My little experiment with Bing is faltering

by phil on Wednesday Jun 3, 2009 1:02 AM
mainfeed, user experience

So in the spirit having an open mind, I made Microsoft's Bing my default search engine since it came out on Monday. 48 hours into it, I'm already feeling the pull back to Google.

Today and last night I did a lot of technical searching, specifically for Movable Type-related help. I'd instinctively hit the Firefox keyboard command Ctrl+K to get to the search box, type my string, then hit enter, and forget for a moment that the search was set to Bing.

About two-thirds of the time, I couldn't find what I was looking for. I started to get worried. I started to not trust Bing. And so I'd sneak in the same searches on Google. To my surprise, I couldn't find what I was looking for there either. So, that's one positive point for Bing. If I can't find it on Bing and Google, then, given the expectations for Bing, that's a point in its favor.

However, the search results between the two were vastly different. This made me suspicious. Because I've trusted Google so much, it made me wonder if Bing was incomplete. It would be very hard for Bing to create the impression that it was the other way around.

I expect that I'll eventually switch back to Google and use it for every search. There was a time, maybe 2000 and earlier, when the smart searcher would visit a variety of search engine's (AltaVista, Yahoo, and Google) to get the best results. Now, there's just so much trust that if it ain't on Google, it's assumed you won't find it elsewhere.

It seems the narrative Bing is running with is that it's close-enough to Google. By doing so, users will be less likely to switch from their default IE home pages. And then Microsoft will play the same game it's always played, by working its OS-monopoly.


1truth3 said on August 3, 2009 4:43 PM:

Thanks for posting this! I have also run my own some tests, actually, more of a blogsite test between blogger and wordpress. And you are right, Google and Bing are VERY different in terms of their results. Today I found out that there is also a VAST difference in search results, dependant on whether or not you are looged into google or not!
If you search in Bing for "My little Google experimet" with or without quotes, you will find it. Don't bother with Google :-(

Creative Commons License