Google has dominated the search engine business. Their simple, straightforward home page and reliable searches have changed them from an industry leader to a complete monopoly. Yahoo, Ask, AltaVista, and Dogpile each possess a corner of the market, but Google has been the controlling force, idolized model, and financial empire. That’s rapidly changing with the rise of Bing, MSN’s foray into the search-engine business.
One quality feature contributing to Bing’s rise is their excellent image search. Most of Bing’s options are nearly identical to Google. The difference is Bing’s image search has better color, style and presentation. The best way to start finding photos and illustrations on Bing is by making a beeline for their vibrant and tasteful homepage at http://www.bing.com. Next, hit the “images” button on the left side of the Bing toolbar.
To launch your image search, type your query into the white text field in the middle of the window. If you want a small number of very specific results, type a number of well-defined terms, the more precise the better. On the other hand, if you’re just browsing, enter several broad words into the search box and hit your enter/return key or click the orange magnifying glass.
After the page finishes loading, start scrolling down through the page. Once an image catches your eye, there are several techniques for convenient browsing. Start by holding your mouse over the snapshot for an informational pop up display. You’ll see an option that says “Show Similar Images.” Use this tool to find similar images.
Another great feature, a major upgrade that separates Bing from Google, is the “Find More Sizes” option. Often, I find the ultimate image, but it’s completely the wrong size. Use this terrific tool if you find an outstanding image and need it to be a different size.
The next step to viewing your photo or illustration is clicking on the snapshot to visit the original website. To view the full size image, click the link next to the snapshot that says “full size”. After you’re done viewing the image, find more choices by right-clicking on the snapshot. You can save the image to your computer or copy the photo URL.
Let’s suppose you can’t find a good fit for your search. Try querying either more specific terms or, if you need more selections, just be a little less precise. An example: If you’re hunting for an illustration of a “Sony Camera” that’s probably too generalized. Try “Sony Camera xxx-000” and you may have more success.
The best way to upgrade your Bing experience? Play with the system, try it for yourself and you’ll quickly increase search success.