Don’t Just Do Search Better, Do It Differently

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bingMicrosoft’s relaunched search tool, named Bing, came live this week and I think there’s a lot to like about it. The primary focus it seems is to reposition how we use and interact with search results rather than simply try to do a better Google. But, in doing so, perhaps it will create a better experience too.

While you can do regular old search on Bing, it is billed as a “decision engine” and presents and organizes results best when you are trying to find something like health answers, travel or shopping deals, local info or comparing items. With Bing, it appears that Microsoft is attempting to allow surfers to find and compare items or services they are shopping for and then integrate the actual purchase into the engine with Bing cashback. (Some items that you buy while searching on Bing reward you with cashback)

Travel is another important focus on Bing. You can bring together airline and hotel searches with price comparison and ratings and reviews. The look and feel of the travel portal is much more like that of an online travel agency than a search engine. You can even get the latest travel deals by following @fareologist on twitter.

Local search seems to get the short end of the stick. You can perform a local search and get results for local business much like you could via MSNLive Search. But, you must click on the local results tab to drill down and sort and filter your search by things like ratings. I was hoping this functionality would be more front and center.

    Some random features you might like:

  • Really like the page snapshot – just hover near the description of a search result and get a peek at the content
  • Video and image search engines seem to locate well and have nice search and filter tools
  • Related searches show up in the left sidebar and can help you refine your search
  • When you search for an individual you get all kinds of related searches such as quotes and interviews by that person

It’s worth checking out and I plan to work the travel site pretty hard to see what it turns up.

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Bing, Google, Microsoft, Windows Live

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  1. I haven't yet had the chance to try it but after reading this post I will today. I think its a great idea. Hey, even if they can't be better than Google they could at least give us another alternative.

  2. At first glance, I thought this is just Live with a new name. After toying with it for a little while I seen how is has changed. I did think that local would be more relevant as it is in Yahoo or Google, but I think it is starting a new niche in search and may lead to a higher market share.

  3. This is a bit of a shameless plug, but it fits the content of this story (doing search differently).

    At Tunezee ( we are building a music search engine which allows users to quickly find the song they are looking for, and confirm the finding via a SmartKlip (a short contextual clip that corresponds to the phrase you searched for).

    We are in open beta, and would love to hear your thoughts.

  4. I have tried Bing and it seems to me that the image search is far better than Google's. I searched for neon signs and found a huge amount “new” pictures that I have not seen anywhere else on the internet. This will come in handy for people looking for new references on subjects of interest.

  5. Gotta check this out. Bing sounds interesting and worth playing with. Was disappointed that local search was shortchanged, but maybe that will change with time. Living in a tiny town, I'm always encouraging our local businesses to get involved online now so that they can leverage an online presence in the near future. Never hurts to get started now. Thanks for the pointer to Bing.

  6. Through google or net so many benefits are there. If Bing satisfies those things then it can come to that position.

  7. This is probably the best way to set things apart from your competitor. Reminds me of the window replacement industry. There are hundreds of window contractors in our areas. We all do the same thing, but West Coast Vinyl had to show the homeowner that we were there to solve their energy problem.

  8. Nice post. May be a new search method may lead in competition.Yes Bing is the nice one for searching images but i found Google to be more effective.

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