Bing is a capable search engine, something that its rising market share attests to. One of its strongest points of differentiation from Google has ever been its richer layouts and image-heavy focus.
That might be changing. If newly uncovered Bing homepage test layouts ever make it to market, we may see the Microsoft search engine take more design cues from Google than we ever anticipated.
For reference, this is what Bing currently looks like:
And this is the layout that Bing is currently testing:
Finally, this is Google as of the time of writing:
Bing has, in its test version, taken its well-known ‘side column’ and converted it into a top layer of word-links, something that is very similar to what Google currently offers. This may be a move by Bing to feel more ‘familiar’ to Google users dabbling with it as a potential replacement for their normal search tool.
Do we like the changes? Yes. Do the Bing faithful? No. The comments section in the source for this story were universally negative, with Bing fans reacting violently to any ‘Googeization’ of their precious competing engine.
This change by Bing matters because the homepage design of Google is legendary for its sparse construction. Due to its vast market share, hundreds of millions of people around the world are familiar with Google as a template for how a search engine should look. Bing might be bowing to that pressure.
TNWmicrosoft has reached out to Microsoft and is awaiting comment.