For years Google has been the top search engine, gaining more and more market share every month. To challenge that Internet dynasty, Microsoft recently unleashed their latest search engine, Bing. Billing it as the next evolution of live search, Bing looks to challenge Google’s supremacy with new features and style. But Google will not be dethroned easily:
Round 1: Interface
In a world where search engines pages like Yahoo! came with a myriad of bars, apps and articles, Google broke onto the scene with a simple title and search bar, making the engine incredibly easy to use and sleek to look at. This interface hasn’t changed since Google was first launched in 1997. Bing emulated that look but added stylish, interactive images on its homepage.
The real difference comes after the search. Google keeps the single frame layout with search results down the left-side and alternate search suggestions at the bottom. Bing pus its search suggestions in another frame on the left hand side and adds a useful “recent searches” section to record the last several requests. The look is simple, sleek, and functional and can be seen as an improvement on Google. Round 1 goes to Bing.
Round 2: Google Search VS. Bing Search
While sleekness and style are important for any website, for search engines the proof is in the search. Google revolutionized search capabilities with a specific algorithm that expanded normal parameters. The developers have kept the exact algorithm a closely guarded secret for over a decade. If Bing wants to beat Google in the long run it is going to have to match Google’s intricate search capabilities.
In searching “hubble space telescope” on both sites the initial results look fairly similar. Both sites offer a few million hits but only let you access the first 1000. And both display similar top results including the Hubble home page and NASA. But upon further inspection, Bing seems to be missing a few key sites, like links to the ESA (European Space Agency), which is a partner with NASA on the Hubble project.
The European sites would be harder for a search engine to find, but also very valuable for any student or hobbyist doing research on the telescope. While Bing does give better results than most other search engines, it still can’t beat Google’s comprehensive results. Round 2 goes to Google.
Round 3: Google Images VS. Bing Images
One of the most helpful tools provided by search engines is the image search. Web developers, students and businesspersons are just some of the people who regularly use the Internet to find images to enhance projects, presentations and websites. A good search will provide comprehensive results and flexible parameters. Again, Google has been the king in this category for a while but Bing is trying to challenge that reign.
When searching for actor and game show host Howie Mandel, the results are fairly similar from both sites. However, when it comes to flexibility, Google has the edge. While Bing provides certain filters for size and color to narrow down results, Google’s filters are more specific, allowing a user to specify exact pixel size and color. This wider versatility is vital for those who use image searches on a regular basis. Google wins round 3
Round 4: Other Applications
Both Google and Bing provide a number of other applications and searches to aid in every day life. Here’s how they stack up against each other:
Video: While Bing has the edge in video interface (allowing users to view a portion of the clip without clicking) it can’t beat Google’s more accurate results thanks to its ownership of youtube.com. Google wins video.
Shopping: Google’s shopping search is best for accuracy and sheer number of results, but Bing’s cash back program gives it the edge for Internet shoppers. Bing takes shopping.
Maps:With both sites offering excellent map applications including pictures of locations, traffic, and various print options, it is a tie between Bing and Google for maps.
Specialized Apps: Bing does provide a handful of specific searches and apps for the everyday user, but cannot come close to the dozens of apps on Google like book, document, and academic journal searches. Specialized apps goes to Google.
With more options and better results almost across the board, round 4 goes to Google.
Google VS. Bing: The Final Scorecard
While Bing put up a good fight, Google was just too tough an opponent. From search comprehensibility and flexibility to specialized needs, Google still provides the best search experience for Internet users. But Bing is young yet, and it would not be surprising to see it eat even more into Google’s market share as it gorws and develops to meet more of the public’s search needs.