I don’t know how to put it in a simple way, but I was not aware of how much I rely on Google until I switched to Bing. The best way I can put it is:
Now I can’t remember exactly why I needed to know the definition of “in.” It probably had something to do with the difference between the adverbial and prepositional forms — just another fun Friday for me. Either way I was not searching for the element Indium.
This is where the term “organic search” becomes a little more than a word we use to differentiate unpaid traffic from paid. It’s more natural, almost living. Google seems to understand that what I’m searching for isn’t necessarily what I’m typing in. That’s what Bing lacks, that ability to read my mind.
Even a loosely worded search leaves me wanting on Bing. Clearly I’m not looking for what imagery is. Google might not have an exact answer either, but its top two results are pointing me toward the information I need to answer the question.
A Problem With Direction
Now before I completely gulp down a tall glass of Google cool aid, it’s worth mentioning that this might be a directionality problem. Maybe Google can read my mind because I’ve used it so much and I know how to get the results I’m looking for. That I’ve taught Google to read my mind instead of the other way around.
My intention was to find an address. From experience I know that I just need to type its name into Google and I’ll get the map. In fact I was searching for a map and I know how to bother Google to display the address. Maybe if I was a heavy Bing user I’d know to add the term Vancouver and I’d get a better result.
But Google knows that I’m looking for the one in Vancouver and even gave me the right address, not all these different ones. So while I’m inclined to believe that I know how to squeeze Google for the results I’m looking for, it still seems that Bing isn’t as intuitive.
“If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks…” – Plato
A Lack of Functions
I often use different functions to get Google to work for me. Sometimes when I have forgotten a simple piece of information, I use Google to “exercise memory.” The first example, “define: in” is a common one but, to save some face, typically it’s for more complicated words.
Sometimes I need to access Google Translate. Bing doesn’t even provide a similar service. There’s also Google’s Calculator which I often use. I use the metric system so I often have to translate imperial weights and temperatures into kilos and celsius. Google does that simply with a few numbers. Now I could do the math on my own or, more likely, download an app on my phone. But the fact that it’s a search away is exactly what I want in a search engine.
So I keep on going back to my first thought. I spent two weeks using Bing and I was constantly ticked off at the results. Well, ticked off in the way you feel when accidentally taking a sip of cold coffee. But I was annoyed because I was accustomed to getting what I wanted when I wanted it. I got used to the internet knowing what I really meant just by typing few keywords in. I got used to Google reading my mind.