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What is Bing - is it a rival to Google. Should I take more notice of it?

Bing is the new search engine from Microsoft. Yes it is a rival to Google and to date, it’s had some good reviews. One of it’s key features is that it’s search results show information from Twitter. But as an alternative to Google, it’s probably the best out there. Its user base is still small compared to Google but Microsoft have invested a great deal into this so watch this space.

Fadi Shuman, Co-Founder & Ecommerce Director, Pod1 London/New York

People will be quick to dismiss Bing (provided by Microsoft) but I wouldn’t advise being so quick to ignore it. Currently Google accounts for around 85% of all searches in the UK while Bing only picks up about 3% but that may change over the next 12 months. The way a search is managed by all of these engines is changing. Bing offers more of a ‘live search’ service, this means that if you search for “flight times” for example the results will pull live flight times from all the relevant websites as well as offering you hotel and weather information. Does that effect retail related searches? Probably not at the moment.

Looking at the strength of Google’s brand and its ‘ownership’ of search Bing may struggle to make any large market share gains but it will gain a little. The biggest problem for Microsoft though is that Bing is an alternative for something that most people are already happy with.

Also, Google are shortly launching a new engine behind all their searches, it’s nicknamed Caffeine and basically it’s supposed to pick up freshly posted data from web pages on a live basis therefore placing them higher up search results. It’s only in a test stage at the moment and users won’t notice much of a difference but the point is that search is changing and with it Google’s dominance may be reduced slightly. That will take time of course so at the moment I wouldn’t worry too much about Bing but bear in mind that 12 months down the line it could all be very different.

Andy Francis, Co-founder, e-style

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