Three Reasons to Switch to Bing and One Big Reason to Stick with Google

BlogHer Original Post

I've been quietly complaining about my dependence on Google, and for the last year or so I've been trying to avoid using Google tools -- as often as possible. Turns out it's easier to complain about Google dependence than it is to give up Google.

  • My Gmail account is my primary personal e-mail account, and I don't really want to go through the hassle of making that go away.
  • We use Google docs at work -- a lot.
  • I try to use Blip.TV instead of YouTube, but YouTube is just so darn simple and convenient, particularly uploading from the Flip Video interface.

I shut off Google Buzz, and I refuse to answer any G-chat requests. I ditched my Google calendars. I ditched my Blogger blogs years ago. I refuse to keep Chrome installed on my computer. I download it for performance tests and bug tracking, and then I uninstall it again. Google Wave and Google Health -- no thanks, not interested.

But I did finally give in and switch to Google Reader -- after a several-day Bloglines outage and a three-day experiment with other RSS feedreaders. The switch to Google Reader ticked me off enough that I decided to try to alleviate my biggest Google dependence of all -- Google Search.

I know. Scary, right? Right. Yet it also felt like a good time to give Bing an honest to goodness try -- so I did. I changed my default search engine to Bing. I installed the Bing app for my iPhone and played with voice search.

Can I just say that I love the voice search application? It's fun, and it's pretty reliable unless someone is talking right next to you while you're doing your voice search. I love it so much that I think I'll probably stick with Bing as my search engine of choice for my iPhone.

Mashable has Five Reasons to Switch to Bing, and I can really only agree on three of them. To be fair, I didn't spend any time on travel-related searches, and while I like the Expanded View in some cases, I don't think it's a feature that makes it worth switching for.

Visual Search -- I liked it, and I didn't expect to. I don't use a search engine for fun; it's serious business for me. I want my results fast, and I want them solid -- images tend to dilute the process. When I let myself just have fun with search, I turned to the visual galleries and clicked away. It WAS fun. I searched iPhone apps for a good long time. I might even have spent more than a half hour surfing the Most Wanted gallery. Maybe.

Bing Tweets is a nifty little interface that I did find useful. There were a couple of news stories last week that I needed to research a bit more -- I wanted to find out who was talking about those topics and if they were sharing any links that I hadn't seen. Bing had the topics as trending, I clicked and I found links I was looking for. It was quick. It was easy. I'll use this tool again.

Cashback is the Bing product that I'm most interested in, but the one I probably won't use myself. I do a lot of online shopping, but I never remember to shop through the sites that give me special returns or rewards on my purchases. I did set up my account, and I've got a note sitting next to my laptop to remind me to order some flowers or something through a Bing Cashback store to see how it works. I'll let you know in the comments (and if you're using Cashback, tell me what you think of it!)

After my three-day experiment with Bing, I decided I had more fun with Bing search but Google was more efficient.

I need my results sorted by date, and I need to be able to quickly search for blog posts on specific topics. I can do both with Bing, but it's not nearly as quick or efficient as Google. I found myself getting frustrated quickly, and when I got frustrated, I just bounced over to Google and grabbed what I needed.

I also found that the results I really wanted didn't appear quite as high in the results list with Bing as they did with Google. To make sure that I was right -- that I was really seeing the type of results that I thought I was -- I used the two searches side-by-side to do research for a piece I was editing. Yep -- Google was more efficient. I also played with the Google vs Bing side-by-side result tool. Again, Google was more efficient.

There are others who are considering breaking their addiction to Google. You can read about them here:

How many Google tools do you use? Have you given Bing a try?

~Denise BlogHer Community Manager
Flamingo House Happenings

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