I still remember the day that I was introduced to the world of Google. I was in high school and my English teacher took us all down to the library to show us how to do research online. She showed us Google and instructed us to use it when looking for anything online and from there my Google addiction began. I now have a Gmail account, use Google Maps on my phone, use Google analytics to track what I publish online and most importantly still exclusively use Google for search.
This week that all changed.
I am still not 100% sure how the idea to have a ‘Bing Week’ came around – where the C Squared editorial team only used Bing for search, images, maps etc – but the honest motivation was to be able to ridicule it publicly at the end of the week. I am not sure why, but us journalists take a lot of pride in saying how rubbish something is and making sure that EVERYONE knows it! And sometimes you naturally fear and judge that which you do not know.
So, on Monday we all switched our default search engine on our web browsers to Bing – naturally we all had Google. And in this first task we learned our first ‘Bingism’ – Mozilla really wants you to use Google and switching to Bing is not as straight forward as it could be. But we all got there eventually.
The next task was finding out the time it is in Singapore. We are a global company so searching for time zones is something that we do often (it took a lot for me not to write ‘Googling for time zones’ by the way).
When we searched ‘What time is it in Singapore’, the Bing result was a list of websites that could give the time:
However we are all use to putting this search request into Google where the time appears above the search results:
But that’s hardly anything to moan about.
Next was searching for images. Basically, Bing’s image search offering is awesome. Not only can you search for my beloved Oprah Winfrey but you can also then filter those searches by head and shoulder shots, ones where she is wearing red perhaps or even the layout of the image – square, wide, or tall (things that Google also offers) but there are small added bonuses that make Bing image search standout for me, such as, suggesting related people, suggesting related searches to Oprah and being able to look at my search history in a quick glance.
Next and perhaps the decider was the wholly grail of Google - Maps. I didn’t find much difference on the Bing map compared to Google’s except for the fact that it is considerably more detailed and I did miss Street View. Plus, I had to cheat once or twice and use Google Maps on my phone due to the lack of a Bing option. I am too new media to print out a map.
So what’s the verdict?
I actually like Bing and I will not be switching my default browser back to Google: which is a big deal in my world!
The truth is there really isn’t that much separating the two, search is search. And while they both have subtle differentiators at the end of the day they both deliver the same result. And while it does feel good to have one less Google influence in my life, I will miss making fun of @joewalton at Weber Shandwick for being an avid user of Bing because I am now one too ...