In House Google vs. Bing: The Fallacy Of The Superior Search Engine
Good article. I think the branding aspect of the popularity between the two is undeniable. People are sheep and tend to think and respond so accordingly when it comes to any kind of trending product. In a world of quality search vs. quantity, I think the interest will remain with whoever is most actively providing the newest, freshest resources to its users (Google). No matter who may actually have the better “specific” feature. People want the all-inevitable, consolidated, “all-in-one” convenience when it comes to most activities in our busy lives today. ~Damon L. Rice
To understand what “great results” means, transport yourself back 10+ years ago and try to remember the search user experience – one dominated by short tailed queries and multiple paginated results until you could find what you were really looking for. We didn’t complain because it was free and much better than that old dewey decimal approach we learned in middle school. In fact, it was magical.
My personal search approach uses Google as the default while using other sites for specialty searches. On Bing, image search is far superior and Wikipedia for 101 style information. Is this a factor of inertia or am I really getting a better experience with Google? I set up an objective small sample size evaluation of search quality between Google and Microsoft to see for myself.
Let’s Test The Theory
Methodology: I evaluated 20 different searches split evenly between Transactional and Informational queries and the search engines’ ability to deliver quality results, admitting that quality is a very subjective term, but includes things like timeliness, 1 click access to info, volume of content and lack of spam.
Not too surprisingly, there was not a massive disparity in the results of my little test. In fact, Bing came out on top. Some queries performed very differently than others, for example, Bing was able to tell that my query for “Attorney Tom Brady”, was looking for an attorney and not the pictures of the hunky Patriots quarterback served up by Google.
Of course, this begs the question why has Google been so successful? Are they still riding their brand laurels? Has Microsoft’s brandings and rebrandings of search hurt them among consumers?
Is Quora, the newest shiny toy whom the technology press dumped Twitter for this year, going to change everything? Is there a revolution in Local or location based search brewing? Or does consumer behavior change so much more slowly than technology (watch Quora trip on results for “Who is Lindsay Lohan” for example) – providing Google with a long lasting competitive advantage.