Microsoft’s update of LiveSearch launched this weekend. I haven’t read much of the hype, because I expect it is just that – hype. What I have absorbed is that Bing is supposed to be a “Google Killer” and a substantially new way of performing search, with the searcher being kept on the Bing site longer (because it gives them everything they need) so they can be exposed to more advertising.
The first thing I noticed when visiting Bing.com is the nice big graphic on the homepage. There was a little arrow indicating I could change the picture (hot air balloons, how original), but when I clicked on it, I was prompted to install Microsoft SilverLight, with no explanation of what it is. I happen to be aware that it’s supposed to be a Flash type program that allows rich media experience, but I don’t know that the typical visitor would be. Anyway, I learned my lesson from Windows Vista and my daughter’s X-Box to thouroughly research performance of Microsoft products before exposing my life to them, so, no thanks.
The searches returned results identical to LiveSearch. Focused on keyword relevance rather than link authority. On-page trump off-page factors, so very easy to get good ranking, even for competitive terms. Good news, I guess, if anyone actually starts using Bing.
On Bing.com you are automatically shown local listings, including a little map for certain searches. Not a huge difference from Google, which does that already. Also included are categorized links below the top result, kind of like Google Sitelinks.
A search for Pleasanton Restaurants in Bing resulted in a list of the worst restaurants in the area. I have a stomach ache just looking at it. The same search on Google results in a list of some very good, and some so-so restaurants. This is probably due to the review feature of Google Local. Bing has reviews listed too, but they are all pulled from Yelp. Bottom line is, as my son would say “FAIL.”
In conclusion, my first reaction to Bing.com is that it is a mediocre attempt to copy Google, so I have a hard time seeing how it is going to be a Google Killer.