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Saturday, August 01, 2009

A quick comparison of Bing and Google

I have been getting a bunch of hits from Microsoft's new search engine, Bing. But, until now, I haven't given them much thought for the simple reason the search terms used are somewhat unlike the search terms that land here from Google. I didn't think they were real. I'm still not convinced they're real. For instance, while I get a lot of one word search terms from Google, I get probably an equal amount of searches from words strung together. And I get questions from Google. Like, what does blah mean, or where is blah, or how tall is blah blah. (Sorry, I'm trying not to be too specific.)

Most of the search hits from Bing have been one word search terms. Like, Springfield, Peoria, October, nursing. Strange, huh? They seem like they're coming from a bot. And for a word like October, I'm surely not on the first page of results and who would click through tens or hundreds of pages to get here? And I haven't checked any of the IP addresses, because I've had it in the back of mind they were all coming from Microsoft or someone running a MS search bot. But I could be wrong.

So, anyway, I finally checked out Bing tonight by searching for Illinois political blogs. This is a search term I get tens of hits a day from Google, which sends them to this old post, which sends them to the CapitolFax Blog. There may be some other good political blogs in the state, but I doubt many would dispute that the CapitolFaxBlog is the best (or very near the best). As such, it deserves to be at the top of a search results page, or very near the top. (Sometimes during a big political deal, that post gets hundreds of hits.)

Following is a screenshot of the top results from Bing:


And following is a screen shot of the same search from Google (that link probably won't work the same way for anyone else as it was generated after disabling my search history preferences):


If I sound whiny about not being listed on the Bing page, I'm sorry. I don't care. I believe that the best should be at the top. Everybody, except maybe a few egomaniacs, probably believes the same thing. But, why isn't CapitolFaxBlog listed at the top of that Bing search? It's not even listed on the page (ten results).

And, I'm not even complaining about Bing or Microsoft. Bing is still new. I'm really just doing a comparison and making note and talking out loud. In a year, it'll probably be totally different. Also, I think it's interesting that the Google page says there are "about 2,980,000 for Illinois political blogs," and Bing says "9,080,000 results." Why the big difference?

Edit to add: I just checked a stats program my web host has here, and noticed that the hits coming from Bing are registering under the heading "Links from an external page (other web sites except search engines)." And the Google hits are listed as "Links from an Internet Search Engine." [End of edit.]

So, has anyone switched over to Bing for their primary search engine?

Posted by Marie at August 1, 2009 11:42 PM


I meant I'm sorry and I don't care about being listed at the top. Not I'm sorry and I don't care about sounding whiny. LOL.

Posted by: Marie at August 2, 2009 1:27 AM

Funny. Who uses Bing anyway?

Posted by: Jerome Prophet at August 2, 2009 2:13 PM

I switched from Yahoo to Google a few years ago. I've tried Bing, Yahoo, and the various search engines embedded in some websites. Google seems to give the best and most relevant results. Until someone I know and trust lays out a case for switching or until Google p!sses me off, I have no reason to switch.

Posted by: Rob Author Profile Page at August 2, 2009 2:32 PM

Here's my two cents. I just checked and my two largest sites (users would not be very net savvy) are getting close to 20% from Bing in the last month. The searches are strings of words not single words like you have found. That's a significant increase from MSN and Yahoo.

Posted by: Kath at August 2, 2009 4:27 PM

I think the only single word I get a real hit on is PDOOMA. The rest are indexing from various search engines I believe, and I'm mildly interested in how that works and why it is visible the way it is, but meh, I don't really care that much. I'll give Bing a chance to build things up before I pass judgment, but like Rob said, Google is in first place in my book.

Posted by: Dave E. at August 4, 2009 11:06 PM

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