Bing It On Report

October 26, 2012

This post is brought to you by Alt Summit and their partner Bing. I’ve been taking the Bing It On challenge this week! Read on to see my conclusions.

By Gabrielle.

Okay, Friends. I’ve been Binging It On for a week now, and I promised here that I’d report today. These are my thoughts:

1) I may not be the best candidate to try this out. Why? Because I was delighted with my search results this week! But. I’m pretty much always delighted with my search results. I still find the internet kind of magical. (You mean, I can type a question, any question into the search bar, and I’ll find answers? Gasp. That’s amazing.) So I was ready to be impressed. And I was impressed.

2) The layout was the thing I noticed the most. Google is not Apple. It is not a company of designers. And its search pages — even its logo — have never been that appealing to me. I find them practical, but not pretty. (And I believe things can be both.) So I much prefer the layout and organization of the Bing homepage and search results. I find them much easier on the eyes, and more instinctive to navigate.

3) The thing that fascinated me the most this week is the realization that searching has become a cultural phenomenon. That as internet users, we’re ready to defend our favorite search engine like we would defend our favorite soda or favorite book. That 10 years in, we’re deeply bothered that anyone would even ask us to consider trying something new. That’s how I felt when I was asked to do this challenge. My first reaction was: No way, I use Google. Period.

But then I thought about my reaction and decided it was odd. Why was I so defensive of a search engine? I don’t own any stock. I don’t pay money to use search engines. I tried to think of another free service I love so I could compare. I thought of Hulu. If someone introduced a Hulu competitor, would I stick with Hulu by default? Would I even check out the new site? I’m so interested by that train of thought!

Conclusion: I’ve decided a week isn’t really long enough for me to adopt a new habit. So for now, I’m going to keep my default search engine Bing. And if that ever stops making sense, or I want to try something new, I’ll switch it up again. Easy.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on brands. Are you a brand agnostic, or a brand loyal? For clothes, appliances, websites? Or just certain things? As for me, I’m pretty sure I’m a brand loyal, but in my head, I want to be a brand agnostic, so I work hard to be open minded. : )

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ajbc October 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm

For search, I’m a Google loyalist. They have all my data–all my searches and all my email starting from 2004. And Bing, no matter how great, won’t have access to that, so they can’t give me as good of results.

To illustrate: If I search my name in Bing, the second hit is my Facebook account. If I search my name in Google, the first four links are about me, plus I have a little profile off to the side. Egotistical, but it makes my point.

I agree that brand loyalty is something that should be questioned, and we should move to superior products. Google shouldn’t be my search engine because I’m a Google junkie, which I admit I am. But, I’m also a computer scientist studying personalized recommendation algorithms, and I’ve got to trust the guys with the data.

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2 ajbc October 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I do support a diversity of options, and I’m glad Microsoft is trying to get back into the game. For those without their feet firmly planted with Google already, I fully encourage this kind of exploration.

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3 Azra October 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Gabrielle, I am the same way. I loyal to Google in an extent of not trying to use anything else. It didn’t even cross my mind. It is funny and silly when I think about it now. I am going to try Bing and see what’s going to happen.

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4 Heather October 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I LOVE my Bing homepage! The photos change daily and I learn something all the time. I don’t travel as much as I would like, but get to thru the photos on the Bing homepage. It feeds my creative/artsy side to see something so beautiful each day, just with turning on my computer. That is my 2 cents!

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5 Karyl November 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

I do love Bing and the beautiful photos. I alternate between Bing and Google. :-)

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