Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft, so take this with a grain of salt.
Since Bing launched I’ve been thinking a lot about search engines and how I use them.
I’ve got two recent examples that illustrate why I think Bing might be onto something. Bing, for certain scenarios, cuts the clicks you must make to get the information you need — or at least the information I need.
Checking a sports score
I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan. When I want to get a Cardinals score, I often go to ESPN, but that site loads so slowly and is so busy that I have been going to Bing lately and just entering “Cardinals” in the search window. Here’s what I get:
Bing gives me a nice summary of the Cardinals schedule. If there’s a game going on at the moment, I get a real-time sports score, which is nifty. Google, as shown here, only gives me a link to the Cardinals’ site. Another click, instead of a score.
Checking on a flight
My wife flew to Oakland recently and I wanted to check on her flight. So I entered the flight number into Google and Bing. Here’s what I found:
I got the arrival time so I knew when I could call her.
Google gives me a link to another site that will give me the details that Bing already gave me.
Google got to where it is today by prioritizing speed. Austere web design and massive data centers gave its search engine a massive advantage over everything else out there.
But speed isn’t just about how quickly a search page loads, it’s about how quickly you find what you’re looking for. If a search engine knows you’re looking for a sports score and not a sports team web site, it can save you a click and, as a result, save you time.
Time is clicks. You save people time by saving them clicks.
Granted, I’m probably not the most objective observer of the Bing vs. Google debate. So what do you think?
Are these two Bing innovations going to stick?