As an avid Googler, I had to try another search engine while I was in China. They have a Google.cn, but for some reason it didn’t work on my phone. The first one that came to my mind was Bing. It was almost a tie with Yahoo, but I’ve just never liked their interface. If you’ve been to China, you’ll probably realize that many things are restricted on the internet, and it’s difficult to figure out which websites are working and which are not, which is why I switched.
Google has always seemed like the Apple of search engines. Simplicity. They don’t put ads, or news, or flashy images on their front page. Occasionally they’ll make a new design for the Google letters, which is usually somewhat thought provoking. I think it’s wonderful, but sometimes things get old. Actually everything I can think of gets old, outdated, irrelevant, etc… Facts of life.
Is Google not keeping up with the times? Their power probably isn’t within the simple search (or not so simple, but in terms of technology, the coding probably isn’t that much different than Bing, Yahoo, or Dogpile) interface itself, but more of the information they collect. After utilizing a multi-purpose search engine like Bing, I have to say I’ve enjoyed it.
First of all, they have an awards program for searches. Basically if you do a certain amount of searches, you can apply for rewards. I’m not sure if this is just a short term marketing thing or what, but hey, I’m someone who looks up everything from “how is soda made” to “Mao Zhe Dong Great Leap Forward,” on a daily basis.
Second, Bing has a really neat homepage in my opinion, with more functions. You could argue that it’s a lot, bright and attractive, but many sites are doing this. Twitter, Snapchat, WordPress, you name it. They probably have a thought provoking picture of a nice city, or group of people to show culture. Google doesn’t have any, Yahoo still looks like it’s from the 90s or early 2000’s, and other search engines are just other search engines. Whoever does the photography for Bing homepage is amazing. Good luck keeping this up. It probably cost more money to maintain attractive new images, while Google’s page is very low cost presumably. Then again, maybe the costs actually bring in more loyal users.
In terms of functions, they have top news at the bottom of the homepage that you can scroll through, while there are also some random boxes and squares on the image that pique my curiosity, but I haven’t used yet. It’s almost like a super modern search technology.
Third, Bing sounds pretty nice. I have to admit, Google might have a slight name edge. Google seems to flow better; “Googled it,” Bing sounds a little more harsh, but still light. And by harsh I mean straight forward and to the point. “Go Bing it” sounds more like a command, while asking someone to Google something sounds more lighthearted.
I guess it ultimately comes down to “are you an iphone/mac simplicity is key” type person, or are you an “android phone” type person who prefers more features and something customized? But the real interesting question is… What is Google going to do (if anything)? And is Bing even going in the right direction?