Bing has gained impressive ground since launch, and it’s good to see competition in search. While I cant see an immediate threat to Google, I have observed some interesting ways in which the ‘general public’ have found and reacted to Bing, and their long term habits thereafter. I’ve collected some of there comments and observations, and boiled them down into these statements.

Bing user group 1 : “It been coming up now for a while instead of Google”

If there’s one effect Vista, Apple, Linux netbooks and the many other changes to personal computing have on people, it’s that they now less surprised when their ever-changing homepages or desktop search widgets ping back results from a different search engine, asked for or not. I’m sure Microsoft adhere to whatever anti-competition rules are applied to them, but I’ve seen plenty of new Vista PC owners accept new Bing results without challenging it.

Bing user group 2 : “I wondered why the Google logo looked different”

This impresses me – some Bing users still assume they are on Google, but that the Logo had changed. I wonder if that’s a downside effect of all the cute logo drawings Google shows for special events?

Bing user group 3 : “Works the same. What’s the fuss?”

A lot of people don’t know or care about indexing, pagerank, bots, links, SEO, PPC etc…I suspect many think (if pushed to) that each search engine has an A – Z of websites and keywords that’s the same for every other search engine, like a map shows the same roads no matter who’s map you use. With a consumer-based lifestyle, it’s not the engines giving people what they want, it’s SEM – and that is the great leveler between them. Either way, the format of the search engine results pages mean that people get instant eyeballs-to-results after they hit the enter key, and many will never need to look back.

Bing user group 4: “I Googled it with Bing”

While advanced and experienced searchers race away testing the Google Caffeine Update, a big chunk of folks are happy with the results they see coming back from either Google, Yahoo or Bing. As far as they care, their search – their Google – gave them results and off they go. The truth of the matter here is that Google is, for many, a generised trademark; e.g sellotape, hoover. So, I might hoover with a Dyson, sellotape presents with Tesco’s tape, and google stuff at home with Bing. And all 3 products work just fine for me.

I’m sure there are many twists and turns to come in search engine innovation, and this pushing of the boundaries (plus heavy marketing spend)  will keep the brand names out there. But for the average Joe & Joanne, any google is good, even the Bing one, no questions asked.

****Just Found This*****

Didn’t see this first time round, but it certainly illustrates my point in a less-boring way!