March 04, 2011, 12:36 PM — This is entirely a self-centered rant, based only on my own experience. Looking at stories about Microsoft trying to turn its Bing search engine into a big source of ad revenue by "offering consumers the best deals locally" I wonder if anyone at Microsoft has ever used Bing.
The best, most consistent luck I've had online – has been with Google Shopping (which was more fun to use when I had to type it in as Froogle.com, because at least it seemed as if it weren't really Google I had to go to for one more kind of search and become even more dependent).
It's not nearly as flexible or customizable as I'd like it to be. I always end up wading through pages of things that are either all the same wrong item, or lots of different wrong items all at the wrong price. Try to find the lowest price on anything electronic and you end up either adding lots of modifiers to the search terms or wading through components of the thing you want, not the actual thing.
Given that level of imprecision from a search engine that's normally reliable and can usually be tweaked to produce usable and verifiable sources for answers to my questions, why would I want to look for "the best deals locally" using a search engine that lives on Microsoft's site, focuses on Microsoft's content, but often can't find the right content even when I type in the proper name of a Microsoft product?
Looking for drivers, updates, knowledgebase articles or other content for not just Windows, but Windows 7, Home Premium edition, 64-bit, is a complete crapshoot.
Using it to find content elsewhere on the web is even more random. I get closer using Stumbleon, which sends you random link selections on purpose.
Obviously I'm doing something wrong, or Bing isn't designed for people like me at the far lower end of the intelligence scale.
ComScore reported that Bing gained 1 percent in its share of the total number of web searches during January, while Google dropped the same amount.
That growth was driven by heavy marketing from Microsoft and results from No. 2 search-engine Yahoo, which uses Bing for its search. The two combined to make up 29.2 percent of all searches, while Bing alone handled 13.1 percent.
Google dropped a percentage point to 65.6 percent during the same time.
The market for ads on search engines will top $13.6 billion this year, according to analyst firm EMarketer.