The dust is starting to settle following the beta launch of Microsoft’s new Bing search engine, and the time is right to take a critical look at how does Bing compare with Google?

There’s been a huge amount written, and I’ve picked out a few highlights:

Bing’s Market Share

Hitwise have published the UK search engine market share figures for the week ending 6 June, and Bing has captured a very respectable  5.78% of searches, putting it ahead of Yahoo! and Ask.

Google’s market share across it’s various search properties tops 82%.

Comparing Bing Results to Google Results

I wanted to compare the Google’s results with Bing’s results, and Blackdog have produced an incredible useful gadget to compare the search results side-by-side. I have sign posted to the google.co.uk version, but there are also comparisons for many other country versions.

The differences are quite dramatic, and I would recommend having a look through to see where your own site ranks.

What Does Bing Say About Your Website

My company listing in Bing is similar to Google’s in that it at times it displays the information I provided in my own Title Tags and Description Tags, as well as pulling the information provided in the DMOZ Open Directory entry listing.

To the right of each result in the listings is an icon for a Quick Preview.  This is a true improvement on the search experience, providing additional information about the site before clicking through.  My own Quick Preview included copy scraped off the Home Page, again ignoring my own Meta Description Tags.

The Quick Preview also includes the equivalent of Google’ Sitelinks.  A big difference is these site links appear to display for all sites listed, not limited to the top rankings as per Google results.

Bing Additional Search

I have not been that impressed by Bing’s additional search functionality.

There is much discussion about Bing’s ability to provide results grouped by categories but working in the UK I do not appear to get this new feature.

Other cool features, for instance live travel information, search history:  they just don’t appear at the time of this review?

Shopping results are coming from the price comparison shopping engine Ciao.  This might present new marketing opportunities for online retailers in the UK, but doesn’t give a terribly trustworthy shopping search experience.

My Verdict?

Chandler Bing. Badda Bing. Bing Bling. Bingo was his Name-Oh.  Bing Crosby.  I can’t get my head around why they chose that brand.

Nevertheless, Microsoft is a powerful force to reckon with, and it has high aspirations for Bing.  For my own searching, I’m going to stick with Google for the moment, but keep a close eye on Bing developments, alongside Wolfram Alpha and a range of other new search engines.

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