Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bing vs Google

I'm not going to do a comprehensive test of Microsoft's new Bing search engine versus everyone's favorite, Google. But I will run a few quick searches that focus on political knowledge and what people know to see if any significant differences emerge.

Below are some key terms and a summary of any differences between the two search engines.
  • "Political knowledge" The favorite, in quotes so it'll be examined as a phrase. Both engines arrive at a Pew knowledge test as their first choice. The Google search also pops up some blogs -- including this one. So I gotta go with Google.
  • "Civic knowledge" arrives at the same first hit, the Civic Knowledge Project. The Bing search seems to always pop an Amazon book in the top five or so hits. Interesting. I wonder if they have a deal with Amazon to do that? Google says it found 42,100 on this search, while Bing boasts 38.2 million. Not sure what's up with that, but I'm sure as hell not going to leaf through that many hits.
  • Media and knowledge. Tried a little Boolean search and got different results. Google came back with some businesses, an Amazon link, some consultants, and near the bottom of the first page Knowledge Media. That was the first hit for Bing. In fact the Bing search in all cases seems to favor businesses.
  • "Barry hollander" is a vital search -- if you're me. Google rocks, mainly because its first hit is my web site. Which makes sense not because it's me, but because it's a web site with that name. Bing? Another Barry Hollander, his MySpace page. MySpace? People still use MySpace? And as a first hit? Nope, sorry. In fact, for Bing doesn't even show up on the first page of hits. That's just weird.
  • Affect vs cognition. Yeah, a bit PhDweebish, but I was curious how each handled a research angle. Both came back with research but I have to say the Google search results makes more sense. Bing seemed obsessed with Migraines and cognition. No idea why.
In all, at least for this quick search and especially for the all-important vanity search of "barryhollander," Google comes out far ahead. But really, for political knowledge and media searches it simply does a better job than Bing. I was hoping for more because, like many people, I'm a bit tired of "googling" stuff. I see no reason to change . . . yet.

No comments: