Bing: Search Engine Basics & AI Features




Updated 1/30/2024

Learn about Bing, Microsoft’s search engine that powers ChatGPT’s search, and other popular engines like DuckDuckGo and Ecosia.


Bing is Microsoft’s search engine product. While Google is by far the most popular search engine, with around 85% of the search market share, Bing and other engines it powers have significant usage and different optimization techniques.

This guide will walk you through the basic principles of Bing and Microsoft’s recent efforts with AI search features.

Bing Basics

Bing is a web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft. Launched in 2009, Bing provides various search services, including web, video, image, and map search results.

While Google is the dominant search engine globally, Bing holds a significant share in certain markets and is the default search engine for many of Microsoft’s products and services, including the Windows operating system and Microsoft Edge browser.

In addition to basic search functionality, Bing offers:

  1. Microsoft Advertising: This platform allows advertisers to display their ads on the search network. It’s akin to Google Ads but for Microsoft products.
  2. Bing Maps: An alternative to Google Maps, providing directions, street maps, and satellite/aerial imagery.
  3. Bing Webmaster Tools: Like Google Search Console, it helps website owners monitor and maintain their website’s presence in Bing search results.

Many features have been integrated over the years, such as social media integration and the inclusion of knowledge panels in search results, to provide richer and more comprehensive search experiences.

Search Engines Powered by Bing

One of the most significant factors is that its technology powers other popular search engines:

  1. DuckDuckGo: Known for its focus on user privacy, DuckDuckGo also uses Bing’s technology for its search results. It combines search engine results to deliver anonymous and non-personalized search results to its users.
  2. Ecosia: A search engine that plants trees with its ad revenue. Ecosia presents the search results and ads powered by Bing in a privacy-friendly way.
  3. Yahoo Search: Once a standalone search engine, Yahoo Search uses Bing’s technology to power its search results. This alliance began in 2009 when Microsoft and Yahoo entered a deal.
  4. MSN: While MSN is a Microsoft property, it’s worth noting that Bing powers MSN’s search feature.
  5. AOL: In 2015, Microsoft and AOL entered a partnership involving display ads. Bing officially started powering AOL search in 2016. If you still use AOL, please be aware that it is no longer the year 2016.

While the technology powers these search engines, each of them applies its methods for filtering and ranking results. For example, DuckDuckGo and Ecosia’s results are both powered by the software, they will feature different rankings and features on their SERPs.

Bing and AI

In February 2023, Microsoft launched a new AI-powered Bing search feature that can only be accessed with their Edge browser. The updates are designed to be more helpful and include several new features.


Users can now chat with Bing to get answers to questions, create written content, and find many other uses. It will use AI to try and understand your questions, then provide you with the most relevant information.

Here’s an example chat search for “how to grill stuffed mushrooms”:

Image Creator

In March, Bing launched a new AI feature called Image Creator. This feature allows you to create AI-generated images based on your text descriptions. For example, you could ask Bing to “create an image of a cat sitting on a keyboard”, and it will generate an image that matches your description:

Many new features are still in preview, but they are available to everyone signed in with a Microsoft account. Bing is constantly being updated with new AI features, so be sure to check to see what’s new.

Bottom Line

Bing, while often overlooked, is a powerful tool with a large search market share, as it powers other popular Google alternatives. Considering it can significantly enhance your digital marketing strategy. Microsoft is taking large swings with AI and regularly releasing new experimental features. Understanding its role in SEO and the search landscape provides greater options for searchers and their needs. ?

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