Intern Blog: Bing vs. Google

by Marc Epstein on June 12, 2009 · 0 comments

in Blog

As of June 1st, 2009 Bing is Microsoft’s newest search engine.  Bing is essentially a reincarnation of Windows Live Search with better features. Many people are wondering, now that Bing is out is it better than Google? In this article I will run three different search queries in both Bing and Google and show off their results to see how they matched up. I would also like to take time at the end to bring up interesting differences between both search engines.

For the first test I want to see how well both search engines can find a song I’m looking for by only inputting words from the song.  So I decided to try out artists K’naan’s popular song “Wavin’ Flag”. In the search bar I tried “a song with lyrics a “Wavin flag”. For Google’s results it brought up the song immediately.  The first link provided lyrics for the song and the second link was the music video for the song on YouTube.  Bing’s results were about the same with links to the lyrics, a link to a YouTube video of the song, and other links were related to the search. The first round ended in a tie. Both provided links that were useful to what the user might have been searching for.

The second test I searched for “Rick Roll”. Many of you are probably familiar with the phenomenon known as being “Rick Roll’d”.  If you aren’t, go ahead and type in either search engine “Rick Roll” and click the first link that comes up. Google’s results came back with the first link being a video to YouTube, the second one a Wiki of “Rickrolling”, and the third link took you to the official site.  Bing’s results were identical with the only difference being that Google had a YouTube video in the first result.  The second round goes to Google. Having a link to the YouTube video as a first result might be more interesting or beneficial for people are who searching for this specific item.

The third and final test I thought I’d have some fun and see what results both search engines give if I search for Apple.  The results for this came out different. Both had Apples official site listed as the first result.   After the first result each search engine provided different results. Google had results on News about Apple, a link specifically to the Apple Store, and map of locations of Apple stores in Atlanta. Bing’s results included a link to Quicktime, Macs, and then a category specific to Apple downloads, jobs, and reviews.  The final round goes to Google. Google won this round because it provided much more useful content to users. The store, locations, and news is essential for users searching for all Apple related content.

One last thing I want to mention before my final thoughts is the design and features.  Bing’s homepage has a little more life to it compared to Google’s. Each day Bing’s homepage has a unique picture that you can hover over to see interesting facts about the picture.  In the search results section you can see related searches in a side bar to the left of what you are searching.  Also in the sidebar you can see your search history . Google’s home page and results page are very simple. Google does have related search items but it is located on the bottom. Having those related search terms to the left of the search results might be nicer to help the flow of thinking and searching for users.

So after researching, using both Google and Bing, and running tests, Google was the obvious winner. However, Google and Bing are completely different search engines tailored to different tastes.  They contain features and content that might be useful to one person over another. One important idea I want people to keep in mind is competition is nice. While Google is a great company and a provider of many useful applications, competition will drive them to make better products and improve on their search engine with the existence of Bing.