Test bing vs google on…bing-vs-google.com

Microsoft is trying to make a grab at Google’s share of search engine pie, and it’s finding itself in the unfamiliar place of underdog in that market.  While Microsoft dominates the OS and office suite market, it has been losing ground in the browser wars to Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox among others.  While Microsoft hasn’t literally been out of the picture in terms of web search, it may as well be seeing as “googling” is now synonymous with doing a search on any engine.  So it’s hoping Bing, it’s new search engine, will start to reclaim that old MS glory.

Bing promises to not only search better but organize your results better than Google.  While much can be said for how it does that, you can actually compare results side by side on a neat little site called, uncreatively enough, bing-vs-google.com.  Put in a search and the next window opens with Bing’s results on one side and Google’s on the other.

The site is remarkably fun and interesting to play with.  I tested a few terms just to see what came up.

First off, I did a search for “best barbecue in Kansas City, MO”.  Bing gave mea page with a map highlighting 8 restaurants with web links, directions, etc.  Following that was the typical run of hits on restaurant reviews in the KC area.  Google didn’t provide a map right off the bat; I’d have to click on the map button for that.  It spat out the typical list of sites which was similar to but not identical to Bing’s.  That said, Bing provided a bit more useful content right off the bat and would have saved be a little time.

Then I did a seach for “canon ip2000 linux printer driver” (I tried but tossed linux partly because I couldn’t get a driver to work for my iP2000 printer).  Google’s search primarily came up with links to information on the iP2000 and links to Windows drivers, but not much for linux.  Bing topped it’s search results with a paid link to hp.com, which was dumb.  However its first two links were to pages on linuxprinting.org that contained info on what driver to use.  Score another for Bing (if you’re wondering, I had found the aforementioned page before and still couldn’t get my printer to work).

Finally I decided to go shopping.  I had recently purchased a Dual XDM6400 car stereo and decided to see how much they were going for.  Bing topped its results with a paid link to eBay but also indicated that through a partnership with Microsoft I could save 10% off my purchase.  Following that were the standard links.  I clicked on “shopping” in the header and unfortunately came up with zero results.  Google provided links to Amazon and eBay, sponsored links advertising the XDM6400 as well as 3 results pulled from its shopping search.  I clicked on “shopping” in Google’s header and found over 100 results with prices (around $100).  Google definitely had Bing in this test run.

All in all, I was surprised with Bing and its effectiveness at pulling up what I wanted right off the bat.  I didn’t have to fiddle with search tweaks like adding “+” to “linux” to make sure search results included that word.  While I’m going to stick with Google as my default for now, Bing has my attention.

As far as the site goes, it is a little fudgy at times and hard to view in its default vertical-pane mode (use horizontal).  But it is interesting to see what comes up.

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Posted on August 14, 2009, in Microsoft Windows, Site Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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