Why I have dumped Google Image Search for Bing

Google Image Search

Ever since I discovered Google Search in 2004, it never occurred to me that there would be a point in time when I would dump Google Search or any of its search services for any other search engine. Prior to Google, everyone used Yahoo Search. A few however used MSN (now Bing), AOL, and a few other unpopular search engines still available today. Over the years, Google Search has grown to be such a gigantic search house that today, to Google is synonymous with to search online. With this growth however, pride seems to be getting into Google’s mind so they have decided to start mess things up – and their starting point is messing up with Google Image Search.

As a blogger and a photographer, image search tops everything else I do with search engines. I search for images whenever looking for an appropriate image to include in an article like this one, or browse through dozens of images that may inspire my photography creativity. Over the last week however, I discovered that searching for images using Google Image Search does not give me the desired display of images that is helpful to my needs as a consumer. Instead of displaying the standard image results we are all accustomed to, Google Image Search has decided to display images as thumbnail links to the websites the images have come from. The image below illustrates the current search results when you use Google Image Search to search for images of Google Images.

Google Image Search
Current display of search results from Google Image Search

Look at those ugly thumbnails. If you perform the same search yourself聽 and click on any of the thumbnails, instead of previewing the image in a larger size as usual, the thumb nails will take you directly to the site from where the images were retrieved. This current option is great option for content creators like me, but very irritating to content users. I wonder why Google would give priority to content producers instead of prioritising the needs of end users.

After trying several times and with different browsers, I gave up on Google Image Search and tried Bing. Although Bing didn’t give me better display as the one Google used to give, the option on Bing is still 1000 times better than what Google is currently providing. For example, Bing gave me the screen shown below when I used the same search term used to for the illustration above, which is a screen showing large icon previews of the images where when clicked takes you to extra large icon previews from where one can download the image.

Google Image Search

The way Bing works right now is the way Google Image Search used to work before they decided to mess with their algorithm sometime last week.

But don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that Bing is now superior to Google Search. Generally when it comes to relevance of search results against search terms, and the speed with which either engine works, Google is still way up in the skies whereas Bing is still a crawling toddler. However it is important to note that there are few instances where, other than the Image Search we have talked about, Bing performs remarkably better. As an example I just search for “define crawl” in both Google and Bing and got the following:

Total results from Google search –聽About 2,870,000 results

Total results from Bing search –聽2,470,000 Results

Even though Google search gave more results from the search term, Bing had an elaborate definition of Crawl compared to Google.

Google’s definition of “Crawl”




Bing’s definition of “Crawl”



  1. move forward on the hands and knees or by dragging the body close to the ground:
    “they crawled from under the table”

    synonyms:creep聽路聽go on all fours聽路聽move on hands and knees聽路聽inch聽路

  2. informal
    behave obsequiously or ingratiatingly in the hope of gaining someone’s favour:
    “a reporter’s job can involve crawling to objectionable people”

    synonyms:grovel to聽路聽be obsequious towards聽路聽ingratiate oneself with聽路

  3. (be crawling with)
    be covered or crowded with (insects or people), to an extent that is objectionable:
    “the floor was dirty and crawling with bugs”

    synonyms:be full of聽路聽overflow with聽路聽teem with聽路聽abound in/with聽路聽be packed with聽路

  4. computing
    (of a program) systematically visit (a number of web pages) in order to create an index of data:
    “its automated software robots crawl websites, grabbing copies of pages to index”
  1. an act of moving on one’s hands and knees or dragging one’s body along the ground:
    “they began the crawl back to their own lines”
  2. a swimming stroke involving alternate overarm movements and rapid kicks of the legs.
    “she could do the crawl and so many other strokes”

The problem with Bing comes when you want to search for sentences. For example just in the first page Bing gave me completely and totally irrelevant results when I searched for “I am desperate”, with many results evein the first page being results from non-English pages. Here, Bing produced roughly 22,500 results compared to Google’s聽25,100,000 results. The two images below show just how Google is superior to Bing when it comes to generating results from sentences.

Google Image Search
3rd to 7th first page results from Google on the search term “I am desperate”


Google Image Search
3rd to 8th Bing search results on the search term “I am desperate”

The conclusion is that you need to use Bing for Image and short phrases searches but stick to Google when performing complicated searches involving sentence construction.

Odipo Riaga1904 Posts

Film Director, Tech and Business Blogger, Chess Player, and Photographer. God is Science.


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