Testing Bing, Part 2: The Features – Advanced Search

Once in a while, you want to be a bit more specific about your search.  Sure, if you really know your stuff, you can just add some special terms to your query, but for us humans, some UI would be nice.  They both offer it:

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Unfortunately, they could both do with some improvement.  Google presents you with a dizzying array of options, with some not visible until you scroll down and click the ‘Show me more stuff’ link.  It feels a little like opening a door in a nicely finished house and finding a room with bare concrete and a single dirty light bulb hanging from a cord.  Microsoft organizes their advanced search options pretty well, using tabs that appear between the search box and the search results.  Very nice.  Of course, it’s easy to look organized when you only have half as many options to present.  Also, most people won’t find the Bing advanced options link right away: it’s tucked away in an easy-to-miss place on the results page, and doesn’t even exist on the home page.

Ultimately, Google takes the crown here.  Even though they’re not as nicely presented – or sometimes, not presented at all, just available if you happen to know the magic word to type – Google does have more flexibility in customizing your search.

The verdict: Google wins.  I guess.  But they both kind of suck.

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