Do you use Google as your Internet search engine? According to ComScore, about 2/3rds of all searchers now do, followed by Bing with 18%. But which search engine is actually better?
Let’s see what the experts have to say.
“Most users want a single search engine,” says certified computer instructor Paul H. Gil, who says that it needs to deliver three key features:
1. Relevant results (results you are actually interested in)
2. Uncluttered, easy-to-read interface
3. Helpful options to broaden or tighten a search
The Technical Stuff
“Both Bing and Google have the same tabs to filter searches as well as preference menus,” says Josh Briggs for HowStuffWorks.com. “You can choose from tabs labeled Web, video, images, shopping, news and maps, and you can also set your preferences to filter explicit content. Google’s popularity is due in large part to the effectiveness of its powerful search algorithm and patented PageRank system. Bing attempts to counter this with its best match feature which, like PageRank, sorts the results by order of relevance. For instance, when you search “NASCAR” in Bing, the top result, or best match, is NASCAR.com, NASCAR’s official Web site.”
A.J. Kumar, co-founder of Single Grain, a digital marketing agency in San Francisco, did a comparative analysis and these were his results:
* More relevant information – Google
* Stronger social interactions – Bing
* Faster instant search (suggestions appear as you type) – Google
* Results pages that are more attractive – Bing
Kumar notes that “Bing’s contracts with both Facebook and Twitter give it more access to more social data than Google, which must rely on lesser used Google+.” On relative attractiveness, Kumar concludes that “Bing’s results look like Google’s used to, before Google cluttered its listings with ‘+1’ buttons, social annotations and other useless features.”
You Ought to be in Pictures
Web entrepreneur Craig Snyder agrees. Snyder especially likes Bing Images, which include “’entity understanding,’ meaning that the search engine can interpret if what you’re looking for is a person, place, or thing and show image results more effectively based on this understanding. Bing even uses higher quality images as part of their algorithm.”
Another distinguishing feature that Snyder likes is the able to see your Bing Search history from a drop-down menu at the top. “It’s a pretty cool feature for its natural purpose, or even to see if anyone may have been using your computer while you’re away.”
It’s All About Distractions
“Google is focused on reducing distractions whereas Bing seems focused on providing them,” asserts Gerry McGovern, founder and CEO of Customer Carewords. “Bing doesn’t seem that serious about search. It seems like it’s run by traditional marketers. Google is still focused on taking away which is quite amazing really. That’s a very powerful message to customers. It’s saying: ‘We take search seriously. We take your time and attention seriously. No frills. No distractions. Just search.’
When I show the Google homepage as an example of best practice, people all agree that it is. But in the next breath they claim that their homepage could never be like that because they’re much more complex than Google. Really?
For many people to search is to ‘google’. Google rose to the top because it was useful. It still is useful today and by simplifying and reducing clutter and distractions, is trying to remain useful for the future. “
Possible Game Changer
Apple rose like a phoenix in the IT world, not by trying to build a better desktop or laptop computer, but by redefining the entire market with the introduction of the iPhone and the iPad. Similarly, the world of search is being transformed by mobile.
For instance, YouTube traffic on mobile was a mere 6 percent three years ago. That zoomed to 25 percent two years ago, and then to 40 percent last year.
“As we access the Web using mobile devices,” says Mark Jackson, president and CEO of Vizion Interactive, a search engine optimization company, “search will become more important than ever. That’s where we potentially could see a shift from Google’s traditional search to Bing’s search.”
“Bing looks fresher and offers a more promising approach for searching for images,” says Craig Snyder. But A.J. Kumar sums up the feelings of many of its users by saying, “I’m sticking with Google until Bing is able to claim a much greater advantage over the Web’s largest, most preferred search engine.”
What do you think?
You can conduct your own side-by-side evaluation of the two popular Internet search engines by going to BingItOn.com.
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