There are two versions of Internet Explorer in Windows 8 and one is available by clicking the tile on the Start screen and the other is accessed by going to the desktop and clicking the icon in the taskbar. They look very different and they have different features. One thing you might have tried to do is to configure the Start screen Internet Explorer to change some settings. However, it doesn't have the Internet Options dialog that is available with the desktop version. Only a few basic settings for the Start screen Internet Explorer can be configured. However, there is a way to access the full range of settings though and you can change settings and functions, such as the search provider.
In both the Start screen and desktop versions of Internet Explorer, searches can be performed by typing the search term into the address box where you would normally enter a website URL. Enter a word or two and a Bing search results page appears. What if you want to search using Google instead? Unfortunately, the Start screen Internet Explorer does not have any settings that let you choose which search provider is used. However, if you change the desktop version of Internet Explorer the Start screen version is also changed too. They seem to use the same search settings.
Go to the desktop and start Internet Explorer by clicking the icon in the taskbar. Click the gear icon in the top right corner and select Manage Add-ons. Select Search Providers on the left and on the right is a list of search engines. When there is more than one listed you can select the one you want to use and then click the Set as default button. Then any search terms you enter into the address box are searched using the selected search engine.
If Bing is the only search provider, click the link in the bottom left corner of the Manage Add-ons window called Find more search providers. A new Internet Explorer window opens and displays the online gallery. Select Search on the left and then click a search provider, such as Google. On the next screen, click Add to Internet Explorer. A little window pops up to confirm you want to add it and in this is a Make this my default search provider link. Tick it and click Add.
Close all the Internet Explorer windows and then start Internet Explorer from the Start screen. Enter a search term into the address box (right click if you don't see it), and press Enter to see the search results from whichever search engine you added and made the default.