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14 ways Bing UK will get better when it catches up with Bing USA

June 8, 2009 2 Comments

I recently wrote about the poor usability of Bing. A couple of those usability problems apply to the UK version only.

So, want to know what the Americans are getting but we're missing? Here, in no particular order, is a rundown of 14 differences between the UK and USA versions of Bing (presumably we'll be getting the missing stuff soon).

Richer web search results

There are all sorts of way Bing USA enhances its search results. The UK doesn't currently enjoy any of these.

1 Search popularity

Bing search volumes in USA

Bing search volumes in USA

At the bottom of the results in America, you see a graph of the recent search popularity for your given term, over the last 4 weeks.

2 Integrated video and image results

As well as showing you the web results, Bing USA shows you image and video results alongside.

The images are at the top, and the videos at the bottom of your results.

3 More results

20 results in Bing USA; only 10 in the UK

20 results in Bing USA; only 10 in the UK

In Bing UK, you get to see 10 results at a time.

Bing USA shows you 20 results at a time.

4 Groupings of search results

Search results are grouped under subheadings, to help you understand the results better.

Bing subheadings in results in USA

Bing subheadings in results in USA

Bing subheadings in left hand menu in the USA

Bing subheadings in left hand menu in the USA

The subheadings are in orange and group similar results.

You can refine your search by selecting a specific subheading using a box in the left hand menu.

Overall better experience

These differences result in a much better experience, making it easier to understand the presented results, refine them, and spot interesting related search topics you might not have thought of.

A shame, therefore, that none of this is yet available in the UK version of Bing.

Integrated non-web results

As I complained in my post on bing's usability, in the UK the links that look like they are bing searches for products or maps actually take you to different websites - ciao and multimap.

In the USA, they have integrated the functionality of these two sites into Bing, giving you a seamless search experience.

5 Integrated Bing shopping

Here's a screenshot of Bing USA's shopping results. In the UK, you go to if you hit shopping.

Integrated shopping search in Bing USA

Integrated shopping search in Bing USA

6 Integrated Bing maps

And here is a screenshot of Bing integrating map search in the USA (but not UK).

Integrated Bing map search in the USA

Integrated Bing map search in the USA

7 Better shopping and review results

Type a product in that you can buy, and you get to see extra results. This example for Hummers, for instance, shows how you can see ratings for safety, reliability and so on, shows a typical price and gives a user rating. All available in USA only.

Extra Bing reviews info in the USA

Extra Bing reviews info in the USA

8 Earn Cashback

Cashback info in Bing USA

Cashback info in Bing USA

You can earn cashback via bing in the USA.

In the UK you can only see mentions of it with no explanation anywhere of what it is, or even that it's a US-only thing.

(There's more on my complaint about this in my post on bing's usability).

9 Price predictions

Bing's airfare predictor in the USA

Bing's airfare predictor in the USA

In the USA, they even predict how prices are going.

So if you search for an air fare from New York to London, they show you how prices are doing - in the example pictured, they are holding steady or going up.

10 Search history: USA only

Bing search history in USA

Bing search history in USA

The USA version of Bing shows you your search history - so you can see recent searches you've made and run them again with one click.

You can see the last few, all of them, and you can clear the list or turn off the feature.

But all in the USA only.

More homepage functionality

There is lots more going on on the homepage of Bing - a minor thing is a different layout of the options (image, video etc).

They're along the top in the UK version, and along the side in the USA.

Different layout in USA

Different layout in USA

There are also more functional differences.

11 See recent photos

See past photos in Bing USA

See past photos in Bing USA

Bing has a distinctive photographic background.

In the USA there is a button to see previous photos.

There is not in the UK version.

This is very simple functionality - very odd it's not there, but not that important I guess.

12 Current popular searches

Popular searches in Bing USA

Popular searches in Bing USA

In the USA, you get to see what searches are popular, and you can click the terms to run the search. Not in the UK yet.

13 Webmaster services

Bing extras in USA

Bing extras in USA

In the USA, there are options for webmasters. Not yet in the UK.

I presume this operates like a Google webmaster account.

Again, no obvious reason why it's not here in the UK.

14 An explanation of what Bing is

The point of Bing is not well explained in the UK.

Explanation of Bing in USA

Explanation of Bing in USA

You're just left to guess what its functionality is, and what the benefits are.

The US are much luckier. They get a clickable welcome to Bing message - and also get a Bing tour link in the top left hand corner.

We get the word Bing that does nothing when you click it.

Have you spotted any more?

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