Surfin’ [Redmond,] USA

Bing!

Doesn’t it sound funny to your ears? Or are they trying to pull a Google here? The irony is, I don’t think Google ever sounded funny in anyone’s ears. One of the reasons might be that it’s been a household term for years now.

By the way, just in case you missed the “big” news, Bing is the latest search engine launched by Microsoft. I remember the days when there used to be something called an MSN Search. When it was rechristened to Live Search, most didn’t pay attention. Maybe that’s a good-enough reason to come out with a name which will become a crowd-puller—because it’ll ring a bell (in your ears). Like Google? But only, it’s Bing! I can understand people exclaiming “Bingo!” every time they find something they’re looking for. But, Bing?

Anyway, like everyone else, I also tried Bing! (Sorry for repeating the word too many times—as I already said, it sounds funny to my ears ;-))

When you go to Bing.com, besides the search engine bar, a user gets a random picture (of some significance) with information tagged to it. Good call… but I wonder how useful this idea is considering no one would stay on the homepage of a search engine more than what he takes to enter the keywords for the information he’s looking for.

This is exactly what Google understood years ago—there should be bare-minimum elements on the homepage that doesn’t distract the user from what he’s looking for. Remember the other search engine giants from the 90s—AltaVista, Lycos, Excite, et al? Where are they now? Most of them would try to bombard the user with information right on the home page, without paying much heed to the fact that user a is here, in the first place, to search for something. You got to provide that service first!

Let’s talk about the core matter here: search! Try and enter the term “Linux” in it. Do the same on Google also. Compare the results. Notice the difference?

I mean, what the heck are certifications and events doing on the first page of Bing’s search results? There’s even a link for “Linux on Laptops”! OK, so there is Ubuntu too. But, what about Red Hat and Debian? Also, compared to about.com’s definition of Linux, isn’t kernel.org more important?

It’s the search algorithm that you’re using, mate. Gotta improve it, a lot! Until then, decorating your homepage and asking users to install Silverlight if they want to check out the older home page backgrounds from your archives won’t help you one bit. Because, that’s not at all what “search” users will be looking for when they land up at Bing, if at all.

One thought on “Surfin’ [Redmond,] USA”

  1. LOL. You know what BING is supposed to stand for? BING Is Not Google. Okay, the search on Linux was a bit biased and the results were biased to. Try searching for something obscure. Like Rann Of Katchh. Try pictures as well. You’ll se BING turns up with brilliant pictures, but the main area, the text search, is way behind Google.

    Something else that was launched was Wolfram Alpha(http://www.wolframalpha.com). Thats a Web Interface to an instance of Mathematica (basically) and its a boon to researchers. Its a boon to casual problem solvers as well. Try doing “Red Hat, Microsoft” and you’ll get an enrmous amount of market info regarding the two.

    The true test begins: Will “Have you Binged for it” become as common as “Have you Googled for it”? Coz BING is seriously good when it comes to images.

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