Bing me!

June 1, 2009 in Internet

Reviews of Microsoft's new search engine Bing keep rolling in - and are utterly disappointing. I'm talking about the reviews, not the engine. Invariably, the reviewing site searches for itself followed by a few key words the site finds relevant. The most "helpful" reviews show side by side screenshots of Google and Bing.

Forgive me for doubting if a handful of words and a screenshot can sum up the quality of an index covering billions of quieries, particularly when quality is such a subjective evaluation. By design, the sample searches are artificial, and it is impossible to ascertain whether the results are relevant. One user's search for "technology" is not the same as another's and such methods in no way account for the intent of the user.

But even more, I find it funny that people would listen to "reviews" of something like a search engine, which has literally zero cost of trying. Even worse are the video reviews - why would anyone watch someone else doing something which they could do just as well themselves with absolutely no training?

Which is why, starting today, I have made Bing my default search engine in Chrome. Over the next few days I will use it as my search page. If I like it, I'll stay. If I miss Google, I'll go back. Inherently, this method of assessing Bing is far more comprehensive than making a decision based on just one or two sample searches. Already, I'm impressed by some of the features - video autoplay, search result preview, even the option to open searches in a new window.

But after saying all that, I did a comparison search for "Bing review". Google's results discuss the new search engine exclusivly. Bing's results don't include the site at all.

Go figure.

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