I’m not kidding, the title I used for the post is pulled directly from Microsoft’s introduction page for Bing, their new search engine. Bing was launched earlier in the week and is already getting some great reviews around the web. The thing about Bing is that it aims to not only search the web for results but to help you make decisions and take action based on its results, they’re calling this a “decision engine”. I hope to not get too technical in this post, but to really see what it does you should use it yourself for a bit.
I looked at a lot of information about Bing and Microsoft is really trying to revolutionize here and try to out of the 3rd place spot they’ve held in the search market. They’ve done a lot of testing to see how users interact with their search engine, how they enter queries, and how they inevitably refine their query when they don’t get the results they are looking for. This helped them in ultimately putting together a product that is more user-friendly and gives you answers to your queries and not just a huge string of links to pages that may or may not have the answers you are looking for.
The first step Bing does to try and get you to where you need to be is their auto-suggest feature that suggests queries based on what you’ve already typed in. Once you settle on a query, they try to find you a “Best Match” to list on your results page. From the best match, they pull data right onto the results page so you don’t necessarily have to click through if the info you need is right there. They pull links, phone numbers, addresses, and search boxes off of some pages and put them right in their results page so you get the info you need quicker.
Results are also categorized as well to help you get the info you need quicker. A sample search I did for Buy Buy categorized my results into categories such as Catalog, Appliances, Coupons, Careers, Customer Service, etc. They have specialized results pages for certain searches like Travel and Shopping as well.
One of my favorite features is that there is a quick look type pop up if you hover near the right side of a result. This will pull some data from the page into a popup so that you can see if it is indeed a page you want to go to. This will save a ton of time and prevent you from going to sites that have nothing to do with your search.
With Bing, Microsoft is also trying to connect with web content providers. They make a full set of development information available on the site https://www.bing.com/partners/developers. There are APIs for integrating Bing search and other services on your site, site analytics tools, and other information on how to enhance your site and drive traffic using Bing.
So far every new search engine launch hasn’t really tempted me away from Google. This looks promising, but only time will tell. I’ll probably try it out for a few weeks and see how I feel then. If you use the web a lot you should check it out and see if it meets your needs and helps you get better results online.