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Bing More Effective Than Google? 385

Posted by timothy
from the bing-your-own-name-to-compare dept.
Xiph1980 writes "Experian Hitwise claims Bing and Bing-powered search to be more effective than Google. The success rate for Bing searches in the U.S. in July was 80.04%, compared to 67.56% for Google. The market watcher defines 'success rate' as the percentage of search queries that result in a visit to a website. Searches made through sites owned by Yahoo, which farmed out search to Bing under a deal struck in 2009, were also more efficient than Google. Those searches yielded a success rate of 81.36%. The claims of Hitwise don't explain why I keep finding things like Microsoft service pack download pages better through google than through bing."
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Bing More Effective Than Google?

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  • Bing vs. Google (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zget (2395308)

    The claims of Hitwise don't explain why I keep finding things like Microsoft service pack download pages better through google than through bing.

    That's because unlike Google, Bing doesn't favor its own services over others. Google favors their news service, maps, YouTube, shopping and every other service over others. Bing returns results objectively.

    There are also differences in algorithms. Bing doesn't count so called junk-links while Google does. Bing prefers link inside good, relevant content. Google, on the other hand, counts all kinds of links. That's also why Google is full of shitty results, as SEO spammers game the system by spamming links

    • Re:Bing vs. Google (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jhoegl (638955) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @05:33AM (#37083826)
      Well, that is interesting because I often find what I need on the first page of Google searches, sometimes second page if it is an odd issue I am working with.

      This of course is related to the fact that I use 0% of Bing searches.

      What? The information I provided is just as relevant as the unsupported article or reply regarding these two.

      Independent statistics are required, otherwise its a he said she said scenario.
      • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:39AM (#37084116) Homepage Journal

        Agreed - I generally find my answers on the first page of a Google search.

        But, I can't get past the definition for "success" in the summary. There are times when I Google something, and the answer appears in the summary - no need to click any links.

        If you're measuring "success" in terms of dollars and cents changing hands somewhere, yeah, Bing is probably a success. If you're measuring "success" in terms of searchers finding the data they are looking for, I'll put my money on Google.

        • Agreed - I generally find my answers on the first page of a Google search.

          But, I can't get past the definition for "success" in the summary. There are times when I Google something, and the answer appears in the summary - no need to click any links.

          On the other hand if I am searching for something that doesn't lend itself to quick answers or is hard to formulate a query for, ie. the searches that really separate good and bad search engines, I will usually have to click two or three links on the first page to see if the article/post has any mention of the piece of information I need. This results in the statistic getting a success point regardless of the fact that I may have to search again.

          A third problem I have with the methodology is you need to

      • by asdf7890 (1518587)
        I've certainly had the "looking for specs/review not a list of sites that are selling the thing or are just place-holders asking me to provide details, thanks" problem with Google as mentioned by Computershack, though I can't say I've used Bing much (in those cases I usually find what I want eventually with a little keyword tweaking and/or perseverance) so I don't know if it is better/worse there.

        One of the reasons I lack enough confidence in Bing to start considering it over Google is MS's other search
        • by asdf7890 (1518587)
          Damn, should have actually read the preview... That should have been:

          One of the reasons I lack enough confidence in Bing to start considering it over Google is MS's other search functions Every tried finding something in their documentation? I've often found much better results asking Google for "msdn <keywords>" then asking the MSDN site's own search function for "<keywords>".

      • Re:Bing vs. Google (Score:4, Interesting)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:54AM (#37084354) Journal

        You really should try both side by side. I use Yahoo (I like the UI better) and Google and frankly lately Google doeth sucketh the big wet titty on certain searches. Reviews? you end up with a dozen shopping sites that have stuck the word "review" in their page. With Yahoo I actually find a review for what I'm looking for within the top three searches. Looking for something a little old, like say info about some part that landed in your lap? Again i find mostly eBay and shopping crap on Google, Yahoo I actually find the OEM along with drivers.

        The problem with Google is two fold. One they favor their own sites whenever possible, which means they are more likely to give you crap from their sites than something useful from a potential competitor. two the SEO spammers have long since figured out Google's games, which is why shopping sites put keywords like reviews even when there isn't a review within a hundred miles of their site.

        So you stick with Google if that is what makes you happy and works for you, but using both I'd say the Yahoo/Bing searches at least for the stuff i'm searching for is better. Plus competition is always a good thing and frankly the amount of data Google is gaining is more than a little scary to me. i think i'd rather have any data I generate spread out through enough competing sites a single company won't be able to tell what I had for breakfast this morning. thanks anyway.

    • Re:Bing vs. Google (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bert64 (520050) <bertNO@SPAMslashdot.firenzee.com> on Sunday August 14, 2011 @05:37AM (#37083852) Homepage

      There is also the advantage of small marketshare...
      You have all the spammers out there trying their best to game google, but how many of them bother to try gaming bing or some of the other small engines? Same thing happened in the early days of google, altavista was full of spam while google had clean results.

      • There is also the advantage of small marketshare... You have all the spammers out there trying their best to game google, but how many of them bother to try gaming bing or some of the other small engines? Same thing happened in the early days of google, altavista was full of spam while google had clean results.

        Damn - does that mean duckduckgo and blekko are going to turn crappy too - oh well, I can live with Google (all the free stuff helps). Sure they get gamed, but Matt Dunn seems to be on top of things.

    • by foobsr (693224)

      Bing returns results objectively.

      Probably you meant 'less biased'; 'objectively' is just nonsensical.

      CC.

      • by Z00L00K (682162)

        I agree - there's no such thing as objectivity on the net.

        Another factor is that the database Google has is likely to be a lot larger, which means that there's a lot more noise in it, which in turn means that the user needs to refine the search better to get rid of some irrelevant noise. But what's irrelevant - that's for the user to determine.

        So "effective" is a useless statement. It all depends on what the user looks for.

    • Re:Bing vs. Google (Score:5, Informative)

      by Halo1 (136547) <<eb.tnegu.sile> <ta> <ebeam.sanoj>> on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:09AM (#37083984) Homepage

      The claims of Hitwise don't explain why I keep finding things like Microsoft service pack download pages better through google than through bing.

      That's because unlike Google, Bing doesn't favor its own services over others.

      Since when does Google have a service to download Microsoft service packs?

      There are also differences in algorithms. Bing doesn't count so called junk-links while Google does. Bing prefers link inside good, relevant content. Google, on the other hand, counts all kinds of links.

      Google also filters [techcrunch.com] on link farms [theregister.co.uk]. Of course their filtering isn't perfect, but it would surprise me a lot if Microsoft had discovered the magic algorithm to get rid of all "search engine optimization" gaming, and it's simply wrong to say that Google "counts all kinds of links".

      Judging by the usual slashdot response of "but they should just improve their algorithms", people don't seem to get how immersively complex current search engines and their algorithms are.

      One of my main issues with bing has nothing to do with complex search algorithms. Just search for e.g. shoes [bing.com]. The first page of results already contains two sets of duplicate results in my case: www.shoes.com and www.shoes.com/womens (sic, it actually stands for "women's"), and www.shoes.be and www.shoes.be/schoenwinkels.asp?l=k.

      I get this with virtually every search term I've ever tried on Bing, which means that there are much less individually useful results than on Google (which will group all similar results from the same domain and then let you move on).

      PS: yes, this is the first time in my life I've searched for the term "shoes" on the Internet

    • Re:Bing vs. Google (Score:4, Insightful)

      by improfane (855034) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:11AM (#37083994) Journal

      I have been suspicious of your high ID and first postings.

      I call shill. (If you don't believe me, look at his past posts.)

      • by nospam007 (722110) *

        Don't shill the trolls.

      • by nschubach (922175)

        You'll notice the posts are always within a minute of story post, they are usually lengthy, and they seem to be very anti-Google, pro-Microsoft. It's either someone paid, or someone with time on their hands. If they weren't getting paid, I'd feel bad for the person.

    • Re:Bing vs. Google (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:42AM (#37084142) Homepage Journal

      The real question here is, 'How much did Microsoft pay for this predetermined study to be completed?'

      • by j-beda (85386)

        And why did Bing get top billing in the headline when Yahoo seems to have beat them both in the summary? Of course I didn't RTFA.

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      Add to the flaw that when searching - it may be that what you searched for was in the search summary and in that case you never needed to access the web page itself.

    • Re:Bing vs. Google (Score:5, Informative)

      by russotto (537200) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @12:52PM (#37086462) Journal

      That's because unlike Google, Bing doesn't favor its own services over others. Google favors their news service, maps, YouTube, shopping and every other service over others. Bing returns results objectively.

      Use Bing for "google stock price". What's the top link on the page? A link to Bing Finance.

      Use Bing for "statue of liberty". Top link besides ads? Bing News. Also included are links to Bing Maps.

      Try "purchase photoshop". Top link besides ads? Bing Shopping.

      Run away, little troll, run away.

  • Just become somebody clicks through to the site doesn't mean the search result was a success.

    • by beelsebob (529313) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @05:39AM (#37083860)

      More to the point, just because someone doesn't click, doesn't mean it wasn't a success. Google manages to answer a lot of my queries without ever needing to click a link... If I search for "define: bum nuggets" or "234GBP in EUR" I don't click any links.

      • by wvmarle (1070040)
        I doubt the examples you give were used in this research. Indeed I use Google a lot for similar searches too, particularly for FX.
        • by thegarbz (1787294) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @08:07AM (#37084378)

          The queries where Google provides a direct answer probably wasn't included, but quite often the information is there right in the summary of results. When you search for something in a sentence typically the results are displayed in a summary.

          For instance I want to know how many leap seconds have been applied to UTC, and I search for "current leap seconds". Google doesn't provide an instant answer. Surely I could click any one of the first 5 links and get the answer too. However I don't need to, the 6th link has this in the summary:
          "31 Dec 2008 – There will NOT be a leap second introduced into UTC on that date. The current number of leap seconds is 15. The future number of leap ..."

          Sorted with no click through required.

      • by JAlexoi (1085785)
        +10000 I do so many searches like that in Google.... Sometimes I'm even to lazy to launch a calculator, so I use Google to do simple calculations. In addition, sock price updates don't require me to leave Google search page. They even update right in the results.
        In addition, since Google introduced instant search, you can refine your query on the fly without clicking through before you find what you want.
    • I wonder if people searching the web from Bing and from Google belong to the same societal circles.
      All the people I know in the geek / computer / engineering / management / scientific / scholar ... circles do use Google.
      The people I know who were using Bing initially (e.g. my mother) did not actually chose any specific search engine. They use(d) Bing because it was the one available on the computer. Maybe those people are less demanding in terms of results quality, and click easily on the first rendered r
    • by scdeimos (632778)

      Just become somebody clicks through to the site doesn't mean the search result was a success.

      Just because somebody doesn't click through doesn't mean the search result was a failure, either. Google often turns up many more results, and relevant results at that, than Bing. Try this experiment...

      Go to Bing Image search [bing.com] and search for the following:

      Asterodon miliaris

      Bing gives you a grand total of two search results and neither of them are correct. The first is an Coscinasterias calamaria (eleven-armed starfish) and the second is an Coriaster granulatus (Pink cushion).

      Repeat the same search on Googl [google.com.au]

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @05:34AM (#37083840)

    Google is my preferred search engine, but the results are noticeably geek slanted. That's perfect for me, I am a geek. However it is not what everyone wants. Bing I find does a better job giving what a non-technical user might be after. You have to remember that as a tech person, what you are interested in may not mesh with what non-tech people are interested in.

    So for me, Google it is, but that may not be true for everyone.

    • Google track you, and if you search for geeky things regularly then it will learn thats what you are usually looking for and deliver relevant results.
      If you use a completely clean browser, from an IP you've not used before, you will get different results...

      • Google track you, and if you search for geeky things regularly then it will learn thats what you are usually looking for and deliver relevant results. If you use a completely clean browser, from an IP you've not used before, you will get different results...

        Google claims it so that they can add value to your search results (and I believe them - so far) - I'm paraphrasing "when Bob searches for malt he means beer, when Jill searches for malt she means whiskey".

        As for tracking - turn off geolocation in Firefox, wipe your cookies, and try out the new https://encrypted.google.com/ [google.com]

      • by hitmark (640295)

        Or perhaps gets results tweaked for the usual user of that IP address.

        One reason for going with duckduckgo, as they will not track, nor attempt to set up a "interest bubble".

      • by mrmeval (662166)

        Google searches for the last few months have been full of poisoned results. Crap copy and respew sites that google does not or will not get rid of. If Bing were any good I'd go there but with google I at least can eventually find something relevant. I really miss Altavista.

    • And in mine, I find I get the best results when I search using -.com. Probably won't be as effective at weeding out the commercial garbage once the "name your top level domain" system is in full swing though.

  • by rebelwarlock (1319465) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @05:36AM (#37083846)
    Take calculator and define for example. I don't need to click anything after searching, because google tells me the answer directly. I would say that's more effective than making me click through for currency conversions and dictionary definitions.
    • I use it as a spell checker and I never follow the links.

    • Not only are Google's instant answers a wealth of knowledge without ever having to click on, but if you are searching for facts and you're capable of structuring a sentence in a way that is likely to contain that fact you can often end up with your answer in the summaries of the links.

    • I define a successful search as one that provides the answer without making visit another website.

    • by Dhalka226 (559740)
      For that matter, what is a search? With the instant results thing, it's not atypical at all for me to get a page of search results before I actually look at them. Perhaps I had paused in typing, or thought of another keyword I wanted to add. Perhaps I was interrupted by a firewall notification or something else. Is that two searches, one "ineffective" one?
  • by derGoldstein (1494129) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @05:44AM (#37083872) Homepage
    The market watcher defines "success rate" as the percentage of search queries that result in a visit to a website.

    These finding may be interesting and can be interpreted in many ways, but it's completely arbitrary to associate "success rate" with the percentage of queries that resulted in a visit to a website.
    Just one example for an exception: maybe the "blurb" offered by Google gives you more information, sometimes even to the point of giving you the answer you were looking for. Search for "first apollo launch" on both Google and Bing. I'm getting more dates in the blurbs on Google than Bing. Now search for "barack obama age" -- Google actually answers the question: "Best guess for Barack Obama age is 50 years (August 4, 1961)".

    There are plenty of other reasons for why queries don't lead to websites. This has practically nothing to do with "success rate".
    • Re:Arbitrary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:06AM (#37084212) Homepage Journal

      This has practically nothing to do with "success rate"

      It depends on whose success you're talking about. Bing is more successful for site owners, Google is more successful for the person searching.

      • And the person searching is not the customer.

      • Now *that* is a fascinating observation. Seems like there is a clear difference in who the customer is depending the search engine used. Whereas Bing sees the website owner as the customer ($ for clicks), Google sees the searcher as the customer.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I use Bing for recipes and things that normal people search for. I use Google for anything technical since bing appears to be clueless about that stuff.

    Google works if you already know how to use a search engine. My Mom doesn't know how to ask google good questions, so she needs to use Bing to find when the special church service is in her town.

    • That may have been true in the past, but Google now has many templates for answering natural language questions. Search for "how big is a leopard" on both Google and Bing. You get your answer on the first page on both. Now try "where is minsk" -- Google will give you move information on the results page than Bing.
  • The market watcher defines 'success rate' as the percentage of search queries that result in a visit to a website.

    Perhaps there are more hits to websites. However often I just want to know one thing, yet I still need to go to several sites to get the information I want.
    With Google I need to visit less websites then if I would use Bing.

    I often use both Google AND Yahoo and I am glad they give different results as one will have some that the other doesn't. At least not on the first page.

    I also often use http: [yippy.com]

  • Give it time... (Score:3, Informative)

    by NonFerrousBueller (1175131) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @05:56AM (#37083940)
    I reckon this is because SEO's and link farm scum are throwing all their weight at gaming Google rather than Bing.

    I still haven't forgiven Microsoft for pounding, and I mean pounding, a self-hosted (long story) site for a small retailer I worked for a few years ago. We got a nearly $1000 bill for excess bandwidth. I checked the logs and they were downloading entire directories of images over and over and over. Non-techy Boss NOT impressed.
    • by tgd (2822)

      Did you have a robots.txt telling it not to?

      If not, your non-techy boss shouldn't complain, except perhaps about his staff.

      • by jgrahn (181062)

        Did you have a robots.txt telling it not to?

        If not, your non-techy boss shouldn't complain, except perhaps about his staff.

        He could complain about the "downloading ... over and over and over" part.

      • by Inda (580031)
        It's still bad manners, robots.txt or not. Once is enough. Crawling a site is not hard.
  • by physicsphairy (720718) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:09AM (#37083986) Homepage

    If I'm looking up the name of something (via related criteria), or searching for a particular statistic, my ideal is to find it displayed in one of the website titles or excerpts without ever having to click anything.

    Google also displays dictionary entries, etc. so that I can generally lookup words and get the definition right in the results.

    Many times I consider a result "successful" when I don't find what I'm looking for--it was evident from the results that the object or information I wanted did not exist, so, while disappointing, Google did the job I wanted it to do.

    I think a far better test is whether, after searching for something, small keyword alterations are made. Granted, many times there is a level of human refinement where people start off not knowing quite what they're looking for, but I think there is probably a much better correlation of people trying different words because they didn't find what they wanted than not-clicking anything. Basically, if people are coming away from Google and Bing equally satisfied, and Bing users click more, that means Bing is less effective and making its users do more work to get their info.

  • Did you mean... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ninjacheeseburger (1330559) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:19AM (#37084028)

    What about searches that were a mistake and corrected.

    I admit that sometimes I use google as a spell checker and never click through to a page. I'm sure other people do this.

  • I have consistently found google more effective. My suspicion is that this is because I am usually looking for information as opposed to products.
  • Maybe it's just that those who choose to use Bing as search engine are more likely to click links? or they are easier to please with the returned results set? Correlation does not imply causation. It will be difficult to make conclusions without having one study group using both.
  • by gilesjuk (604902) <giles.jones@nospAm.zen.co.uk> on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:40AM (#37084118)

    Who funded the research?

    It does often tend to skew the results in the favour of the person who commissioned the report.

  • by jamesh (87723) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:42AM (#37084136)

    I've noticed lately that google isn't nearly as sharp at finding the results I want. If I search for terms 'x', 'y', and 'z', google will sometimes give me a page with terms 'x' and 'y' but not 'z'. 'z' is on pages that link to the results, but google doesn't tell me this. If there are no pages with 'x', 'y', and 'z' on them then so be it, but don't give me pages that I don't want.

    rant over.

    • I was just thinking the same thing, so I can sympathize with your righteous anger. It would be awesome to have a quick overview of which keywords actually appear on the page for each search result, other than the summary which may or may not include those words. For example, if I search for "canon pixma linux", a page that contains "canon" and "pixma" but not "linux" could be marked "-linux" in the big empty space beside the summary.
  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:47AM (#37084164) Homepage

    The market watcher defines 'success rate' as the percentage of search queries that result in a visit to a website.

    What matters is the much harder to measure percentage of search queries that result in a visit to a website that actually contains what you want.

  • I wonder if there might, in addition to other contributing factors mentioned here, be a difference in user-segmentation and corresponding expectations.

    I often see non-tech users searching for things like "facebook" in a search-engine instead of typing it in the location-bar, of course with great success. My prejudice tells me Bing might have a much larger share of those easy searches than other engines.

  • by theoriginalturtle (248717) <turtleNO@SPAMweightlessdog.com> on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:56AM (#37084184) Homepage

    Let's ask two popular search engines the same simple question:

    "Who's the black private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks?"

    Seriously. Try it on Bing, then try it on Google.

    Game over.

  • So when I google for "google" with instant search, will it count as a search for:
    -g
    -go
    -goo
    -goog
    -googl
    -google

    That's 6 searches, and I may click on none, realizing I'm already at the page that I was looking for.

  • by dltaylor (7510) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @07:03AM (#37084202)

    But, but., why don't you have your Windows systems set to auto-brick^h^h^h^h^hupdate?

    Seriously, I use Google to make the Microsoft VS help usable. VS help is reasonably useful for specific syntax for a supported method/function. It is utterly useless, in my experience, to decide which method/function to use in the first place, whereas Google usually has an answer located within the first 20 links.

    IMO, there are serious deficiencies in Google (word1-word2, as a hyphenated string, for example), but I think, once I get the hang of custom searches associated with my gmail account, it will be usable for a wider range of queries.

  • Showing results for spelling. Search instead for speling.
  • "The market watcher defines 'success rate' as the percentage of search queries that result in a visit to a website."

    From that, I would assume Bing just makes the results a lot less clear.
  • In fact if you use a hosts file and adblock+ bing.com doesn't even load properly. If you use the bing search bar in FF or Chrome it works but formatting is all screwed up.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Lately it is *too* smart. When I'm searching for a specific term that happens to be a bit uncommon, I keep having to do my query like this:

    "relatively_uncommon_word" -"common_word_with_similar_spelling"

    Because it keeps guessing incorrectly that I actually want the common word instead of the one that I entered that is spelled similarly. I'm fine with the "Did you mean ... whatever" suggestions, but when Google uses those suggestions automatically in searches it gets really annoying. It means I keep enteri

  • I get better results through Google. I am just one user of a very limited though active demographic group. Bing might deliver more of what the average joe wants, but I wouldn't know that because I am more of an average "cecil" than an average joe.

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