Google Just Made Bing The Best Search Engine

I just switched the default search engine in my browser from Google to Bing. And if you care about working efficiently, or getting the right results when you search, then maybe you should too. Don't laugh!

Google changed the way search works this week. It deeply integrated Google+ into search results. It's ostensibly meant to deliver more personalised results, but it pulls those personalised results largely from Google services — Google+, Picasa, YouTube. Search for a restaurant and the top result might be someone you know discussing it on Google+ instead of the restaurant's website. Over at SearchEngineland, Danny Sullivan has compiled a series of damning examples of the ways Google's new interface promotes Google+ over relevancy. Long story short: It's a huge step backwards.

A lot of people are crying foul, and even "anti-trust". Sure, it does seem pretty transparently designed to drive traffic and users to Google+, and to make Google+ brand pages the go-to place for a company's social media presence. And it's true that results from Facebook and Twitter in particular have been noticeably kicked down.

But I didn't switch for political reasons, or as an act of protest. I don't care if Google hurts Twitter or Facebook — or even Friendster for that matter. Boo-hoo. I only care if it hurts me. And this does. Google broke itself.

For years, Google Search has been the highest quality web product I've ever used. It has remained consistently essential as an information-delivery mechanism. I typically hit it hundreds of times a day — on my phone, tablet, laptop and desktop. But with one update it wiped out all those years of loyalty and goodwill it had built up. Sure, I can opt out of social results with a click — but as with all things I don't want to have to opt out. I don't want to have to make that extra click. I want to enter a query and have the most relevant results returned to me as quickly as possible. (And if Google genuinely doesn't think it's a big deal for people to take the extra step of opting out, why has it focused so relentlessly on optimising speed for so many years?)

The great thing is, of course, you can just switch. Hit up your browser preferences and swap your default to Bing. I know, I know, but yes I'm serious. Sure, Bing had a rocky start. But if you haven't seen it recently it's worth another look. It has a super clean interface. It's fast. And operators work the way you expect them to. Best of all it's relevant.

In short, it's a lot like Google. Not the Google of today, but the Google you fell in love with, the one that put your search results about its financial ones. The Google that delivered.


Comments

    Couldn't agree more. Bing is actually quite good for relevant results without serving you pages of gumpf.

      I always use bing on my WP7 - it is the best for finding stuff like movies, restarunts, 'where am i' type stuff, or anything that involves inteligence (tying together different information to present it to me in an appropriate way).

      however if i wanted to find out the origin of monopoly, i find Google more useful.

      they both have good and bad features about them

    just wanted to point out - wouldn't it be easier to just opt out and still have your glorious Google search the way you want it than to switch your browsers default search engine? just a thought, maybe you didn't think about that because you were too busy ranting instead of writing a worthwhile article.

      It sounds to me that for this author it is a matter of principle. Not so much that you can opt out of it but that you shouldn't have to in the first place. For a lot of people, if they're unhappy about something they'll whine about it for a while and then accept it. Whereas the author here is advising that if you don't like it, then switch to another product.

      Personally I'm going to do what you said, opt out and still have my "glorious Google search".

        Sounds like it, but he says its not.

        "But I didn’t switch for political reasons, or as an act of protest. "

        u rock. good call bro. sometimes i find stuff on this site that doesn't look at all sides of the cube and assumes its just a square

          Lol... did you guys actually read the article? like the whole article? because I think you will find he explains about the "opt out" and you accuse him of not looking at "all sides of the cube"

    what a load of crap, seriously who writes this crap
    1. you can easily opt out
    2. it only works if you've signed in
    3. some peopleprefer to get results thats actually filtered by their preference

      If you read the article that is linked, you will find that Google will offer you Google+ suggestions even if you are signed out.

      Now I use a couple of google services on a daily basis (gmail, blog, etc) and I don't want to be signing out and signing in every time I want to perform a search.

        You can set it to opt out by default, you do it once and then you never have to see those reults again. If you do wish to for a particular search its easy enough to toggle on.

          I believe that it saves a cookie on to your computer in order for Google to remember your 'Opt Out' selection. Once you delete your cookies then you have no more Opt Out

            Obviously if you delete the cookies for a website you can't really expect the site to remember your settings. Also if you don't use G+ the the change doesn't impact you anyway.

    Grammar error; second last sentence, "about", should be "above"?. "Not the Google of today, but the Google you fell in love with, the one that put your search results about its financial ones."

    I use duckduckgo as my default search engine. They don't track what you search like Google and it uses both bing and yahoo as its search provider. If I get stuill go to google then

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    I have used Bing since its inception; it works for me at least as well as Google, has some better features and Google has a few featres that Bing does not. In the end though, I prefer Bing.

      I prefer Bing as well and I switched over because I was of the thinking that Google will start pushing more and more to their own services and this is happening. I like that Bing offers a different picture or HTML5 movie each day instead of the boring Google that they have patented. The layout for search results is better in my opinion and Bing was first with a lot of features that Google are now using. The only thing that ANNOYS me is that a lot of Bing services are only available in the USA instead world wide.

        + 1 Barry - I've switched too, but find the same US-only issues from time to time.

        Google Maps also can be more useful for me in my profession because they actually have the cadastre layer on the maps, where as Bing doesn't - but I still prefer the way Bing looks all round.

    Fortunately nobody uses Google+ so it's unlikely I'll hit one of the four friends who've signed up for it discussing a restaurant!

    I'll give Bing another shot though.

      'no-one uses G+'
      you're absolutely right... and there's the justification as to why google did this... they're still pushing it hey!

    Won't Bing results just end up mirroring the new google+ integrated search results anyway?

    Didn't google do a test and show that Microsoft actually just copies their results from google?

    My nephew works in IT and he put me onto Bing a couple of years ago now. I love it and spend a couple of minutes every day with their new image of the day. On the rare occasions I've not been able to find something I'm looking for, switching to Google hasn't helped. They do tend to throw up lists in a different order but they both cover the same bases.

    If I have to make a conscience choice between MS and Google, MS win hands-down, because they aren't cluttering up my web experience with bloody advertising.

      yes 100% correct sir. good call

    I've used both a fair bit, and unless Google seriously broke something here Bing remains the inferior product.

    Will hit both with a few queries to see how the results fare. Google's image search (the main thing I search for nowadays) remains far superior.

      Ah, i see. Well that's not too trckiy at all!"

    There is an amazing amount of FUD in relation to this new search feature.
    - Google+ is prioritized above twitter and facebook in the search results as neither of those services allow indexing by google.
    - Its really easy to turn the feature off by default and toggle it back on only when you need it.
    - For those who use a lot of Google services the deeper integration is a good thing and in most cases if you dont like it you can opt out.

    Maybe opted out should have been the default setting, but I dont think Googles choice to implement it the way they have done warrants the histerical response.

    I just gave Bing a try on my iPhone and Laptop and have just realised how crap Google is in comparison. Great to see Microsoft is really picking up on there quality again. Fingers crossed for Windows 8.

    This article is bs and the image used is completely misleading. It's a new feature which is actually pretty convenient.. Anyway this it only an OPTION and can be easily disabled... seriously its CES week and we're reading an article about yet another noob having a cry over more options...

    I'm a Microsoft fan and even i'll admit Google beats Bing 10000 to 1...
    Seriously Mat Honan, how do you come up with this ****?? If you don't like new features in technology you shouldn't be here.. Google is still exactly the same, BUT it has a NEW feature.. if you don't like it don't use it and that's that..

    I agree that the article is misleading because the issue can easily be turned off. However I am glad I read it because I now prefer to use Bing now because I just found out how great it is. I wouldn't have even tried it if I hadn't read the article.

    What gets me is has anyone actually tried a real-world test?

    I use Google Every day, several times a day, as part and parcel of my work. Yes, I'm signed in with my Google+ Profile too.

    I also use it almost continuously for personal searches, as I'm currently researching restaurants and venues for 3 family parties we're organising this month. (The exact scenario Mat suggests is rife with social pollution.)

    Yet the _ONLY_ time I've seen a social suggestion is when I searched for a friends name, to test that it was actually showing social results...

    Storm in a tea-cup...

    Mat, perhaps you should actually try it before you go off on wild rant next time...

    If i had to choose between these two I think i'll stick with Google.. the less evil one

    Don't doo iiiit!!!!!!

      Well the "Less evil one", happens to be a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. It don't GET much more evil than that.

    I'm with Glenn here. I'm signed into Google+ all day, and I use iGoogle as my home page. I've havent noticed any change in search results. I was beginning to think this change was only rolled out in the US or something like that.
    However, this might just be that I dont really use Google+ and only have a few friends there, who also dont use it.
    I also can't seem to find the opt -out button which again makes me think this hasn't fully rolled out yet.

    Mat mate, I come here for news... not to read someone's biased rant on how he dislikes an optional personalised search feature.
    Couldn't help but laugh at this article

    Are you secretly working for Microsoft/Bing ???

    Funny thing.
    The Google I'M using doesn't appear to be any different at all.??
    (google.com.au)
    Not yet at any rate.

    I'm sorry, but Bing is an almost direct copy of Google. I saw this announced 2 days ago and thought "hmmm, careful, you're moving away from relevant search, where you began" But:

    1- It's opt out, which means you can have the same old Google if you want and
    2- I've noticed no difference at all. Period. I have G+ but don't use it and I'm always signed in on Chrome.

    Microsoft is producing great things. I love Windows Phone and Win 8 looks awesome, but seriously?? Bing is almost a carbon copy....why would I change to something else the same, if not slightly worse just because they added a feature I can remove anyway?

    Hahahaha I peeked into this article just knowing the controversy would spark.
    Who cares. I find the responses more entertaining than the article. *eats popcorn*

    Bing search is nowhere near as useful for me. The results I get from my searches just don't seem to be as good - Google gives the result I was looking for as either the 1st or 2nd result, every single time.

    Also, Google Maps integration works a lot better with Google Search and Bing Maps are rubbish in comparison, in my experience.

    I hardly use Google+ and only have a few"actual friends" in my Circles, so the risk of having my search results contaminated is very small indeed....and if something does come up from Google+, it probably IS relevant.

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