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bing imagesBing’s image search once challenged Google, offering more features and a better design. With infinite scrolling and the ability to search for similar images, Bing was legitimately better than Google at image search just a few years ago. But since then, Google has closed the ground and made a lot of progress. Where do they stand now, and which should be your image search engine of choice?

Both Bing Images and Google Images are good enough for most users. You can’t go wrong with either one. But there’s one search engine that offers more features, a better design, and all-around superior results with less duplicates.

Comparing Results

As a quick test, I searched for “dog” on both Bing Images and Google Images to compare the results 10 Sites to Compare Google vs Bing Results Side By Side 10 Sites to Compare Google vs Bing Results Side By Side Read More . Bing Images returned decent results, but there were a few problems – it displayed a few duplicate images and some clip art-style images. It’s likely that people searching for this won’t want the clip art images The Best Websites For Free Clipart Downloads The Best Websites For Free Clipart Downloads Read More .

bing images

In contrast, Google Images returned only unique images – and photos too, no clip art. I did several other searches and found that, in general, Bing seems to display more duplicate images than Google.

bing vs google image

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Google Images also beats Bing Images in presentation, with its larger image thumbnails. In contrast, Bing uses more white space between the images and arranges them in a grid with lines. Google Images intelligently arranges the thumbnails by their size, so they fit together nicely and make optimal use of the available  space.

Both results pages have the “infinite scroll” feature that Bing introduced first. The page loads new images as you scroll — you don’t have to click a link to view more results.

Viewing An Image

Click an image and Bing takes you to a page with a small version of the image. Bing allows you to flick through other images in the search results, but viewing the full-size image requires an additional click.

bing vs google image

Google takes you to the full size image in a single click. It doesn’t allow you to flip through the other images – but then, you can click the back button and select another image.

bing vs google image

Which one you prefer is up to you. Personally, I prefer Google’s version – I’ve already clicked the image, so I probably want to view it in full size instead of browsing other images.

Sort By Subject

Google Images can intelligently sort the search results by their subjects, which can help organize them. This is a pretty cool feature – Bing doesn’t have anything like it, unless you want to perform additional searches and view the results on separate pages.

bing vs google image search

Similar Images

Hover over an image in Google Images and you’ll see a “Similar Images How To Find Similar Images Using Google's Image Search How To Find Similar Images Using Google's Image Search Like all Google products, Google Image Search has continuously been tweaked and improved. The latest change comes to the Google Similar Images option. Google has put in a feature that now you can use to... Read More ” link that displays visually similar images. Bing doesn’t have this feature.

You might assume that Google is just ahead of Bing, but you’d be wrong – Bing actually had a “similar images” feature before Google did. Google implemented it later 4 New Cool Improvements Of Google Image Search 4 New Cool Improvements Of Google Image Search Read More and, at the time, the press reported it as Google copying Bing. Bing appears to have removed the feature in 2010, leaving Google in a position of strength. Why they’d do this, I have no idea – if Bing ever re-implements this feature, they’ll be accused of copying Google!

bing vs google image search

Search Options

Both Google and Bing offer a good amount of search tools. You can search for images by their size, color, or dimensions. You can also look for photographs, clip art, line drawings, or faces 3 Fascinating Search Engines That Search For Faces 3 Fascinating Search Engines That Search For Faces Read More .

Google has one feature Bing doesn’t – you can search for only images from the past week, while Bing includes no time range option. If you’re looking for images relating to a recent event, this makes Google the clear winner.

bing vs google image search

Uploading An Image

Using Google Images, you can upload an image from your computer or provide its URL (web address). Click the little camera icon in the search box or drag and drop an image onto the page to upload an image.

Not only will Google show you similar images on the web 3 Smart Visual Search Engines To Find The Images You Want 3 Smart Visual Search Engines To Find The Images You Want Read More , it will try to guess what the image is and show you webpages that contain it, for context. If you have an image file and you’re not sure what it is or where it’s from, Google can help. Bing doesn’t have anything like this feature.

bing images

The Verdict

Bing started from a position of strength, with its “similar images” feature, infinite scrolling, and better laid out search results. Over time, Google has matched and surpassed Bing’s design and features, while Bing has actually gone in reverse by removing the ability to search for similar images. Google includes more search features, a better design, and what seem like better results (this part is much more questionable – I’m sure there are results for which Bing beats Google, although Bing seems to consistently show more duplicates).

Unless you really like Bing – or just dislike Google – I can’t see any reason to use Bing Images over Google Images.

Which do you prefer – Google Images or Bing Images? Does Bing Images have a killer feature that we missed? Leave a comment and let us know.

  1. Chris Hoffman
    July 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Sorry, I'm not sure what you're asking -- can you rephrase that question, please?

  2. search engines
    May 11, 2012 at 6:30 am

    I do not even know how I finished up here, however I assumed this post was good. I do not realize who you might be but certainly you're going to a well-known blogger if you are not already. Cheers!

  3. Weidong Han
    May 6, 2012 at 3:57 am
    • Chris Hoffman
      May 7, 2012 at 4:56 am

      They appear to be shooting themselves in the foot.

      It's very sad. Bing raised the bar and forced Google to innovate, and Google Images is better for it. More competition would be good.

  4. LLF
    May 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    If you are on Chrome, you can even enable right click image search by installing this extension - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dajedkncpodkggklbegccjpmnglmnflm (a Google product). It's very handy for people who want to know the origin or details of a plain web image.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 4, 2012 at 12:05 am

      Nice extension! Thanks for sharing.

  5. FranciscoNET
    May 3, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I prefer Google over bing. Google have around 14 years on the search engine market (Google started out in Septemer 7, 1998), while Microsoft's bing was started in late 2009. Google has way more experience than that new kid on the block of bing and it is always google that I relie on for all of my web results. I pretty much see bing in the same league as mywebsearch, MyWaySearch, ChaCha, etc, I would not rely on bing for any information, its inaccurate as hell.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 4, 2012 at 5:34 am

      I do prefer Google, too. Bing isn't really new.. it's just a rebranded Live search, which was a rebranded MSN.

      These days, Bing isn't bad. But it's nowhere near Google.

      The sad thing is they had Google beat in image search for a while.

  6. ZoNi
    May 3, 2012 at 7:29 am

    I use Google Images search, but "old" version: with size bellow thumbnails and with direct links to images. This new version is, imho, so bad.

    Links for old version:
    - Scriptish / Greasemonkey script:
    http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/48293
    - "classic" search for searchbar:
    http://mycroft.mozdev.org/search-engines.html?author=Brian+Buchner

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 4, 2012 at 12:06 am

      I kind of prefer the lack of clutter -- remember that the old version didn't take you to large images when you clicked it. I remember installing a user script to get that feature.

      Thanks for sharing the script, though -- I'm sure it will help someone.

      • ZoNi
        May 5, 2012 at 9:25 am

        Well, clicking on thumnail will open full size picture; clicking on green link will open page with that picture. That is what Google Images should look like by default.

        http://i49.tinypic.com/1zyhfrt.png

  7. tracey johnson
    May 3, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I totally love Google I have used it before but now its my everything thank you Google for all you do, need my vote I vote you any day, bing is okay but I personally think it's a bit over rated.. have a nice day

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 4, 2012 at 5:35 am

      Yeah, I'm a big Google fan too -- I don't see why someone would pick Bing images over Google Images.

  8. Paul-G
    May 2, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    "Google takes you to the full size image in a single click. It doesn’t allow you to flip through the other images – but then, you can click the back button and select another image."

    Seriously - you don't Right click, open in new tab? NEVER open a search link directly unless you are certain it contains what you want. NooB users click through.

    • A.P.
      May 2, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      I have my middle-click designated to open a new tab. That saves a step.

      • Paul-G
        May 3, 2012 at 12:55 am

        100% on that. I believe FireFox is set up for that. I NEVER use IE so I don't know there.

        • Gho5t
          May 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm

          you are an idiot mister! You sound like a wannabe adult geek who just learned some tips about using computers!

          Either way you do it, you are going to get stuffed if the site is malicious. Google previews the image at least. A new tab doesn't make it any safer to open such links.

          Use an extension like WOT helps, apart from your AV's link scanner.

          Also, ctrl click a link opens in a new tab.

        • Paul-G
          May 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm

          LOL! "You sound like a wannabe adult geek". F.Y.I. I am 56, adult enough for you?. I have been an I.T. professional since 20, working my way up the food chain.

          Hint - there is NEVER an excuse for being rude in comments. It merely undermines your persona and detracts from the validity of your comment. Keep it civil and you will gain more respect.

        • Reý Aetar
          May 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm

          use linux :D

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 4, 2012 at 5:39 am

          Very true. Starting your comment with an insult will make a lot of people skip over it, which is sad because you have intelligent things to say and useful information to present!

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 4, 2012 at 5:36 am

      I do right-click and open new tabs, but lots of people don't do that -- I tried to take the perspective of an average user here. You can replace what I wrote with "but then, you can Ctrl-Tab back to the other page and select another image."

      Same difference, really.

    • gaylee
      July 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      yes i pick google

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