We all love Google while also knowing that we really are slaves to search engine, so let’s be honest and admit that we love to write a good article making them look bad. Aside from the sheer satisfaction, it actually does help to know where Google has been behind the game in comparison to Bing. You might not change which engine you use or optimize for, but you want to always make sure that you’re using the best possible online tools for your business. In most cases these come from Google, but sometimes they came from Bing first. Shouldn’t Bing get a little bit of recognition?
A Few Moments We Saw Bing Get It Right First
Below is not only a list of times when Bing did something and then Google copied, but it also lists places where Google still needs to catch up.
- Disavow Links Tool. The disavow links tool has become one of the more popular Webmaster tools because it puts more control in the hands of website owners. If there are links from spammy websites pointing to your website, you can use the tool to try and get these links removed (keep in mind however that both engines recommend this as your last option). This is also a great way to combat negative SEO.
Bing: Bing announced their disavow tool on June 29, 2012.
Google: Google announced their own version of the disavow tool on October 16, 2012.
- Search Partner Only Campaigns.
Bing: With Bing you can setup search-only campaigns as well as section off your campaign to certain search partners. This brings you a lot of data that can help you be successful.
Google: Google doesn’t allow you to setup search-only or section off your campaigns, so you are left having to use the data you get from Bing (if you’re using Bing). In this case not only did Bing do it fist, but Bing is your only option. Google will likely do something similar in the future.
- Keyword Search Data. Being able to see keyword search data helps businesses determine how they should optimize their website. It helps you to know what keywords people are using to end up on your page, so you can prioritize better when it comes to content, social promotion, etc.
Bing: You can still look at search data for certain keywords/landing pages, etc. with Bing.
Google: Google encrypted their search data on September 23, 2013. Once again this doesn’t make Bing first; it just makes Bing the only option.
- Video Search. YouTube, now owned by Google, is the place to search for videos, but that doesn’t mean people don’t watch videos on a SERP. Maybe they weren’t searching for a video specifically, but if they see a video on the SERP they might click. This makes it important for search engines to have good video search options.
Bing: Bing has a grid of thumbnails that let you preview each result quickly and easily. You don’t need to scroll down to see them and you have great filtering options.
Google: Google has created what they call a “carousel” of local results, but this hasn’t been brought to video results yet like it has on Bing. This will surely come in the near future.
Of course, Google has been ahead of Bing in quite a few ways including social integration, Analytics features, and the knowledge-graph approach. These are the things we’ve heard about and the things we notice, and it’s surely because Google is much larger and more popular. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to look back and see where they didn’t quite make the mark.
I highly recommend checking out Lifehacker’s article on the subject here. The article gives a few more examples explaining some of the things Bing does better than Google.
So Why Does It Matter?
It doesn’t totally matter. Because Google has been so successful in so many different areas people tend to forget about their shortcomings. These reasons might not be enough to make you switch from a Google user to a Bing user, but it’s particularly interesting for small businesses. If you need information that Google just isn’t giving you, or you don’t like Google’s version of a tool, then remember—Bing has options, and who knows, they might have even been first.
Can you think of any more instances where Bing was ahead of the curve over Google? Are there any features you like better on Bing than Google? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.