What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesn’t?

While Google has everything that I personally need, it has its shortcomings when you compare it against some of the features Bing and Yahoo! have to offer. Even if you’re a Google supporter, knowing that it has competitors standing up and challenging it to improve, should make you happy. Without them, Google would look like a monopoly.

Google isn’t perfect, and I’m here to tell you why. I was wondering to myself this week, “Why would anyone have their homepage or default search engine set as anything other than Google?” It’s the obvious choice, and anything that comes across as obvious obviously has some pretty strong reasoning behind it. Google’s network of tools and services¬†help empower its search engine and really make it something special that competitors should have a healthy fear of. It came as quite as a surprise to me when I heard that Microsoft was taking MSN Search and spinning it as Bing in 2009, and it’s just as surprising that Yahoo! is still surviving in 2013.

Let’s look at some of the things that Google’s most respected competitors hold over this Internet superpower.

What can Bing do better than Google?

The first impression is huge. Aesthetically, Bing has the edge over Google.

bing1   What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesnt?

Google users surely notice the artsy logos that Google pushes out during holidays and special events, but Bing takes that to an entirely different level (as you can see above). It’s always refreshing to see which backdrop you’ll be searching over on any particular day. Visuals are hardly a make-or-break situation if you’re picking between the two search engines. That being said, have you tried out Bing Images?

bing2   What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesnt?

I use Google Images frequently, but was a little surprised at how differently Bing handles their image searches. Bing Images includes “entity understanding,” meaning that the search engine can interpret if what you’re looking for is a person, place, or thing and show image results more effectively based on this understanding. Bing Images filters out exact or near duplicates much better than Google. Bing even uses higher quality images as part of their algorithm.

Images aren’t the only thing that Bing searches well with. I was surprised when Google decided they’d do away with Google Videos in 2012. Bing Video Search feels and looks like Bing Images, but allows you to search through videos.

Another small beef I have with Google is that the homepage is literally just an input field for you to enter search keywords. It’s incredibly minimalist and sleek, but sometimes you want more than that.

bing3   What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesnt?

While it’s not quite my cup of tea, Bing at least provides a slider at the bottom of their homepage that lets you see what’s trending on the web¬†right now. Even better is that you’re able to see your Bing Search history in a table to the right of this slider. It’s a pretty cool feature for its natural purpose, or even to see if anyone may have been using your computer while you’re away.

Without taking search itself into consideration, Bing still has a pretty long way to go before they’re able to pull me away from Google. While I agree that the homepage is more attractive, Bing Images is impressive, and Bing offers a bit of news at a glance, the power of Google’s search against Bing is (in my opinion) just too overwhelming.

What can Yahoo! do better than Google?

Bing came out of the gate swinging and attempting to aggressively compete with Google’s dominance in the area of search. They’ve yet to turn me into a huge believer, but Yahoo! takes a different approach. While they aren’t discrediting their own search engine, they’ve had years to establish other parts of their brand which help it compete against Google as a total package.

The total package is the first thing we should look at, in regards to each search engine’s homepage. Compared to Google, Yahoo! offers quite a lot.

yahoo1   What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesnt?

This is how I prefer my homepage to look. I like to see these things. The more hardcore Google fans will reply, “You can just use iGoogle if that’s what you want!” It’s true. Unfortunately, iGoogle is being retired in November of this year. Yahoo! offers so much more as a true start page for the browser.

While Google boasts some of the web’s most popular services, such as Gmail; Yahoo! offers a few that Google still hasn’t found a response for. For starters, there’s Yahoo! Local.

yahoo2   What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesnt?

Don’t take this as if I’m bringing into question Google Earth or Google Maps, because those (and the services connected to and powered by it) are absolutely amazing. However, Yahoo! Local was the web’s first local search engine where you can see businesses and services in your area.

How about Yahoo! Answers?

yahoo3   What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesnt?

Google has yet to push out a branded response to one of the most valuable question-and-answer databases on the entire internet after Google Answers shut down. Results from Yahoo! Answers show huge rankings in Google’s search engine, too. The recent updates to Yahoo! Answers will help to perk things up even more.

More surprising than any is Google’s lack of response to Flickr, which I’d call the web’s best online photo sharing application.

yahoo4   What Do Bing And Yahoo Have That Google Doesnt?

It seems right up Google’s alley. Picasa is good, but it’s nowhere near what Flickr offers. Google really needs to ramp up their game in this area, because Yahoo! definitely dominates this niche. It’d be a good piece to the puzzle, as proper integration with Gmail and Google+ could mean big things.

While Picasa certainly has benefits, such as its desktop application and an online image editor, Flickr appeals to me more on its front end. Flickr is a Yahoo! service that feels more independent and easier to navigate, while Picasa and Google+ Photos serve a purpose that seems more connected exclusively to the Google network. It’s a personal preference, but Flickr comes across to me as the more household name when it comes to online albums. In terms of sheer capacity, Flickr definitely comes out on top.

Conclusion

I won’t be the one to tell you not to go to Google when you need to search the web. In my opinion, it’s not even worth questioning that Google is the best search engine you’re going to find. However, some of us are looking for more. Yahoo! offers a better homepage. Bing looks fresher and offers a more promising approach to searching for images. There’s more out there if you’re looking at the grand scheme of things, and it’s important to stay tuned in with what the other search engines have to offer.

What do you think about these differences between Google and its competitors? Are they worth taking into consideration when deciding which ends up as your homepage or default search engine? Let me know in the comments below!

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38 Comments -

1 votes

Brandon B

I use Bing for all my searches. I also get rewarded for each search through Bing Rewards. I find that I know how to use it better than Google. When I search something on Google it pretty much gives me the same results, but there have been a few times when Google doesn’t show the results I am looking for at the top. Also, you could use msn.com as your homepage to have it more like Yahoo.

1 votes

Richard S

Google is my preference, when I am searching for info I don’t want to be distracted with news or gossip. There’s too much trivia available already. Bing’s backgrounds are also distracting I find.

2 votes

Movva D

i like bing backgrounds.. i even has bing desktop installed.. most of the time i use google for searches, but when the results i want doesn’t appear on google i try bing and it wont disappoint me.

3 votes

Danny

Whether Google is the best or not isn’t the problem. I will never say “Yahoo! that”. It’ll always be Google it.

1 votes

Jason P

I think Yahoo/Bing don’t moderate the search results algorithm to remove rude/sexual/malicious results, or put them to a later page. Seems like I can get better results with Google, without pure crap being involved along with it. Google is much more exact.

Sad thing is, I use Bing more than Google. :P

0 votes

Ravindu G

Google provide country and time specific search results…it is the most important thing…yahoo provide time specific searches…but not from Bing …for Bing(MS) ,people outside US, just third class citizens…we buy their MS products but no rewards for third world citizens who don’t pirate…

1 votes

Akash L

Google has a proper filter searcher and hides sensitive articles better as compared to Bing and Google! But one bad thing about Google is that it does have any amazing background. It removed the background wallpaper services around 6 months ago! So overall Google is for official purposes. Many people use Google+ for useful and official purposes. No one posts any trolls or any joke!

1 votes

Christopher W

I’ve been using Bing as my default for over a year now. Once in a while, I need Google, but Bing seems pretty determined to do things well, and just a little differently.

Agree that Bing (at least from a user in the States with a US IP address) regards the US as it’s main market.

Also, the Bing Rewards…well, I can be had. :)

But…very glad to have choices. Bing is just different enough from Google that you notice it, and I find the Bing News pages pretty useful.

(Hint, hint, MUO writers: The differences between the news aggregation sites. Just sayin’.)

0 votes

N C

First off, I don’t use Google (or anything else) as my home page. I have a blank page on my local machine for that. It’s quick and lets me decide what to do first. Usually that’s the “Morning Coffee” extension the opens a series of tabs on the pages I want to see once in the morning but once I’ve finished with them, I usually don’t open them again until the next day. I’m pretty sure that if I did choose a portal for a front page, I’d spend even more time following links and getting sidetracked!

I do spend a lot of time with Google. I happen to prefer the minimalist page. It gives me the change to actually ask my question although it also makes suggestions once I’m typing; not sure I love that but it doesn’t particularly get in the way.

As far as the Yahoo (and other newsy) homepage, I have no use for that on a continuing basis. Of course I can always go there but usually don’t. There are plenty of other portal front pages that are as good or better.

One thing Yahoo has that I occasionally make use of is their groups. I don’t think the others have that; they’re simple, text messaged communities of like minded individuals. Hobbies, crafts, beliefs, professional – all sort of groups there.

I do use Bing for their bird’s eye view which I think is a whole lot better than Google’s earth view.

Bottom line is that I use Google for probably 99% of my searching for web and images and often turn to translate, you-tube and other google services. But I’m very glad the other engines are there because they do bring another aspect to searching and, as you say, take the monopoly off the table.

0 votes

Adam B

GOOGLE is the King of all Search Engines.

1 votes

Charles

Why do 30% of searchers look toward BING results if Google is king of ALL search? Considering Google stole Microsoft Technology to build Google search in the first place, Google is pretty dang lame. I appreciate Google’s implementation of Microsoft’s technology, and at one point it was the only resource for valid search. But Microsoft has now made up for that lost intellectual property and with the acquisition of FAST has better technology behind its search than Google. It will take another 2-3 years for the market to reflect the technology win by Microsoft, but I would have to say that Google is definately not king anymore.

0 votes

outis

@Charles How many times do some people need to be reminded that there is a World outside the USoA???

0 votes

Anthony

I won’t use Bing simply out of principle. I hate Microsoft, and everything they stand for.

0 votes

trainman261

Wow. Great to know we have such insightful people around. I don’t use bing, but I have given it a couple of chances. Google’s results were just a lot more accurate.

0 votes

Anthony

Indeed trainman, there are still people that stand up for their principles. Mine have been established since M$ forced Netscape out by leveraging their other monopolies years ago.

0 votes

Josiah B

In my opinion, Google is the best search engine, but I really think Bing could take off. I hope one day some people will be saying “Bing it” and some will still be saying “Google it”.

0 votes

FUNCTIVE

Is use Google, because it provides lots of useful services for webmasters and daily use :)

0 votes

derek

You mention Yahoo Local, but that is not available in most regions outside US. I grant Flickr is an excellent site, better than Picasa — but I use G+

0 votes

ron

It has always appeared to me that if I use Bing for a search the top results are mostly sites where I can buy that item, or something that they think might be similar to it. Most of my searches are for technical information. I’m not interested in wading through a bunch of sites that offer the ‘best price’ on . Google Search isn’t totally free of these commercial sites, but it doesn’t seem quite as dominated by them.

0 votes

JK Rawlings

As far as I know Microsoft (and Yahoo? have a more ethical approach to their tax responsibilities around the world – I use Bing for this reason.

1 votes

Armchair1000

UK mapping is MUCH better on Bing than Googley, especially for cycling and walking. Bing offers Ordnance Survay maps and the A-Z style for road maps. These are way beyond what you could ever hope for with Google Maps.

1 votes

Armchair1000

UK mapping is MUCH better on Bing than Googley, especially for cycling and walking. Bing offers Ordnance Survay maps and the A-Z style for road maps. These are way beyond what you could ever hope for with Google Maps.

1 votes

Charles

B-I-N-G Oh, what a great search engine! Everyone using Google is stuck in the 90′s – Era technology. You know when Google stole Microsoft Search technology to create Google in the first place. Very little innovation has occurred from Google since then. Pretty lame really. Search from Microsoft is great! Enterprise and Internet. You can program a crawler to do whatever you want. Its pretty sweet.

0 votes

Graylin G

Maybe the folks at Make Use Of should have read this before singing the praises of Bing:
http://searchengineland.com/google-bing-is-cheating-copying-our-search-results-62914

0 votes

Dan Sutton

Dogpile. It searches all the other search engines and amalgamates the results. Can’t beat that, really.

0 votes

Adam B

As of now BING is of no use and you cannot compare it to GOOGLE. Maybe someday it may improve. But Google may also improve. I still think Google is the Best. As far as its first impression, BING shows it as a Desktop wallpaper. You can customize that in Google Background. Who wants all that design when you are keen in search of something, and not the look of it.

0 votes

Malcolm Culshaw

Anything that wants you to sign in is a no-no. Duckduckgo is my choice (with minimal page info).
I don’t want machines to know or like me!

0 votes

Hugh Askew

Bingo (no Bing). I use the Goog only when absolutely needed. The fact that they track me, and let the g-men look at the results, give me the cold willies.
I use StartPage as the default on all our home computers.
Is it as good as google? No, but 90-95% of the time, it gets it done.

0 votes

Quinn

Why have a homepage at all? I typically have several pages open in Chrome when I’m done for the day and it’s convenient that they are the first pages I see when I open up my browser again. Having bells and whistles on a homepage seems purely decorative as far as I’m concerened

1 votes

Luke Dickety

When Microsoft got told off for bing’s results being identical to google’s, I swapped. Why not, if the content is identical, then the only difference is style, in which case bing wins. Also the fact that it pulls things from wolfram alpha is so much better as it saves me entering the same thing in there later.

0 votes

Ahmed Z

I like to , Google it … Yahoo that … Bing it.
and ..::..::..
DuckDuckGo >>> http://duckduckgo.com

& Yandex Images & Videos Search >>> http://www.yandex.com

0 votes

ChadF

Bing Rewards? So MS has to give you things to use their search engine? When AltaVista was still king of the search hill, I don’t remember Google (the new kid on the block at the time) having to market “Google Rewards” to get users to switch. Same old Microsoft having to buy people off instead of letting their products stand (or fall) on their own.

And as for all that fancy imagery and “extra” content.. Well, I’m not there for that! I’m there to do a search and want that search to work the best it can, not have development resources wasted on glitter. I’m so sick of sites that “once” provided a service and are now pushing this all-in-one “homepage” with what it used to do (if you’re lucky), plus the current news, plus the current weather, plus the current celebrity story, and everything else I didn’t go there for.. and often making it harder to even find what I actually wanted in that mess.

And like another user commented.. I refuse to use Bing , out of principle, because it is by Microsoft. When they originally marketed it as “The Decision Engine”, that should have scared off anyone with a brain.. Why would anyone want such a monopolistic company to “help” you with your decisions?

Oh, and the fact that they have to spend who knows how much money in all those commercial/ad placements is just another example of symptoms of a product that can’t stand on it’s own.

0 votes

TM

If you’re looking for features in one that the other doesn’t offer, you shouldn’t overlook Bing Travel search. For some reason they’ve moved it out of your initial view, which is a shame, because it might be the best part of Bing. Travel search engines are something that have been around a long time, and even the most popular sites surprisingly still don’t really do it very well, when you have any kind of complexity to your itinerary or want to filter results. So I was pretty surprised when Bing came out with one that is more useful than most.

0 votes

Marc Savoy

This is a most informative article and should be part of everyone’s fundamental knowledge on how to make themselves as web-savvy and proficient as possible. I was there at the turning point of the internet when Google first emerged vanquishing everything in its place as it took control of the web as its very own. After a period in which I dabbled in the entire range of search services, I came to the conclusion that there was no point in using any search tool other than Google and for the last decade that is where I’ve remained ever since.

Google had proven time and again to be the most effective approach for searching the web always hugely fulfilling in its highly focused, pertinent search results that had me convinced of using no other search tool but Google.

Part of the reason of using Google exclusively, eschewing search engines such as Bing and Yahoo was my visceral contempt for, of everything Microsoft, Yahoo Search based on Bing’s search platform, and the very heavy-handedness in which Microsoft over the years had made itself a foreboding anathema to me. Reading stories of Bing using Google’s own search results as their own didn’t help enamor its reputation as anything but an ineffective cipher of no resort and is how I’ve always viewed both Bing and Yahoo in the same sense of contempt and futility from the very beginning.

Not to say I’ve not become somewhat disenfranchised with Google on a whole for several reasons, indirectly as a result of their becoming too big for their own good, cancelling many services, notably Google Reader, without consideration of the repercussions to its millions of users.
On the rare occasions in which I did get to utilize both Bing and Yahoo I’ve never given them the benefit or acknowledgement that they indeed had something to offer in which to engage
them in their search capabilities but which your most insightful and informative article having transformed me, my attitude regarding their use in future search queries .

0 votes

yusuf

Ok people have to realise the rest of the world use these products. Google is not fancy but it customised for my country, it relates to me, its a personal touch. It knows what results i am most likely to want and doesn’t waste my bandwidth while doing it (in a country with little, this is important). and its unfair to compare google to yahoo two different leagues. yahoo is a content giant, google is search giant. if it is news you want yahoo is the best

0 votes

Emily

GOOGLE IS BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 votes

Emily

i hate bing and yahoo

0 votes

lturkel

I claimed my local listing in all three, however, Google is the only one that displays my site pages when I search using my company name.