I’ve been playing with Microsoft’s Bing search engine over the last day to see how it stacks up to the others. The thing I always find when trying out a new search engine is that it’s so hard to find what I’m looking for because I’ve grown accustomed to formulating Google queries just right.
There’s one thing that I really like with Bing though, and it’s the image search capabilities. I remember trying out the image search feature on Live a few months ago, and it just didn’t stack up to the results Google Images returned. They must have tweaked their algorithm though, because now the results are excellent. Take a look at what I got searching for “Google Chrome logo” on both Bing and Google’s own site:
Bing image results for “Google Chrome logo”
Google image results for “Google Chrome logo”
Bing displayed a lot more of what I was looking for, and I like the interface for filtering results a lot more than what Google offers. There were definitely a lot of design considerations taken into account with this…
For starters you can view image results in several different layouts/sizes. The page also lacks a “next” button… because it doesn’t need one! As you continue to scroll down the page more results will automatically be loaded so that you’re not bothered with shuffling through multiple pages of results.
And when you get to an image you want to see? Click on it, and instead of opening the site in a new window it opens it in a frame on the search results page. Not only that, but the left sidebar turns into a scrolling list of the image results so that you can shuffle from one result to the next without ever having to go back:
All of these things might not be that big of a deal for some of you, but I search for images all of the time. Features like these can save me a good amount of time, and I have a feeling I’ll be using Bing for all of my image search needs from here on out. I just wish their web results were more like what I see on Google, but I’ll take what I can get.