Everyone loves Google’s search engine. It’s fast, powerful, and often very accurate. While it’s clearly the market leader, it’s also not the only option for web users. If you haven’t already heard of it, Bing is Microsoft’s answer to Google, and does some pretty interesting things that Google actually doesn’t right now. For example, you can hover over video results to give a quick preview of the video before watching. On top of that, Bing basically matches Google feature for feature, with its own versions of image, video, shopping, maps, etc. For the most part however, it returns very similar search results in comparison to Google.

Right now though, you may be asking yourself: “Why switch from Google if Bing isn’t fundamentally better in any way?” To entice more people to switch over to Bing, Microsoft has launched Bing Rewards, a program allowing users to sign up for a Windows Live account (or use their Facebook account) to earn credits for searching via Bing. After accumulating enough credits, you can trade them in for stuff like Amazon gift cards, Skype credit, and Microsoft Points.

Unfortunately, it’s going to take you quite a while to earn any decent prizes. A $2.50 Amazon gift card costs 275 credits. Right now, you can earn up to 16 credits a day without any bonuses, so it would take over 17 days just to earn $2.50 in Amazon money. Smaller prizes like Skype credit and free Redbox movie rentals start at a much more reasonable 100 credits. In any case, if the effort-reward ratio seems too great for you, just stick with Google. However, I figure that if I’m going to be searching anyways, I might as well get rewarded for it right? For not having to do any extra work, $5 Amazon money every month or so isn’t too shabby.

What do you think of Bing? Is it a capable contender to Google? Or is Bing just another search engine about to be crushed under the might of the market leader? Let us know in the comments!