A Bit About Bing

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With Google thinking that we are all bots and Yahoo.com now being an alternative user interface to the Bing search engine, many of us have turned to Bing in the hopes of having a satisfying search experience.

The Bing team doesn’t make it easy to figure out what the Bing Query language is like. There are two key documents, as far as I can tell:

Both are brief, many explanations are vague, and each document has some operators not mentioned in the other document. There ‘s also at least one operator not mentioned in either document.

Complaints aside, Bing offers some unique operators well worth exploring. I will mention three of them here.

  • contains: looks for links to a certain file type; as an example, think about a link to a resume from someone’s home page;
  • near: adds a nice semantic flavor to our searches. The operator near takes a number; near:2 means keywords within 2 words within each other, as in managed near:2 people;
  • linkfromdomain: finds all sites to which the given domain links to. It’s useful for SEO specialists but not just. I just tried linkfromdomain:linkedin.com python engineer and found some potential candidates for our Python job opening. This operator is not documented in either of the above references!

ex-Google users should remember to put parentheses around any OR statement, get used including norelax: if they want the results to contain their 5th keyword, look into the differences between site: and domain: and be aware of a few other things that I will leave for my next post or a webinar.