What Is Bing and How to Use It

Google isn't the only search engine. Give Microsoft's Bing a try

What to Know

  • Bing is a search engine much like Google that's instead owned and operated by Microsoft.
  • While they are similar services, generally Google Search is more helpful than Bing.
  • Bing has apps available for iOS and Android, and it can be accessed on any browser like Google.

If you're tired of Google's plain old interface and you're in the mood to explore other search engine options, why not give Microsoft's Bing a try? Here's everything you need to know about Bing, including how it's different from Google and what to expect from its mobile app.

What Is Bing?

Bing, sometimes also referred to as Bing Search, is a search engine developed by Microsoft and primarily known for being a search engine website accessible by visiting Bing.com.

Person searching ‘dog breeds’ on Bing
Lifewire / Luyi Wang

While Bing is still mostly known for its search engine website, that's not the only way you can access its web searching services. Those who want to use Bing can also use it via Microsoft Edge, as well as through the Bing mobile app.

In Edge, Bing is automatically accessible when you perform a web search using Edge's search bar, since it's the browser's default search engine. So, when you perform a search in Edge using the search bar, you'll be taken directly to Bing's search results.

Bing vs. Google

Both Bing and Google are search engines, performing one of the most basic tasks of everyday web browsing, but how are they different from each other? Let's take a look at four of their main differences.

Appearance and Interface

Right off the bat, the difference between Bing and Google is immediately apparent, just based on their respective interfaces. Google's main search page is famously simple and minimal by design, while Bing is the opposite, often filled with gorgeous photography and links to the latest news stories. Bing still has a simple, easy to find search bar, but it's not in the middle of the webpage like Google's search bar; in fact, it seems purposefully off center.

Bing homepage

Bing's search homepage is also customizable. If you want to use it but prefer more white space or a less busy background, you can opt to hide the page's menu bar, news links, and even its iconic daily homepage image.

Search Results Quality

For the most part, the consensus is there isn't much of a difference in quality between the search results generated by Bing and Google.

However, when it comes to searching for time-sensitive information, there are a couple of differences to keep in mind. First of all, if you're searching for news articles or researching something that requires the latest information, Bing is slightly less helpful than Google in the sense that it doesn't always provide the publication date next to its search results, which can make it harder to quickly see which article or resource has the most up-to-date information. Google provides these dates more often.

Bing search results

The fact Bing doesn't provide these dates very often also tends to highlight another difference; Bing doesn't always put the latest articles at the top of its search results, and it has a tendency to show older articles instead of more appropriate and recent articles or videos. Google tends to be more consistent about making sure the latest headlines appear at the top of its search results.

Advanced Search Options

Both Bing and Google provide advanced search options and filters for narrowing down search results, but Google's advanced options and filters are easier to find than Bing's.

In fact, on a given search results page generated by Bing, there doesn't seem to be an option for advanced search settings or filters until you select a different results tab like Images or Videos. Only then do other search options appear.

However, on Google's search results page, Advanced Search and other search tools and filters are usually readily available and visible on most of the results tabs you select.

Usage Incentives and Rewards Programs

While there are rewards programs allowing you to receive rewards or money for your everyday Google searches, Bing seems to have the most reliable rewards program for those who want to cash in on their web searches. This is especially the case because Bing's rewards program, Microsoft Rewards, is directly related to Microsoft.

In addition to being backed by Microsoft, Bing's rewards program also seems easy to sign up for because all you need is a Microsoft account. As long as you're signed in, you'll earn points for searching with Bing, taking quizzes, or even shopping in the Microsoft Store. Once you earn enough points you can redeem them for movies, apps, gift cards, donate to charity, and more.

Google had its own rewards program called Screenwise, but it no longer seems active, as links to the program's website either show a 404 error or redirect to Google's other, better-known rewards program, Google Opinion Rewards. It's possible long-time users of Screenwise may still have access to this program, but it remains unclear if Screenwise is taking on new participants at this time or if Google will phase program out entirely. You can still get rewards for your Google searches through other survey rewards websites like Qmee.

Mobile Searching With the Bing Search App

If you think you'll need to do most of your web searching on a mobile device, give the Bing Search app a try. The Bing Search app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

The search engine aspect of the app still provides the same quality of search results as Bing's main desktop website, but Bing's mobile app offers a few notable features like Near Me, Fun, and Gas:

  • Near Me: Tap this and Bing will automatically populate a list of highly rated restaurants near you and a list of local attractions to visit.
  • Fun: Bing will display a number of fun mobile-friendly games and quizzes you can occupy your time with.
  • Gas: Bing will automatically generate a list of the closest gas stations with their address and the most updated gasoline prices.

Bing and Google may be the most well-known search engines around but they're certainly not the only ones. There are other great web search engines like DuckDuckGo and Dogpile that are more than up to the task.

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