Thursday, February 03, 2011

Bing vs. Google

There was a news report where Google accuses Bing of copying their search results. The folks at Bing say that's just nonsense. Which is the truth?

Seems to me like it's pretty darned easy to test that theory. Run a few search results in both and see if they turn out the same. So I tried that. =)

When I search for "letterboxing" on Google, I get links to LbNA for the first four search results, then a link to Atlas Quest, then two links to wikipedia, then a link to Silent Doug's

A search for "letterboxing" on Bing, I first get a link to LbNA, then a link to wikipedia, then a link to Atlas Quest, then a link to Silent Doug's

Guess what that means? The results are different! Apparently, the results are only the same if you're searching for made-up words. =) And really, how often do you search for made up words?

If you want to talk about the quality of searches, when it comes to "letterboxing," I think I'd give the edge to Bing. The fact that Google clutters up their results so the first four results point to the same website makes it harder to find multiple sources of information. However, I will admit, I'm happy that the first non-LbNA website on Google is Atlas Quest, while AQ is #3 on Bing. But because of those multiple links to the same website, Atlas Quest actually shows up as the #5 link on Google. Which, I suppose, might make Google more popular with people who don't like Atlas Quest, but in terms of quality searches, that's just bad....

Seems more like a desperate ploy by Google than anything. Perhaps feeling a little threatened by Bing's growing influence? Which seems ridiculous to me--Google is still the 800 pound gorilla in search. They should act like it.