While Google has been the dominant search engine the world over, Bing, the search engine from Microsoft has been steadily gaining popularity. In fact, the market share is now 11%. Not surprising considering the constant innovations introduced by Microsoft. There are several great features available in Bing and the search results are almost as good as Google’s. How can you make it even better? Read on:
- Background Image: If you feel the need to turn this off, all you have to do is go to: www.bing.com/?rb=0. The other thing you can do is bookmark the page so you are taken there directly whenever you want to search
- RSS Feed: to create an RSS feed for search results of your queries, just add ‘&format=rss’ immediately after the query in the browser’s address bar.
- Convert Currency, Units And Calculations Instantly: Just type 500 grams and you will get the equivalent in pounds, at the very top of the search engine results. You can do the same to get the rate of exchange for Dollars and Euros or miles to kilometers.
- Add Preferences For Keywords: You can tell Bing that any web page that contains a particular keyword is more important for you. Just use the option prefer:<keyword>. Results that contain this keyword will now be given top priority. You can exclude certain words by using NOT. Like if you type Starbucks NOT Google, it will display all articles about Starbucks that don’t have the word Google in them.
- Track Flights: To instantly track flights, simply type ‘flight status’ in the search bar; Bing will then ask you to enter the name of the airline and the particular flight number. Then click on ‘get status’ and the results will be displayed to you.
- Search Sites With Specific File Type: To get this result, just add ‘contains<fileExtension> to your query. Only those sites that contain that specific type of file, say PDF files, will come up in the search results.
- Country Specific Search: you can also choose to restrict the results to your country or any other specific country only. How do you do this? Use the loc:<country> option.
- Get Stock Market Quotes live: After typing stock, enter the ticker image in the search bar to get the latest stock market prices.
- Weather: To check the weather for a particular city, just add the word weather after the name of the city in the search box. You will get a display of the weather forecast for that city. You can also check snow reports for any city.
- Check If Your Site Is Indexed: If you type url:mywebsite.com, you can see whether Bing has chosen to index your site or has ignored it. What’s more, you can even see how many pages of your site have been indexed by just typing ‘site’ with the name of your website. Like this: site:mywebsite.com. This will display all the pages that are currently in the index database of Bing.
- You can even search for your FB friends’ interests, thanks to the tie up between these two services. When you search for something related articles or posts by your friends will turn up at the bottom of the SERP.
- Estimate how much you’d have to pay your cabbie: Once you enter your place of origin and destination, the Cab Fare app will calculate the cost you will incur if you call a cab, based on the existing fares and the ‘best possible route’.
- See what’s happening locally: With the Foursquare Everywhere app, you can find out what your friends are doing; where they’re eating, and what they are doing: are they at the mall or movies? You are also displayed tips and notes in real time, about establishments in your location.
Andrea Walters, a freelance writer for www.satellitesales.com – The Lowest-Priced Satellite TV in America. www.satellitesales.com