The web search engine landscape continues to be dominated by only a few. Is there any compelling reason to choose Bing instead of Google as your preferred search engine? Maybe you think Google controls too much in the world of tech, considering Android’s position as the preeminent mobile operating system?
The popular web search engines are generally operated by some of the largest technology companies in the business. Yahoo, while suffering from some recent struggles, still hosts a pretty popular search engine. Of course, Bing was Microsoft’s attempt to steal some of the search market share from Google themselves.
Ultimately, a web search engine choice needs to be about the quality of results, the clarity of their browser display, and the search result set not being skewed by companies advertising their products. Google’s reputation occasionally has suffered due to the latter issue. So let’s take a look at the reasons for using Bing instead of Google for your web search needs.
Bing vs. Google: A Closer Look at the Quality of the Search Results
When it comes down to it, the quality of a search result set is pretty subjective. As long as the most relevant websites congregate towards the top of the search results, most users feel it was a worthy search. The differences in result sets are subtle and probably aren’t noticed by the majority of users.
How the results look in a browser, on the other hand, is where Bing stands out compared to Google. Perform a video search using both services. On Bing, the videos in the search result appear in an attractive tabular grid format, while Google simply returns a list that looks like a standard search result.
Additionally, Bing actually allows to search directly for videos from the home page, whereas Google’s more spartan interface performs a generic search at first before letting you filter all the videos, images, news, etc. Obviously, many users prefer Google’s simpler interface, but it is hard to argue that their search results look as good as Bing when it comes to video content.
Since Google image search leverages a tabular grid format for results, expect the company to render video searches in a similar manner to match what Bing does.
Bing Rewards Pays You for Searching the Web
Microsoft offers a special program called Bing Rewards that lets you earn gift cards and other items simply by searching the Internet. For someone that spends a lot of time performing web searches, this is a feature that makes for a compelling reason to use Bing instead of Google. As long as a user stays logged into their Microsoft or Facebook account, any Bing searches using either a desktop, laptop, or a smartphone earn credits.
Gift cards are available from a wide variety of retailers that are part of the Bing Rewards program. They include Amazon, GameStop, Xbox Live, and a host of casual and fast food restaurants. It takes around 500 credits to earn a $5 Amazon gift card; with users earning around one credit for every two searches (with a limit of 15 credits per day using search), it takes a while to be able to redeem for a gift.
Credits are also earned by other methods, including signing up for Skype or getting your friends to join Bing Rewards. As Google doesn’t offer a similar program for their web search engine, it makes sense for Microsoft to do so in the hopes of attracting more users to try out Bing — and stick with it, in the hopes of earning rewards.
What Lies in the Search Engine Future?
The future of this search engine war will increasingly be fought on mobile devices, where Google holds a significant advantage considering Android’s popularity. New features like natural language search where you can type in real phrases and sentences to return specific results are also in the development stages. Also, expect both Microsoft and Google to lead the way in improving result sets based on user interests derived from both search history and social media accounts.
Still, if you find yourself performing a lot of web searches, Bing Rewards makes for a good reason to use Bing instead of Google considering the quality of the search result sets are essentially similar.