In short, Microsoft says of its new search engine, 'Bing is a search engine that finds and organizes the answers you need so you can make faster, more informed decisions.'
Great! But will it be able to grind away at the 65-70% market share Google currently keeps? Ironically, looks as though Microsoft will try and do it the old-fashioned way – a massive advertising campaign.
Google is to search engines as Kleenex is to tissue. A brand embedded deep into the minds of most Internet users and Microsoft has a significant uphill battle in front of them to try and change the habits in this mainly Google-Only society.
The word is that Microsoft plans to spend $80 to $100 million in online, TV, radio and print, according to AdvertisingAge. If nothing else, the computer giant is doing its part in keeping ad agencies and traditional media alive with this beast of a campaign. But their sole mission is to convince the public that there's a new alternative to the search engines of today.
This is a perfect example of giving consumers something they don't even realize they need or want. If you ask the typical Internet searcher, chances are they won't complain much about what Google and Yahoo have to offer – it's likely they don't know enough about today's search engines to realize some of their shortcomings. That's what Microsoft hopes to expose with their monstrous ad campaign – simply, that searching online can be better and here's how:
- When shopping for products on Bing, the search engine will reveal product reviews, specs and pricing on the search page. It may also include a unique feature called 'Bing cashback' – which will reward the searcher with a cash back guarantee if they click through and make the purchase.
- Searching for a health issue? Bing will give a quick summary of any ailment you may be searching for. Think of it as a small drop down box that lets you quickly read about the injury, sickness or disease that you're searching for. (From a website owner perspective, I'd like the searcher to get the info from my site, not straight from Bing)
- The Travel search feature is pretty cool since it displays the best deals on the web in a single view. This could become Bing's most popular feature. It also includes a simple sidebar in the left column that offers related information and links to your destination city. And Bing even includes a search bar for your airline and flight number that displays your flight status.
- The local search info that Bing displays is very similar to that of Google and Yahoo. It may be more of a different structure and organized look that Microsoft was attempting in this department. There are some helpful reviews included if you're searching for a new restaurant and they claim that Bing offers better directions that its competitors.
- If you're searching for new or used cars, the automotive-type search results give you a quick glance at price, mpg, safety ratings and reviews along with photos and videos of the car you're searching for.
All in all, Bing may have a few new bright spots and early indications are that it's done a nice job in accurate search results and easy-to-use features, but the question remains – will it be enough to pull people away from Google?