What Bing Search Does And Could Do Better

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 17, 2010
Updated • Dec 10, 2012
Microsoft, Search

I switched to Bing recently and had my fair share of experience with Microsoft's search engine. The main reason for switching was a deterioration of quality results in Google Search. It began in May and has not changed since then. That, and the noise that has been added to search result pages over the past year. It happens that ads dominate the results in Google (and I count links to other Google products as ads as well).

Bing on the other hand does many things better and a few things worse than Google Search. This article takes a closer look at some of the differences between Google and Bing.

Searching from the address bar

It all begins with a search initiated from the browser address bar. I switched the address bar search engine in Firefox to Bing (see How To Change The Firefox Address Bar Search Provider for instructions on how to do that) and noticed a fundamental difference right away. Google Search redirects the user to specific websites if the query links to a unique website. Entering Microsoft for instance will open the Microsoft website directly. Bing on the other hand will always display the search results on Bing no matter what the search phrase is that the user enters.

This feature could be Firefox specific on the other hand. Google Chrome for instance redirects any search to Google Search without opening websites directly.

No focus

Bing is not focusing the search form on their homepage. I was used to start typing right away in Google Search which was possible because of the search form focus on the Google homepage.

In Bing users have to click in the search form to start searching. Check out Useful Tips To Get The Most Out Of Bing Search for a userscript that can enable the focus in Bing Search.

It would be nice if the Bing developers would auto-focus the search form for a better search experience.

Update: Bing puts the cursor in the search field, the NoScript add-on blocked this from happening.

Choice in search results

If you search in Google you get ten result web pages mixed in with ads and results from services such as Google News or video search. Google displays the ten results it thinks is best for the entered user query. Choice is only offered if Google is not sure what the user is looking for.

Bing on the other hand displays different choices for many search phrases. A search for Microsoft for instance will display the first few global results and then related results that link to Microsoft products, online services, investor relations or Microsoft jobs.

bing search
bing search

The related searches at the top left sidebar add to the search experience as well (Google displays something similar at the bottom of the results).

Custom time range

One interesting feature of Google is the ability to search a custom time range. This comes in hand if you are searching for a reoccurring topic or theme or want links to the websites that have recently discussed the search phrase.

Bing does not seem to have a comparable option right now. Most of the searches can on the other hand be refined to include recent postings. Instead of searching for World Cup Goals one could search for World Cup 2010 Goals for instance.

All those extra features are nice to have but it boils down to the quality of results in the end. A search engine is excellent if it displays the results that are helpful to the search engine users. Having said that, no search engine is perfect and I do switch to Google or Yahoo whenever I do not find what I'm looking for in Bing.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.