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3 Reasons Why Bing's Search Results Are Better than Google's in 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The past year in Search has been probably the most interesting of the past ten years. We saw Caffeine updates in Google, numerous major algorithm updates by Google, the marrying of Yahoo and Bing results, the launch of Google Instant, and most recently a controversial algorithm update from Google known as Panda.  Needless to say there have been unprecedented change with the major search engines in North America.  Going back 12-14 months ago, Microsoft's Bing had about a 9-10% market share in the North American search business.  Fast forward to early 2011, and if we factor in the fact that Bing is serving up Yahoo search results, Bing now has nearly 30% market share in the US  (Excluding Yahoo results, Bing has gained about 5% market share in the past fifteen months).  Perhaps we may continue to see this rise and searchers become increasingly frustrated with Google's search results.

I personally have found Google's search results have been suffering during these past fifteen months.  Since the Panda algorithm update I am finding Google's results even more suspect.  I cannot help compare Charlie Sheen's recent activities/"meltdown" similar to what we are seeing with Google.  Something is afoul at Google.  There has been drastic change with their search results which I find interesting as it wasn't that long ago that Google's Marissa Mayer said that Google had no plans from moving away from their plain white results page that we have become accustomed to seeing.  Yet in recent months we have seen the additional of real-time search results, testing of the various buttons and links on Google's results page, the addition of Google Instant (Google's search prediction functionality) and even the addition of Google's Instant Preview.  For me, the Google results are reminiscent of how ASK.com results  appeared a few years ago.  For the record I was a big fan of the appearance of ASK's old results, but Google's recent changes to their results tend to be lacking quality and depending on the query are well... odd.

I have to say that Bing's results are truly looking to be better than Google's (again depending on the query) but for an increasingly growing number of the searches that I conduct, Bing results are getting better and better.  Here are three reasons why Bing's search results are better than Google's thus far in 2011.

3 Reasons Why Bing's Search Results Are Better than Google's in 2011
  1. Bing's results have #tiger blood - that is Bing results are getting stronger and have less and less spam showing up.  Bing presents a nice diverse grouping of results somewhat like Google used to display.  Let's say that I was thinking of attending a culinary school and wanted to find out more information about Culinard.  Chances are I might perform a search for "Culinard".    In this case Bing returns Culinard.com as the top result along with eight relevant site links.  Also within the top ten are a wikipedia result (which can be hit or miss, in this case a hit),  a relevant result for trade-schools.net for Culinard and a second Culinard.com link to an information page for Culinard Culinary Institute.  All in all a nice diverse sample of links.  Over at Google, four of the top ten results are for culinard.com (a little overkill if you ask me) including the Dean's bio page.  I'm not sure if this the most relevant set of results or not.  Personally I like Bing's results better.  Google is displaying too many results from one domain.  Bing offers a more diverse set of resources.  Advantage: Bing.
  2.  Bing has enhanced results / Google serves up an instant preview - if we use the same query as above, we see that Bing serves up some great functionality when you hover over a result and get a fly out that serves up "More on this Page" and "Popular Links" for that site.  Google gives you a preview of what the page looks like.  Personally this "instant preview" is not something I find a lot of value in, bu with Bing's additional information, I might be more inclined to click through and gather the information that I am looking for.  Advantage:  Bing.
  3. Bing's Blended Search Results are better - I have noticed that Bing's blended search results have continued to improve so much so where I think that they have become better than what Google has been serving up lately.  Bing's blended results are more consistent.  Hovering over videos allows a sneak preview (again something that ASK first rolled out) something that Google does not yet offer.  A search for "Japan earthquake" in Bing provides timely news results, horizontal video results, updated images, key blog posts and relevant related results.  Google in turn offers similar results but not to the extent of Bing's results.  Google serves up news results, two video results (compared to Bing's four video results), image results and some related searches.  Bing's results offered some additional blog posts as well.  Overall Bing provided a richer user experience for me.  Advantage:  Bing.

Quite honestly Google's recent updates have left me confused.  Depending on my search query, I find myself questioning the results more often.  The Panda algorithm update has not enhanced my user experience, at least not yet.  Google displaying more branded results from the same domain. I've seen many SERPs in Google display as little as two or three domains within the top ten.  I like variety, so I can appreciate Google showing two results for a domain but having 4, 5 or 6 results from the same domain is a little overkill.  Google is still the dominant search engine in North America, but people are becoming increasingly frustrated.  While Bing may not be a Google killer, it is becoming more of an attractive option.  People may just need to give it a chance.  Google itself may become it's own worst enemy.  For me Google feels broken.  I like Google but lately it has become increasingly difficult to find the information that I am looking for.  Thus far in 2011, Bing's results are "better", whereas Google's have become worse.  If you do not agree, why did Google need to create a Chrome extension for users to block sites within the Google results?  Why did Google roll-out the option of blocking sites within the results themselves?  The reason... Google is struggling to provide relevant results.  Their perception of quality sites is different than your perception or mine.  Google has been taking more and more heat from webmasters, site owners, search users and the media for their results.  An algorithm update that destroys a number of small businesses simply communicates that Google is struggling with their results.  Reports suggest that Google has been working on the Panda update since January 2010.  Really?  Then why have some many quality sites been impacted?  I am still seeing a lot of spam, scraped content and low quality content farms dominate Google results.  I get that this update may not be over yet and that more are on the way, but for Google to play Almighty with so many sites, makes you wonder if this will be enough to get people to start using Bing more.

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posted by Jody @ 9:33 PM  
  • At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Frank Adams said…

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter. I get your point and I really think that this is a great read. However, even though the results in Bing is better than the ones in Google, people still need to do a lot of work to improve ranking and to make your website findable. In my case, I use advancedwebads's unlimited banner impressions and click monthly flat rate service.

  • At 12:08 AM, Anonymous William King said…

    I think you haven't watch the Matt Cut's post in which he has proved how bing is copying the search results of Google so how they can be comparable. I think Blekko is something you can say is much better than Bing and the only search engine which can compete with Google in future.

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