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Is Bing Lighting a Fire Under Google?

Oct. 01, 2009 1:38 PM ETAlphabet Inc. (GOOG)2 Comments
Erick Schonfeld profile picture
Erick Schonfeld

Maybe it has something to do with competition from Bing, but all of a sudden Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is really interested in guided search. Last May, it launched search options in the left-hand column of the results page which let you filter results by type, time, and other criteria. Thursday, Google is adding a new set of options geared at making results more timely, newsy, and personal. It also lets you filter out commercial results when you are not in a shopping mood.

The new options include the ability to see results from only the past hour (that’s so near-realtime) or for a specific date range. You can also filter for results only from news, blog, or book search. (Basically, these options bring some of Google’s standalone search verticals into the main search experience).

Then there’s the spam filter. You can “fewer shopping sites” or “more shopping sites.” When you choose more shopping sites, product prices appear up top. And if you are trying to go back to something you’ve already seen but can’t remember exactly where it was, you can personalize results by seeing only sites you’ve already visited. Or you can choose to only see new sites, and make the search more of a discovery tool. (You need to be signed in and have Web History enabled for these last two options to work).

Most searches on Bing also bring up a set of guided options on the left. But whereas Google is choosing to apply a set of search options consistently across all queries, Bing takes more of customized approach based on what you are searching for. For instance, it usually shows related searches to your query and lets you filter by type of search as well (shopping, local, image, video). The search options change on the fly depending on the search.

This article was written by

Erick Schonfeld profile picture
Erick, Co-Editor of TechCrunch (www.techcrunch.com), has been covering startups and technology news for 14 years. At Business 2.0 he wrote feature stories and ran their main blog, Next Net, which has nearly 50,000 RSS subscribers. He also does a lot of video work and hosts regular panels of industry luminaries called Disruptor Round Tables. Prior to Business 2.0, Erick was an editor-at-large for eCompany and a contributing editor for Fortune. In 1999, Schonfeld won the prize for best information technology submission at London’s Business Journalist of the Year Awards, and in 2001 he won the prize for best space submission at the Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards in Paris. In 1996 and 1997, Schonfeld was recognized in the TJFR Business News Reporter’s list of the “best and brightest financial journalists under the age of 30.” He appears regularly on CNBC, CNN, and NY1, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Schonfeld graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 1993.

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Comments (2)

Bing is like the ballet-dancing hippos in Fantasia. It's got a certain novelty factor. But real ballerinas win out in the end, when one wants optimal results.
JAMES CARLINI profile picture
I think some people may try BING but I don't think you are going to see a wholesale switch. I'm not.

Many people do not like Microsoft due to all the operating system bugs that constantly plague them (on PC machines of course).

I still use GOOGLE, I don't feel like using more Microsoft-based products if I don't have to. In fact, that's a good reason to keep GOOGLE around. Competition drives this industry.
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