Bing is one of the newest major search engines to appear in the web arena. It is Microsoft’s search engine and follows its predecessor that was known as Live Search. Live Search did not realize the success it had hoped for thus Bing became the replacement. At first glance, most think that Bing is just another equivalent substitute for Google except with a colorful, randomly displayed background image but this is not entirely true. Bing is looking to compete with Google with the goal of becoming the default choice in search engines among web users. There are differences between the two.

The core of Google is its specialization and years of experience. These two core competencies undoubtedly keep Google at the top of the major search engine list. Microsoft’s mission is divided between software and search engines while Google is only about the latter. Therefore, it would not be surprising if search results appear in Google that do not in Bing because of Google’s extensive index database network built over many years. But it is only a matter of time before Bing’s index becomes just as populated as Google’s.

Bing has an advantage with its site text preview feature. When the Bing search engine results page (SERP) becomes populated, you can hover on any center-page link and additional text will be displayed to the right of it. This can be quite useful when you want to get more details as to the context of a site before actually breaking out to it.

Another handy advantage of Bing is its capability of categorizing related searches. The related searches are conveniently located along the left-hand side of the SERP. The category names are intuitive and give definitive names to what you will find when you click them.

It’s difficult to say which is better-equipped for handling natural language searches. Both Bing and Google can handle these types of searches. For example, you can type a natural language search query such as “What is a black hole?” and both will return SERPs with links to websites that may answer your question. But Bing seems a little more helpful with its related search links along the left-hand side of the page making it well-adapted for research.

Bing is also handy for video searches with its preview feature. How many times have you tried to search for a video and spent an excessive amount of time having to visit each site from the Google video thumbnail listing? If you have a slower internet connection, the task can be even more daunting. With Bing, all you have to do is go to the video search page and hover your mouse over the thumbnails. Hovering will give you a preview of the video and allow you to make the decision to go to the website or not. This is a real timesaver.

Optimization with Bing is different than with Google. However, the exact differences are speculative at best. This is because Bing’s ranking algorithm is reported to be more of a mystery than Google’s. It is also reported that Bing’s ranking algorithm is totally automated with no aspects of human intervention. Webmasters have done extensive side-by-side comparisons of Bing and Google search results and have noted that it appears that Bing places a greater emphasis on the age of a website. It is thought that a new website might have a more difficult time getting ranked because of this age consideration.

Bing is making rapid advances in market share. In 2009, the search engine giant Yahoo and Microsoft have joined their search engine resources in order to create formidable competition with Google. This partnership also results in the acquisition of a 10-year license by Yahoo! for the use of Microsoft’s search technology. The bottom line is that Bing is expected to be even more significant in the search engine market.

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