What You Don’t Know about Bing (But Totally Should)
Admit it. When it comes to search, you don’t use anything other than Google for your fact-finding needs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but consider your options.
Wait – did you even know you had options?
If you know search engine optimization, you know Google’s not the only player in search. That’s right; we’re talking about Bing.
You know – the search engine from Microsoft? Creators of Windows, Internet Explorer, and the Xbox? While often overlooked in favor of its vastly more popular competitor, Bing hangs in there like the underdog it is (which seems silly considering this is Microsoft we’re talking about).
This begs the question: Why even consider using Bing as your search engine? Well, we’re here to lay it out for you. Here’s what you don’t know about Bing but totally should:
- ‘Bing’ Wasn’t Always ‘Bing.’
Microsoft entered the search engine game back in the ‘90s with MSN (now the homepage of Internet Explorer). But Microsoft’s search engine went by other names before becoming what we know today:
- 1998 – MSN Search
- 2006 – Windows Live Search
- 2007 – Live Search
- 2009 – Bing
That’s quite a history, huh? You might think all this change would have led to a serious case of identity crisis for Bing. But change is the Internet’s bread and butter. To change is to accommodate the evolving needs of the user.
Read on to find out how Bing’s evolved…
- Bing’s Homepage Might Provide Your Next Vacation Spot.
Bing knows it needs to make a good first impression for new visitors. And when pitted against the austere appearance of Google’s homepage, Bing knows that it has to offer something different to win people to its cause.
Well, check this out:
(Image credit: Bing)
How’s that for a homepage? Bing greets visitors with a stunning image of an interesting subject or locale like the one above every day. But that’s not all: Bing embeds clickable links which take you to related search results of the subject. The one pictured, a photo of Burg Hohenzollern Castle, features links about the castle’s ruler, historical background, and – you guessed it – more gorgeous pictures.
We imagine everyone’s list of dream vacations have gotten a lot longer since Bing began implementing the homepage.
- Bing’s Video Lets You Watch Before You Watch.
Not many ways you can improve a video’s search results – but Bing did.
Bing Smart Video Preview is smart, novel, and more than a little useful, especially when you’re trying to find something quickly. Just hover over the video for a quick preview to see if it’s what you were looking for. Bing Video keeps you on your search results page, so you don’t have to open a billion tabs just to find that one song you heard once (Hint: It’s this one.)
- Bing Travel Can Make Vacation a Breeze.
Who the heck wants to spend time searching for the best deals on airfare?
Answer: Bing does!
Bing Travel predicts and compares airfare prices, letting you know whether you should buy your flight tickets now or wait. Just plug in where you’re heading from, your destination, and your relevant dates, and Bing! You’re on your way to rest and relaxation. Complete with a flight status checker, currency converter, hotel finder – like a good concierge, Bing Travel is helpful and knowledgeable.
Bing Travel combos well with the Bing homepage. Find your next vacation destination on the homepage and then see what it’ll take to fly there using Bing’s price predictions.
- Bing’s Greatest Strength is Not Being Google.
And the best part about Bing? It’s not trying to be something it’s not.
Bing is still a search engine, sure. But while Google provides a streamlined, no-nonsense approach to search, Bing’s not trying to step on Google’s toes. Bing knows it can’t currently compete on the same level as Google’s die-hard commitment to improving search.
So, Bing doesn’t.
And why should it? Rather than give users a hopeless attempt, providing a search experience that is pretty much destined to take second place to Google’s sheer functionality, Bing offers us something else. Something fresh and fun and different.
Here are some quick looks which show the fresh fun of the Bing experience:
- Bing collaborated with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report which had Microsoft (Bing’s owner) donate $2,500 each time Colbert said “Bing” on air. The result? A whopping 40 times, for a total of $100,000.
- Bing Rewards lets users redeem credits awarded to them through searching on Bing for electronics and other prizes.
- Bing held its own version of the Pepsi Challenge. The study (called “Bing it On”) showed 57% of 1,000 participants preferred Bing’s results to Google’s.
- It’s rumored that “Bing” stands for “Bing Is Not Google.” (Source: The Guardian)
Why You Should Use Bing Sometimes
Ask yourself: Why do you use search engines? To find your next favorite Mexican restaurant? To research the local language in Reykjavík, Iceland? Whatever the reason, you’re using search engines for the same thing: finding answers to your questions.
Bing, Google, and all the other search engines are tools to help you accomplish this very thing. Whether you’re searching for fun or if there’s real money on the line, you want to find the most relevant search results to find you what you want. And using more than one search engine will ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
So the next time you think you’ve emptied the Internet in search of answers, think of Bing. And think of what you could discover next.