Google is considered the top search engine in the world, and has held this title for some time since early development. When Microsoft had MSN (later as; Live) deployed as a competitor to Google (and Yahoo! at the time) no one really adapted to the giant’s offering – understandable since the results provided by the index were either slightly off, or just blatently ridiculous.
Requiring a new product (much like Windows Phone 7), Microsoft developed a search engine to create a stronger hold on the search share across the globe. Bing was born. Featuring a new User Interface and supposedly “better related” results, this was the secret weapon to attack Google’s fort.
With continued growth through the redirection of MSN/Live searchers to the new home of Microsoft search, and the acquisition of Yahoo! has had Bing in the spotlight for not only the Search Engine Optimisation world, but for those technologically banded. Not all could remain well for the two competitors however...
Within the last fall, Google CEO Eric Schmidt admitted, "our biggest competitor is Bing". Something that was mixed into the pool of heat that Google has been taking due to the increasing amount of spam results from searches. A fantastic article from Search Engine Land displays a quality search test between Bing and Google for some informational and transactional searches – results from the test showed Bing coming out on top for points.
Turning over to Hitwise for percentage of usage within the past two months, there is a clear understanding from the data provided (10 million US Internet users) that Bing is certainly taking a big step up in percentage of searches with a pleasant 5% increase between November and December last year, coupled with a 2% increase with Bing-powered search (websites that have Bing search integrated).
What’s interesting to note from this finding is the huge jump on the main search, could the sheer number of searches cause this from Windows Phone 7 devices? I believe it to be a strong possibility; especially since Android has an obvious huge Google integration, as select people migrate from Android to WP7 Bing will be the new platform used. Not only this, but if a Blackberry owner – who has Google as default search on his desktop – switches to WP7 and enjoys the experience provided by Bing on his device then there is a strong possibility of switching desktop search to Bing. I have personally performed the move from Google to Bing entirely.
It’s hard to predict what the future will hold for the search engine competition due to the amount of Android phones being activated compared to WP7, but it’s a promising sign that Bing seems to be picking up, especially since I find it to provide much more related searches to my keywords entered than Google. The table below shows the success rate between November and December last year that proves to be an insightful example on Bing’s quality.
What search engine do you use majority of the time, and why? Have you used Bing more since WP7?
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.