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Google vs Bing - a phrase that you will hear more and more of this year.
The reason being, recently Microsoft have been focusing on their search engine 'Bing', proving to be a very real threat to Google. But could you switch from Google? Think about how often you use Google, when we want to know something, the majority of us automatically Google it, it's become a reflex. So what can Bing offer us as an alternative? Can it provide the same quality? Or better?
The first thing you will ask yourself if you're considering switching to Bing is 'will I get accurate search results?'
According to Bing, their hard work to return relevant search results has paid off. Bing's internal testing results showed that they regularly beat Google in search result quality. Backed up by an independent research company, it was found that 'people preferred Bing web search results nearly 2:1 over Google in blind comparison tests'.
So how are Bing getting it so right? Well firstly they invite you to try it yourself on BingItOn.com.
With Bing it On, you can bring the life the Google vs Bing debate and compare search results from both Google and Bing right next to each other. The beauty of it is that you don't know which is which - a very humbling move from Bing. You choose which search results you think are the most applicable to your query, after 5 blind tests, you get to know which search engine has outperformed the other.
Google is renowned for it's accurate results, and has been for a while now. However their search shares have dipped whilst Bing's have risen. The threat may not be something to worry about at the moment, but if this pattern continues then Bing will be the dominant search engine by 2016 (according to The Guardian Online). For now though, Google will still remain top dog.
Visual appeal is very important for search engines, so how do Google and Bing measure? Well, Bing's search results pages do have a certain visual appeal, especially since Google made it's search results busier with "+1" buttons, social annotations etc. So in this respect Bing has one up on good old Google.
This is one area where Bing is best! Despite Google's many advantages, it just doesn't measure up to Bing for one simple reason - Microsoft (the folks behind Bing) have befriended the social media giants Facebook and Twitter. In comparison to Google+ (Googles answer to social media), Twitter and Facebook have more users - especially combined.
The benefit of Bing's friendship with Twitter and Facebook is this - they get more access to user data. Extremely valuable if for example an online business owner wants to look at the behaviour of social media data.
Instant search predicts search terms when a user is typing something into the search box. This is provided by both Google and Bing, but is noticeably quicker with Google. However this is not to say that Bing's instant search is slow and inaccurate, on the contrary, it is very accurate and can sometimes outperform Google.
Despite Bing's impressive advances, Google is still the most powerful search engine out there, especially with the strength of it's search engine crawlers. The people that should really start to pay attention to Bing are online marketers, for the social media integration. Bing's major advantage over Google is Microsoft's partnerships with Twitter and Facebook, therefore online marketers will hugely benefit from Bing's valuable social media data.
Google vs Bing, is a very valid and competitive fight at the moment, but the question is, will Bing take a different direction from Google? And will Google allow it, or dominate further? It's definitely one to watch and we would love you to tell us via Facebook or Twitter which search engine you use, whether it's Google, Bing or another.
If you are looking for more information why not check out our Search Engine Optimisation Page?