Bing vs. Google [interactive graphic]
By Kasha Patel
BU News Service
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to work for Google. Walking into a place that has concerts at work, heated toilet seats, and goats “mowing” the lawn would be like walking into a party every day instead of work. Aside from the Googleplex, I am also a huge proponent of Google products. I even wrote a previous blog post showing a bit of my obsession with Google. So when I received my Microsoft Surface Pro that uses Bing as its search engine, I was not ecstatic, at all.
But what’s the big deal? They’re both search engines from reputable companies and give me accurate information. But I suspect that I’m not the only one who chuckles when I hear “Bing it” and prefers to use Google. (side note: don’t go inside a Microsoft store and ask how to change the default search engine from Bing to Google on your Microsoft tablet…I already did and got a few “Seriously?” looks and then found out that you can’t.) As biased as I may seem, I am a person of science and am willing to go where the truth leads me. If Bing is a better search engine for me, then I’ll use it. A study showed that Bing was chosen more often than Google. But that study had participants of all ages, did not consider specific goals of the searches, and made participants pick previously generated search phrases on one component. Most of all, I still felt like I wasn’t getting the results I wanted when I searched with Bing. So I did my own Bing vs. Google challenge on BingItOn.com, a website that allows you to make blind side-by-side comparisons for Google and Bing search results. I performed 50 searches on BingItOn and found some interesting trends of when I chose Google and when I chose Bing. My trends may not be the same for you, so I’d suggest you try your own Bing it on challenge. But here’s what I found:
Out of 50 searches, I chose links on Bing 12 times, Google 25 times, and found both search engines were equal 13 times. For the most part, I could not tell which results were from Google or Bing from the layout of the webpages because the result pages looked so similar. There was a noticeable difference between Google and Bing when I searched recipes, news, facts about people like athletes, flights or music lyrics.
• Google seemed to have trusted websites higher (.gov or .org) in the search results than Bing. Bing sometimes gave about.com or discussion forums a few links above the .gov and .org websites.
• I chose Bing the most often when I wanted to see a video. Bing puts all of the videos at the top of the search which is helpful when I am looking for music videos or clips. When I searched news pieces, Bing also showed video segments of the news that aired on the television.
Again, keep in mind that these results aren’t necessarily objective as this experiment was to find out which search engine suits me the best. For instance, I use Amazon and Expedia more than ebay and Kayak, hence I chose Google (which favors Amazon and Expedia) over Bing (which favors ebay and Kayak). Perhaps my notes will be able to help you decide which search engine works for you without performing and documenting 50 Google and Bing searches of your own. Although, it was more fun than I thought so, if you have the time, Bing/Google like crazy!