With the deal between Microsoft and Yahoo, which sees Bing become the search solution for both companies, sights can now be set firmly on Google. But all the behind-the-scenes work counts for nothing if Google is quite simply a lot better at delivering results than Bing. But does it? A blind search should solve the riddle and settle the Bing vs. Google argument.
Microsoft search efforts have up to now been plagued by varied results, poor branding, a distinct lack of advertising, and the Google effect. Which is that with Google being so goddamn brilliant, there’s no need to ever visit another search engine. However, Bing is different. It has strong branding, even if the name did at first remind me of a character from Friends, has been advertised well, and is already eating away at Google’s significant market share lead.
Bing is doing well at this stage, and is likely to do even better when the Yahoo deal comes into effect. But early growth will slow or be reversed very quickly if the search results aren’t good enough. As a loyal Google Search user for many years, I’ve dabbled with Bing and found it to be very promising. But Google is still my homepage because it’s consistent and I know I can rely on its results.
However, testing out the blind search tool by Michael Kordahi, a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft has made me reevaluate my loyalty to Google. Many people, probably including myself, are indoctrinated to a certain way of thinking, so putting a Google logo above a set of search results from Yahoo would probably help me see them in a favorable light. The answer is, of course, to strip away the branding and conduct a blind search on the three most popular search engines.
You simply conduct a search as you would normally but then choose which set of results you found most helpful. The results from the first eight weeks of the blind search tool show Google still leading the way on 41 percent, Bing second on 31 percent, and Yahoo on 28 percent. But rather than justify Google’s massive market share lead, those results make it clear that the market shares should be much more evenly spread out.