eView: How Bing Compares, Contrasts With Google, Part 2
Continuing my discussion of how Bing compares and contrasts with Google, this week I highlight Bing's travel option, its "popular now" tab, what the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal means for Bing and more.
Read last week's article here.
Bing’s travel option is another unique element of its “decision engine” experience. As I said last week, Bing is really a user-friendly decision engine with a process engineered to streamline queries and results.
Bing travel functions are more like Expedia or Travelocity than a search engine, allowing users to find precisely what they're looking for at the best price. Responding to a flight query, for example, Bing yields results identical to those found on airline and package-value sites. Moreover, once a traveler opts for a specific flight or hotel, he's redirected to the appropriate purchasing page as if he'd performed the search directly with the carrier; travelers won’t find themselves reinputting identical requests.
Noteworthy among other novel features is Bing’s “popular now” tab, which takes users straight from the homepage to results for the most popular searches at the time. Image queries bring about grids of pictures that when rolled over display image size, website and file name data. Results can be filtered by size, layout, color, style and people (“just faces," “head and shoulders,” and “other”). Maps feature information on local businesses, people and locations, and detail the most up-to-date traffic information, indicating travel speeds and traffic flows on major thoroughfares.
The threat to Google
What's most threatening to Google’s lion share of the market can be surmised in one word: Microhoo. Similar to the Bennifer and Brangelina celebrity phenomena, Microhoo represents the joining of two powerhouses — Microsoft and Yahoo.
The tech giants announced in late July a 10-year deal where the two will continue to brand separately — albeit a “powered by Bing” on the search results of the Yahoo.com page — but will join resources and search potential. Microsoft hopes to channel Yahoo’s expertise in the online advertising space — it was dominant in the market until it fell to Google in 2007 — to make Bing.com a resounding success, and at the same time attract a large part of Google’s advertisers and market share.
The terms of the contract place Yahoo in charge of attracting premium advertisers. Microsoft will pay Yahoo 88 percent of all revenue gains for search queries on Yahoo.com’s site. The deal is expected to show its initial stages in early 2010.
In short, Bing sets out to provide more search options than most search engines, shortening the distance between users and the information or products they set out for. With its consistent interface, user-friendly options and convenient utilities, Bing isn’t just about providing web results.
Dinesh Boaz is the managing director and founder of Direct Agents Interactive Advertising, a New York City-based interactive advertising agency. Reach Dinesh at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at twitter.com/DBoaz.