Microsofts’ new search engine Bing has been a long time coming. There has been a lot of confusion previously over Microsofts’ search brand. With live search, windows live and MSN they had confused a lot of their customers as to what their search engine was actually called. Microsoft have the very popular Hotmail and Messenger brands and it was only natural to try and tie these things together under the Live banner but it just ended up as one big confusing mess.
So I wasn’t expecting much from their new search engine. With Microsofts’ clout it has always been surprising how small a percentage of the search market they controlled. A mere 5% compared to Googles 70% in th U.K. That could all change with Bing. It’s doubtful they could topple Google as it stands at the moment but I expect them to gather a lot more users.
The name Bing passes the test for me. It’s short and memorable and thats all they need. If the world wasn’t Googling I woudn’t be surprised if binging it had caught on. The world loves Googling, that’s the problem but at least Microsoft are giving it a good shot. The aesthetics are a real bonus for me. It’s uncluttered as you would expect but it also has a new backdrop every day of a stunning landscape image. This is a real shift away from the bare bones look of most search engines and gives it a kind of warmth. I actually look forward to seeing the new backdrop each day.
So they’ve done well with the aesthetics but what about the search. My exact match domain names no longer rank at number one in bing like they did in live search / msn so thats a plus. Its not as easy to please in terms of rankings as its former self. It also has a nice new feature to the right of results which gives you a preview of the pages content. I would like to see Bing using semantic headers to give an idea of whats occuring in the pages but that might be asking too much at the moment. The searches I have undertaken have given me relevant results, enough to start using it as my main search engine for a week or so. I’ll let you know how it goes.