Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Things 55. Google OR Bing - Which Thing?

Are you “gaga" over Google  or "bonkers" for Bing? Most of us are familiar with the many facets of Google, but it's time to take a closer look at Bing. Since its launch in 2009, Bing has offered an alternative to Google. While similar to Google, Bing offers a variety of unique features.

Bing takes a simple approach while inviting you in to search the web, news, travel, and shopping. You can also look for videos, search for images or maps, look up local businesses or begin with a visual search. Some key aspects to Bing include ease in exploring "how" Bing works as a search and decision tool.

Bing also provides toolbox access for webmasters, businesses and advertisers – including search engine optimization tips and advertising opportunities to make money on your site. Bing also promotes community connections with the use of forums and blogs and has a rewards program for users, such as “cashback” options while shopping. So far it sounds like Bing and Google do basically the same thing, yet each application has distinctly different offering

Of the many Bing features, below is a highlight of just a few that may be useful to you or your patrons.

Check out the ability to hover to the right of search results to get a quick snapshot of the item before actually looking at it. Example: search for your library, then hover to the right of the result. A box will pop up with basic information. Perhaps a patron is simply trying to locate your address and phone number - there it is! This tool can be very useful in locating what you are seeking with less search time. It can also be a helpful patron tool in deciding if they are even starting with the right search topic.

Searching is conveniently topic-layered to make choice easier. Example: looking for information on an author? Pick your favorite and notice as you type in the name you will see that the results begin to organize in specific categories, i.e. biography, books, book titles, etc. If you are just looking for books or a specific book listed, there it is!

Want to know what or who is hot or not? What's the trend of a book? Choose "Explore" on the Bing search page, choose xRank, click and type in the topic or person to check on popularity. Not only do you get a graph, but some additional general information as well.

No Twitter for you? Bing can still keep you up-to-date on the latest tweets - check it out at www.bing.com/twitter.

Not sure what that "thingy" you are looking for is called? Bing has visual search capability. Example: you see a cool cat-grooming tool while visiting a friend. You can look up cat grooming tools, begin an image search, and within minutes find out it's called a "cat slicker brush with combs."

Bing has many other functions worth checking out. Once you begin exploring you can find a variety of applications that can enhance your search experience. There are many tools that can be quite helpful to patrons as well. It is clear that Google and Bing each bring something different to the screen. If you’re curious to see a side-by-side comparison of the two, visit this site.

By Lynn Stern, SAMMIE


minnemom said...

Thank you for the info on Bing. So far all I've used of it is the cashback and its mobile app.

The link to the comparison site at the end of the article returns a 404 error.

Ann WS said...

Thanks! I fixed the link.

Lean 23 Things said...

when I try to link to the comparison site via firefox with google toolbar activated I get redirected to an igoogle page. when i link from Internet Explorer I get the side by side comparison.