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Google vs. Bing — a Quasi-Empirical Study

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the unbearable-lightness-of-bing dept.

Google 356

eko3 writes "SearchEngineLand.com is featuring an article that compares Google's result query relevance performance to Microsoft's Bing. Through the author's methodology and very small sampling, he argues Bing returns slightly more relevant results than Google. The article suggests that Google is riding its current market success based on its legacy namesake when internet search used to be a lot more painful than it is today."

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O No (5, Insightful)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867274)

Through the author's methodology and very small sampling,

Science Fault Detected! Engaging TL;DR.

What about AltaVista? (4, Funny)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867304)

As I sit here surfing the web on my Digital Equipment Corp. VAX 4000, I wonder... why is there no comparisons to AltaVista... the king of search engines.

Re:What about AltaVista? (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867516)

Because there IS no comparison to AltaVista. Good or Bad!

Re:What about AltaVista? (4, Funny)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867576)

You lucky, lucky bastard. I only WISH I could afford a sweet chunk of iron like the DEC VAX 4K! I'm on a Commodore Vic 20 connected to CompuServe and I can't search shit! In my day we'd have to use our HP programmable calculator connected to a dodgy barcode reader the size of a small aircraft to parse through the pages of a phone book, and we LIKED it that way. Darn, whippersnappers on my lawn, gotta get the rake...

Re:What about AltaVista? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867860)

I'm on a Commodore Vic 20

What's the weather like in Afghanistan these days?

Re:What about AltaVista? (1, Funny)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34868046)

I'm on a Commodore Vic 20

What's the weather like in Afghanistan these days?

I imagine it's windy where you are, with a notable wind shear about 5-6 feet off the ground...

Re:What about AltaVista? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867608)

why is there no comparisons to AltaVista...

AltaVista returns slightly more relevant results than Lycos.

Re:What about AltaVista? (2)

Diomedes01 (173241) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867774)

why is there no comparisons to AltaVista...

AltaVista returns slightly more relevant results than Lycos.

Bah, just use metacrawler and search them all.

Re:What about AltaVista? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867900)

why is there no comparisons to AltaVista...

AltaVista returns slightly more relevant results than Lycos.

Bah, just use metacrawler and search them all.

Metacrawler? Dogpile is so much more efficient. And it has a cuter mascot!

Re:What about AltaVista? (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867752)

Hey, I have a 4100 right over here. 3 feet away. I don't surf with it.

    And hey, Altavista worked great, I had no complaints about it. Only when it was obviously on the way down did I start using google.

      Brett

Re:What about AltaVista? (2)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867756)

There could be, in a much more scientific way, as follows: create a wrapper search engine that randomly chooses one of any number of search engines (google, bing, altavista, lycos, and heck, even yahoo) without telling the user what it chose, performs the user query, returns results, and asks the user to rate relevance. The results would be perfectly unbiased; the only drawback is the possibility of a huge lawsuit from all the search engines you'd essentially be ripping off (no ad revenue!).

Re:What about AltaVista? (5, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867816)

It would be easy to determine which is which. Bing would provide page summaries that are totally useless, while half the results from Google would be zero-content ad landing pages.

Re:What about AltaVista? (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867918)

Ahh for want of mod points, +1 Frickin Funny.

Re:What about AltaVista? (4, Informative)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867766)

Did you know Excite [excite.com] is still around? I had no idea.

This list is pretty amazing for some nostalgic perusal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_search_engines [wikipedia.org]

(Now as for that VAX... No! Bad!)

Re:What about AltaVista? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867814)

AltaVista? WebCrawler is much better, it has a mascot!

And AltaVista Personal? (3, Interesting)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867896)

I guess not many people used it, but AltaVista Personal did an amazing job of indexing and searching local and network files. Faster than any of the "modern" OS integrated offerings I've seen. And without sucking up resources. If there were a version for XP/Vista/Win7 I'd use it in a heartbeat.

The market will decide (3, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867306)

Google's primary business function is 'search', though they've attempted to diversify with documents and the like.

Microsoft's primary business function is documents and the like, though they've attempted to diversify with search.

There's a very low barrier to individual users to choose between them for either (given that MS has put its document processing online for free, last I heard) so, in the end, it's likely that the superior product (whether marketed better or actually better) will triumph in marketshare.

Bring this back up in 18 months, and we'll likely see some clear differential if there really is an actual difference in the applicability of either one's functions.

Re:The market will decide (1, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867472)

You know all other things being equal, MS has less motivation to violate my privacy than Google does, as selling my data to advertisers isn't their primary source of revenue. For that reason alone, I look more favourably on Bing than Google search. But that said, both search engines seem to bring me equivalent results most of the time. Certainly they both normally get me the results that I want and you can't really get any better result from a search engine. I also like Bing's image results and page previews and generally nice to look at layout. I swap back to Google when I need to search news groups.

But when you say "the market will decide" you have to ask yourself which market, because Google are able to leverage their online services to boost Google search in a way that MS aren't able to do as well by leveraging their desktop products. In other words, Google has more relevant markets to provide synergy to each other. (A bit like MS once did with browsers and operating systems).

Re:The market will decide (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867588)

Less motivation? On the surface, I agree with you. But the US government and Microsoft have something of a strange yet cooperative relationship. I get a feeling that Microsoft does a bit more data collection than we know. But speculation aside, Microsoft has far more potential to collect information than Google. And if requested, I have little doubt that Microsoft would comply with anything the government "or its partners" asks.

Both Evil (1)

Jimpqfly (790794) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867808)

Since you think that, would you think that an open source browser like Firefox should offer Bing as a default search engine ?

I mean, if Google is the bad guy, only interested in our personal data and displaying ads, and Bing the good guy only offering a search engine to help humanity, would this be the best option ?

Can't you see that there are both evil ?

Re:The market will decide (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867948)

I like your initial comparison... it's why I at least don't start with Google.

I've also found that if I want concise results I use Bing, if I want tons of links (and sometimes I do) I use Google.

Bing is new yet, so this might not work for me two years from now, but so far so good.

Re:The market will decide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867984)

I have used Bing a few times and never got what I was looking for, especially Microsoft content itself. Google will provide the correct results every time. So not sure why there is even a comparison between the two?
Google get money from advertising and not forced on to you if you have some sense.
The companies should focus on their own productions and reach their own goals! Currently it is what can I take from someone else? Why is Microsoft so interested in search engines? Do they can to do what Google do? (Rhetorical sarcastic question, please do not answer)

Re:The market will decide (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867554)

Google's primary business function is 'search', though they've attempted to diversify with documents and the like.
Microsoft's primary business function is documents and the like, though they've attempted to diversify with search.

Google's primary business function is 'global hegemony'.
Microsoft's primary business function is 'global hegemony'.

FTFY.

Re:The market will decide (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867874)

Is there any moderation-tag for "super-duper-insightful-(plus-funny)?"

One is Evil; the other says they are not (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867642)

Microsoft is just downright "evil" in the terms used by, well lots of people. They are anti-competitive, non-free, anti-open-source, and every other kind of non-good they can get away with.

Google says they are not evil, so that must be true. They do help authoritarian regimes repress their people and they are collecting vast treasure troves of data on us with fantastic cross-correlations (i.e., they can match your searches to your group memberships to your map use to your e-mails to your documents to your photos and so on and so on). But again, they say they are not evil, so they are downright friggin' saints.


Wondering if this will get modded flamebait, troll, or insightful. All wrong. Try again. :P

:3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867320)

How long before either search engines will find my post and add it to their indexes?

Re::3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867894)

30 mins in...
Google:
No results found for "How long before either search engines will find my post and add it to their indexes".

Bling:
We didn't find any results for "How long before either search engines will find my post and add it to their indexes".

Small sample is right (5, Informative)

KnownIssues (1612961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867358)

A single person's subjective analysis of 20 search terms is a small sample indeed! I will say, Bing has come a long way in producing search results I feel are useful, but I still find myself frequently forgetting Bing is the default search, coming up with bizarrely useless results, switching to Google, and saying to myself, ah yes, these are the results I was expecting.

Perhaps I've just learned to produce search results in Google that meet my needs and haven't developed that skill in Bing. A more thorough, less subjective analysis comparing the two search engines would be very interesting. Sadly, I think this writer's personal conclusion is just going to spark a nerd-war over Google vs. Microsoft filled with subjective opinion (like mine) and little empircal evidence.

Re:Small sample is right (3, Insightful)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867508)

To be fair, he's not trying to get this published in a journal, just point out that Google is no longer streets ahead of everyone else. I think that is a fair assessment.

Re:Small sample is right (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867566)

Indeed. The study's methodology was, to put it mildly, badly flawed. A far better methodology would have had twenty other people do the searching, and have THEM rank the results. That would still have been flawed, too, but less subjective than just having one guy decide how relevant the searches were.

Google is still #1 because people tried Bing and found it wanting. I did, the first day it was out.

Re:Small sample is right (3, Interesting)

mordero (1118893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867846)

Google is still #1 because people tried Bing and found it wanting. I did, the first day it was out.

Isn't that the point being made? When Bing was first launched Google may have had better results, but now Bing is catching up with Google and (maybe?) surpassing it in terms of relevancy. Google is slow on adjusting its algorithm since some/most/all people have the perception that it is better than Bing and since those people never go back to try Bing again, Google has little need to adapt as quickly.

Re:Small sample is right (4, Informative)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867710)

Yea.............I don't buy this guys results at all. I've used Bing and Google plenty of times - I stopped using Bing due to it rarely giving me what I wanted and mostly just giving links to MS products as search results.

Re:Small sample is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867944)

Ok, give us an example... I use Bing all the time and I don't see a significant difference from Google. In fact, even before Google I didn't have a big issue with web searches.

Replication? (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867370)

Anyone care to try to replicate the results? You could probably just use his list, or create a list of your own if you really want to. I'd do it myself but I'm supposed to be working.

Re:Replication? (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867542)

Anyone care to try to replicate the results? You could probably just use his list, or create a list of your own if you really want to. I'd do it myself but I'm supposed to be working.

Duh, just post your actual work to an "ask slashdot" post, then come back and work on this instead. I mean come on, what are you, new here?

Bing is great for non-techies (4, Interesting)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867376)

I agree with the notion that Google is riding it's legacy of taking search from something that was literally an impossible problem to solve to something that was instant. It earned every bit of that, but search has entered a new era.

Bing is now competing at the forefront, which is taking search from finding results in an index to finding answers to questions and solving problems. "Decision engine" is a bit overhyped, but it's the right direction to move in, in my opinion. This is a good thing, because Bing and Google will push each other.

I generally refer friends and people I know to Bing because they tend to treat search engines like a natural language processor, or as a companion that can help them answer questions and solve problems.

Google is still (much) more effective if your Google-fu is powerful, but if it's not, Bing can be a bit friendlier and better at getting you to what you want to see.

Re:Bing is great for non-techies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867456)

"Decision engine" is a bit overhyped, but it's the right direction to move in, in my opinion.

Yes, we humans shouldn't have to do anything even remotely resembling thinking, and should instead rely on more of these "decision engines" to make our choices for us.

Re:Bing is great for non-techies (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867668)

Well, yes, that IS how it should be, despite you trying to sarcastically make it sound like its ruining the human condition.

If you are using a search engine, you are searching for something. You enter in what you are searching for. Naturally, if the engine is optimal, it will return exactly what you are looking for, and no more searching could be required. Bringing up a page of 20 things for you to sift through, is sometimes not as helpful as if it had just brought up the most relevant example.

If I look up "Good Italian Wedding Soup Recipe" it will no doubt show me a list of results with a bunch of soup recipes. But that's another step of searching I have to do to ensure that I don't come across some site that was optimized for "Italian" and "Wedding". The Searching needs to be more robust, to take off the decision required to determine which link to press.

Ideally, the best search engine ever would take you directly to the page you were looking for. Nothing more and nothing less.

When you have a question for your boss, like "Where is the supply cabinet?" he doesn't usually spout off 20 different locations, and if he does, he probably isn't a very good boss.

Re:Bing is great for non-techies (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867748)

No the best would present with a list of said recipes as a search engine has no way to evaluate good.

Re:Bing is great for non-techies (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867938)

Search engines do have a way to evaluate good. Based on user reviews, recommendations, etc etc, even page hits can be considered some value.

Granted, these aren't perfect, but they are better than nothing.

Re:Bing is great for non-techies (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867974)

And there's nothing to say you can't go "Next" and have it bring up the next page in its list, but it shouldn't require you to search through them manually like it does now.

Though you can also keep things the way they are now, with the common "skim over the first line it brings back" and then decide that way - but ultimately thats a process that a computer should be able to do anyways.

Re:Bing is great for non-techies (1)

genner (694963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34868036)

Search engines do have a way to evaluate good. Based on user reviews, recommendations, etc etc, even page hits can be considered some value.

Granted, these aren't perfect, but they are better than nothing.

I thought the google engine looked at popularity in deciding which pages to give you.

Re:Bing is great for non-techies (3, Informative)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867768)

I'm sorry, you must be using a different Bing than I do. Your statements regarding Bing's performance do NOT match up to my experience with it in the slightest.

Perhaps you're confusing bing.com with google.com/bing ? =)

Re:Bing is great for non-techies (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867996)

Oh the number of times I still see people type "what is the population of equador?" or something formatted that way into the search bar. I suppose we have jeeves to thank for that.

Google is the Default (0)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867394)

Unfortunately, Google as reached "Default" status, and is thus the standard search engine used, not just from its own website, but also in search bars, phones, and other integrated instances. Marketing might make Bing more visible, but its Google's unseen market share that is the real challenge.

Re:Google is the Default (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867452)

So a priest, a rabbi, and Marc Andreessen walk into a search bar ...

Google no longer the Default ? (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#34868042)

...Google [h]as reached "Default" status ...

But is it losing the default status? My understanding is that in China people are starting to use "baidu" as a verb. "I'll baidu that" as someone in the west may now be saying "I'll google that".

A search engine is a pretty simple thing to replace. I don't think many users care who provides search, they just want decent results. Google will have to work hard to maintain their position or they may for the most part become a verb, well except on Android based systems :-). For a while people used "xerox" as a verb even when they started buying non-Xerox copiers.

OK, I took a shot at it, (4, Interesting)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867396)

But I still don't know how to change the water filter [google.com] on a Frigidaire Professional Series [bing.com] .

For some reason, they gave Bing 7 points for that query.

But the first result merely regurgitates the question, then has an ad link for Fixya.com.

Re:OK, I took a shot at it, (2)

Z_A_Commando (991404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867654)

Interesting. My first result on Bing was: this [frigidaire.com] . Google, however, was useless.

Re:OK, I took a shot at it, (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867922)

Yeah, the first two results in Bing were included in the first 3 results in Google for me. *shrug*

Re:OK, I took a shot at it, (1)

Ardaen (1099611) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867940)

Interesting, Bing gave me ad-laden junk for the first 4 results, the fifth was the www.frigidaire.com main page. I didn't get anything like your first result.

I guess it likes you and hates me?

Re:OK, I took a shot at it, (0)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867864)

Do people actually search like that? No wonder people complain about search engines, for one thing, half the search terms are just going to be removed by the search engine "How do you change the water filter on a frigidaire professional series" is going to become "change water filter frigidaire professional series". 'Change' is vague and is going to return lots of stuff you don't care about, replace or instal would be much better. "Water filter", should be in quotes, as should be "frigidaire professional series".

And... wow. Ok, well, either the information is simply not on the internet or the SEO people have finally outsmarted the engineers at Google and Bing. Even with a decent query and trying different keywords, I see no references to the information I would actually want. Rather, there are a ton of instances of people trying to sell me something and a site where you can go and ask questions and have others respond.

Re:OK, I took a shot at it, (0)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867868)

I almost never ask a question in a search engine window. I use a combination of search terms, e.g., "change the water filter" "Frigidaire professional series."

Here's what you get with that query:

Google [google.com]
Bing [bing.com]

It's worth noting that the string "Frigidaire professional" appears nowhere on the page in Bing's first search result.

Re:OK, I took a shot at it, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867998)

Using your query on google just got me,

http://search.slashdot.org/story/11/01/13/1937210/Google-vs-Bing-mdash-a-Quasi-empirical-Study?from=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot%2Fto+%28%28Title%29Slashdot+%28rdf%29%29 :/

Bing! (1)

Kiliani (816330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867442)

Sorry, can't resist:

"I am the machine that makes bing."

I've reluctantly moved to Bing (3, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867454)

Google just returns too many garbage marketing links. Bing isn't vastly better, just slightly. And, I imagine that if people start to migrate, they'll take on the same ad ratios as Google.

Re:I've reluctantly moved to Bing (1)

dmadzak (997352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867536)

This is why I use bing more often now. Google may have better results that come back, but they are in between so much spam sites, that it makes it hard to find what you are looking for. So for me, bing is good enough and faster since there is less crap to wade through. That may change in the future, but for now bing works better for me.

I'll see your small data set and raise an anecdote (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867460)

After trying to put up with Bing (being the annoying default in IE 7/8, and on my smartphone) it just doesn't hit the right notes with the kinds of searching I do. It's probably that it doesn't prioritize Wikipedia results high enough, though.

Re:I'll see your small data set and raise an anecd (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867758)

Another amusing anecdote: When I started working at my current workplace, my work computer were a freshly installed W7 with IE8 using Bing. At my workplace we develop exclusively for a Windows platform, so I did a lot of searches for functions in the WinAPI. However, Bing consistently did not find the MSDN documentation - or even anything remotely similar - on the first page. When I changed the search engine to Google, the documentation was consistently the first or the second link.

Re:I'll see your small data set and raise an anecd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867844)

See now, I see that as almost a problem, in line with the App discussion one story back. If you want to search wikipedia, add Wikipedia to your list of browser search engines. I constantly flip between Wikipedia and IMDB as a pair, and I wouldn't consider that "web searching". I'd consider those browser apps for those two sites.

Also, Rule #1 = Always Use Advanced Search. I want to know about the music group Red Box, not red cardigans and black boxes for airplanes!

"Red Box" +include music produces nearly perfect results.
(Posting AC because I modded elsewhere.)

Re:I'll see your small data set and raise an anecd (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867956)

I found this to be true. Some of that is likely due to the fact that I have, subconsciously, tuned my queries to produce meaningful results in Google. If I were for some reason forced to use Bing for a while I suspect I would be able to produce meaningful results from it as well.

errrrrrrrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867474)

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. sure, maybe he's right. but bing is still a pain in the a**e when it comes to user friendliness. search results are important, but not everything.

Re:errrrrrrrr (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867982)

The background images on bing are very distracting to me, having become accustomed to Google's pale demeanor. I dunno about user friendliness, but that jarring landing page is one of the reasons I can't get accustomed to using Bing regularly. Bing maps, on the other hand, have a superior API for developers (IMHO).

Insignificant Result (4, Informative)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867490)

20 searches, 15% margin, 100% subjective.

Re:Insignificant Result (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867602)

20 searches, 15% margin, 100% subjective.

Just as you comment

It doesn't matter, google won. (3, Insightful)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867528)

It doesn't matter, google won.

Generally speaking, to dethrone the entrenched standard (in any industry, not just search engines) you have to be substantially better to get people to switch to something they aren't used to. Marginally better just won't cut it. Cost is a moot point, because outside of MS paying me a check every month to use bing, you can't beat the price of free.

Humans are generally animals of habit, and unless you give them a good reason to, they won't change.

Re:It doesn't matter, google won. (1)

dorre (1731288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867696)

So please, what is your take on fashion and clothes? People use the same clothes forever?
No, I think it's more about following the people one see as authoritarian in a field. If you are a regular Joe you might get interested in bing if your nerd friends started using it. And they are probably more likely to change even if there's only a small benefit. I'm always impressed how little people like you think people will change their habits.

"Better" didn't help Yahoo. (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867540)

For about the first half of 2008, Yahoo search was better than Google search.

Yahoo introduced specialized subengines - stocks, weather, movies, celebrities - which were triggered by matching queries. Each subengine had a special case for that class of information. Yahoo had about fifty such subengines.

Nobody noticed. Yahoo's market share didn't move. I only knew about this because I went to a talk by the head of Yahoo R&D at the time.

Bing's strategy seems to be mostly to follow Google. Google put Google Places into web search (a big mistake [sitetruth.com] , because Places is so easy to spam), and Bing followed within days.

This week, everybody from Techdirt to CNN is dumping on Google for their spam problem. Even Paul Krugman at the New York Times mentioned it. There's much blog talk of "human powered search" or "curated search" to stop the spam but the failure of Wikia Search, and the lack of interest in ChaCha, Swicki, and Rollyo, indicates that's a dead end. (Mahalo started as human-powered search and ended up as a content farm, which is a hint that "human powered" doesn't equate to "better". No complaints from search users about that, though.)

(Note: I have a position in this; I run SiteTruth [sitetruth.com] . There, we try to find the business behind the web site, and rate that, using data from the SEC, BBB, D&B, and other hard data sources about businesses. This works well at eliminating spam. Too well for some sites; we get complaints about our hard-ass "when in doubt, rate it down" approach.)

Re:"Better" didn't help Yahoo. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867870)

(Oops, the line "No complaints from search users about that, though." was supposed to go in the last paragraph, not the one about Mahalo.)

Re:"Better" didn't help Yahoo. (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867986)

Mod parent up. Fascinating paper linked deserves to be be Slashdotted in it's own right.

Re:"Better" didn't help Yahoo. (1)

Vekseid (1528215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34868024)

Honestly when I first found your site my reaction was 'What? No address? It's in my flipping DNS query. No one who uses my sites gives a damn what my address is...' ...which is another point, if someone's out shopping, a resource like yours is good. If someone's looking for information or something else for free, then you need a different criteria.

not for my searches (5, Interesting)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867550)

I use about six languages on a daily basis and IMHO bing sucks at everything that isn't English.

Would take a lot for me to use MS product (0)

nysus (162232) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867562)

I'm part of a small minority of users that avoids MS products at all costs, even if they have better products. I wonder what percentage of techies are like that?

Re:Would take a lot for me to use MS product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867640)

thats me in a nutshell.

Re:Would take a lot for me to use MS product (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867672)

My rule is that I when the comparison is close I always use product that is not from Microsoft. I only use Microsoft products when they are distinctly superior to the other options I am aware of.

Re:Would take a lot for me to use MS product (2)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34868048)

Seconded. Visual Studio is still (imho) the best IDE for C/C++ development out there. Bing Maps has a superior API to Google Maps for my company's specific needs, so we went that direction. All things being equal though, I will tend towards supporting the little guy. Not just when MSFT is concerned, I prefer to support local businesses over national megacorps, etc.

Re:Would take a lot for me to use MS product (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867724)

I wonder what percentage of techies are like that?

Growing steadily smaller even as I write this. MS, it has turned out, has become less arrogant than Apple and less evil than Google. Who'd a thought?

Re:Would take a lot for me to use MS product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867744)

Easy to know, we just have to know how many "users" /. has.

I use the product that suits me better.

Re:Would take a lot for me to use MS product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867832)

I don't know what percentage of techies are like that but it makes it easier to find out who to ignore. I don't have much faith in someone who selects branding over substance. I thought that was for the high schoolers. I guess it follows some people through their entire lives.

Have fun being a mindless goose stepper.

Self searches (2)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867564)

I get strange looks when I tell someone I Binged myself.

Re:Self searches (1)

warmflatsprite (1255236) | more than 3 years ago | (#34868022)

Dude, I just Binged your sister...

Re:Self searches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34868032)

Next time tell them you Binged their mother.

You won't get me to use Bing any time soon ... (3, Informative)

spafbi (324017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867632)

One avenue companies utilize in trying to get you to use their products and services is through TV advertisements. While I have seldom been swayed to use products or services because of a TV ad, I often go out of my way to NOT use products or services from advertisers with either annoying ads or ads which go out of their way to insult the viewers' intelligence. Given Bing's current 'search overload' annoyvertisement (yeah, I'm coining a new word here), and regardless of Bing's competence in producing useful search results, I'll use the more-than-adequate Google search results which are easily customized using a few easy to remember search operators (http://www.google.com/help/cheatsheet.html [google.com] ).

Google isn't paying attention to searching (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867664)

It has been my experience that as Google has gotten bigger they seem to return at the top of their results pages that are nothing more than aggregating websites (most contain LOTS of google adverts too, which piques my thoughts on why they do show up at the very top of Googles searches). This is VERY annoying. As a result, I, previously a great supporter and user of Google, have been looking for a search engine that doesn't return websites that do nothing but hand me links to other websites. If i find one, that loads quickly, I will dump Google.

If Google is listening, it should be very easy to stop the aggrigation websites (sites that have NO CONTENT but just contain links to other sites) from reaching the top of your results.

IE8 wont let you use Google. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867702)

IE8 wont allow me to choose Google as my default search engine any more and I ended up using Bing for a month which gave me opportunity to see how much it sucks.
Since my wife likes IE I constantly have go to www.google.com to do my searches at home.

Re:IE8 wont let you use Google. (2)

Reapman (740286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867802)

Huh? I'm forced to run IE8 at work.. and we have Google as the search engine default...

Go Tools, Internet Options, then click Settings under "Search"... can change it in there.

google works for advanced users. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867704)

I would never structure my searches the way this guy did in his study. For example if you want google to look for Attorney Tom Brady then put quotes around it.

ORLY? Dig a little deeper on this one..... (5, Informative)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867706)

You'll note that the story says "Sponsored by In-House SEO Exchange@SMX West". A quick visit to that site [searchmarketingexpo.com] shows that Bing is a Premier sponsor of SMX West.

Of course Bing! is better than Google. Shenanigans! Or at the very least, suspect.

Google is playing a dangerous game (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867712)

Microsoft is notorious for working hard until they get it right and then steadily eating into their competition. They've practically torn Sony limb-from-limb in the video game market, something which would have been unthinkable in the early millennium when Sony was an unstoppable juggernaut that was able to destroy Sega just on "sheer perceived awesomeness" alone. From the initial reports about Windows 8, it sounds like they've fully grasped the OS X/iOS lesson and are moving toward a similar unified Windows product base.

It's really amusing to me whenever I see people dismiss Microsoft as a dinosaur that is thrashing in a tar pit. They act like its collapse is "inevitable" like Microsoft is some sort of corporate Soviet Union. In the late 90s/early millennium, everyone was saying that Linux or this or that would kill them. Guess what? Windows 7 probably put the nail in the coffin for desktop Linux among mainstream users in the US and much of Europe.

People mistake the fact that the market is competitive with Microsoft dying. It's more realistic to say that Microsoft is being forced to adapt and compete. If Windows 7 is their first real volley in that respect, I'd be cautious if I were one of their main competitors because it's obvious that Microsoft is taking these threats very seriously now.

Sooner or later (1)

thebian (1218280) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867760)

Somebody's going to do much better searches than Google, which is after all, a word-based search ranked by a linking scheme.

But it's going to be hard to tell the world about it when it happens because of the enormous advantage Google has in indexing. It's so fast, it's almost an eye on the web, and that will take more hardware than will fit in anyone's garage. No one's going to finance the billions needed on the basis of a limited, meagre sample (like this very informal study).

Then there's the name recognition and holier-than-thou reputation -- tarnished by privacy issue but few people seem to care about that.

You don't really believe Microsoft's going to do it. It's got the money, but it's a big corporate bureaucracy that won't overcome the herd mentality either in business matters or in science and engineering, and therefore in R&D.

Or Bing is being temporarily accurate.... (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867794)

If Bing, the search engine created by the massive for-profit Microsoft corporation, is returning better results than Google and is still struggling to retain major market share, could it not be that Bing is allowing itself to be artificially more accurate just to gain ground? Once the market share is locked down, they will likely allow in more advertised results.

Attorney Tom Brady (5, Interesting)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867806)

Bing scored 62 and google 53. Google lost 5 points because it didn't find an attorney named Tom Brady and Bing gained 5 points because they found it. Remove this one query and google actually wins by a point.

But what google does really well is get current results. Search for "attorney tom brady" now and you will find TFA on google, but not on bing.

Remember snap.com? (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867858)

I remember before Google, Snap.com was the single best search engine of its time but very few remember it. That's because a media company (I forget if it was ABC or whatever) decided to buy it and commercialize it to death while promoting specific queries first and not the most relevant. It was fast and it was nearly instant for dial-up connections. Of course, it died soon after it got purchased and maimed but it was a great alternative to Yahoo, Lycos/Altavista, HotBot, Dogpile etc...

I like how Google indexes my site, it does it well and it does it almost instantaneously when there are updates where-as Yahoo! and Bing both take an eternity, even WITH webmaster tools setup. Perhaps it's because my site is at an early stage of development / release and they rank sites entirely differently but if a startup website can attain almost #1 results in whatever is on the website, then I would assume that there is a problem here. In fact there is... The amount of garbage websites that you have to filter through to get your question answered these days on the big G is remarkable. I WISH there was a way you can block a website from showing up in your search results because there's always that one website that repeats itself in a single search result.

Questions not Skills (5, Insightful)

necro351 (593591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867882)

I think the author's assumption that people would search for "When are the Patriots playing next year?" rather than "patriots game schedule" is flat out wrong. People know they are using computers, and not talking to a person, and they compensate accordingly. Google therefore, also compensates accordingly, by finding every page on the internet with "patriots", "game", and "schedule" in some close proximity. They may (and probably do) do more, but Google's approach has always been index everything you possibly can, and NLP has always taken a back seat. The Bing folks on the other hand have explicitly tried to optimize for NLP cases. However which engine is better isn't a matter of can you ask it questions in English, but can someone find what they are looking for. Given that most people know that "Googling" is not the same as asking a question, it is not fair to only test NLP queries.

Don't know if it matters (even if true) (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34867932)

When I do searches, Google works very well for me. I can't think of the last time I was frustrated when searching for something. So, let's say it's true that Bing is slightly better (and I'm not granting that; it's just for the sake of argument) - what's my motivation for switching to Bing if Google is already working just fine for me? My search needs are already being met.

Google wins my test (samp. size = 1) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34867968)

Search for a joke post I submitted anonymously on a somewhat obscure open source site (varlinux.org) ten years ago:

"Windows source code BASIC April Fool's Kollar-Kotelly"

Google [google.com] : Produced post at bottom of page 1/top of page 2

Bing [bing.com] : post not in first five pages of results

Googling Bing: Binging Google (0)

srobert (4099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34868002)

When I Google Bing, I get 85.4 million results.
When I Bing Google, I get 213 million results.
Parse those statement and try to reach a conclusion.

Re:Googling Bing: Binging Google (1)

srobert (4099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34868054)

Oh wait. I hate to respond to my own message, but Googling Google and Binging Bing makes the conclusion obvious.

Gaming search engines... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34868012)

Newer and less widely used search engines often have better results, because there are thousands of spammers out there trying to game the bigger search engines.

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