News – The top news results come up when you search in the news section of the site. We like the “people in the news” section that comes up in connection with your primary news search. When you search from the news section you can link to blogs related to your topic, and tweets. Bing has a comprehensive search function for tweets, and you can look for the hottest trending topics, as well as search for tweets related to your key word.
Shopping – There’s a handy feature to help you keep track of what you’re interested in called the shopping list, where you add items to a list on screen to compare. Although some of the products that come up related to a search are a little random.
Maps – Bing offers a really comprehensive map section, offering all sorts of features like driving directions and traffic conditions. You can switch from the traditional map to a birds eye view but there’s no real time satellite images. Maps can be a little slow to load.
Other features include a movies search (but no books). You can make use of the translate feature, powered by Microsoft Translator, that lets you translate web pages from one language to another.
You can turn your search filter for images to strict, or turn it off, and it is automatically set as moderate. You can also block explicit websites.
It’s not as easy to differentiate between ads and search results with Bing. The ads appear at the top and the bottom of the page and the shaded section that denotes paid ads is not very easy to spot.
Ease of use
Changing your preference for results from a certain country is much easier than with Google. With Bing, you get a slightly less intuitive interface but the search engine is still easy to use and simple to navigate.
Help & support
Bing offers a large number of help and support topics that should cover what you need to know. You can contact the support centre, but only for specific issues and you need to go through a form to deliver your message. While the response isn’t personal – and it often isn’t with search engines – there are a huge number of help articles that can assist you with a problem or query.
The social searching function is fun and addictive, and the video section entertaining.
Despite the updates, Bing is still playing catch-up with Google. Its search results aren't as intuitive as Google's. Bing has some enhanced preview features, which Google lacks but at the moment there just aren't enough features to cause us to switch to Bing.
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