>Thing # 55 – Google vs. Bing

>Humphf, I almost didn’t want to do this Thing because I tried Bing when it first came out and wasn’t too impressed with it. But, in the spirit of trying new things, I’ll give it another shot.

First test: Search Engine’s Home Page
They both have easy links for images, news, maps, etc. Both have large search field where its obvious to type in a search.

Google: I like the plain simplicity of their home page, I know you can select themes through settings but I prefer to leave it as generic as possible. I don’t like all the “pretty” stuff getting in the way of my searches.

Bing: Oooh, pretty picture with hot spots on it that give you information about the photo. Um, I just want to search, I’m easily distracted as it is, I don’t want all that extra stuff.

One point for Google on this one for being simple and less distracting.

Second test: Looking up “Rochester Public Library”
Google: Since it’s what I use all the time, I only had to type in R- and Rochester Public Library came up as a suggestion. And it was the correct one too, not the other Rochesters in the world.

Bing: I had to type in “Rochester P” before Rochester Public Library was offered and even though Rochester, MN was selected as my location, it pulled up Rochester New York as a first option.

Another point for Google

Third test: search results

Again the search was Rochester Public Library
Google: About 1,170,000 results (0.35 seconds)
Bing: 12,800,000 results
With all those results, both search engines had what I was looking for on the first page. Google had it the first entry, Bing had it the second entry. I do like the way Bing has the instant preview of the page before you open it. Would be handy on questionable pages.

I have to give the point to Bing on this one.

Fourth test: Maps
I love maps, always been fascinated with them and could lose huge chunks of time just exploring them. Here is where I get easily distracted.

Google: I love Google maps and Google Earth. I have them on my Droid too and it’s just really cool – when the GPS is working correctly – to watch yourself move around on the map.

Bing: I like the Bird’s Eye view option. It shows a slightly different point of view than Google does. My only gripe on that is that it only shows small sections at a time and takes time to load the next views.

I’ll give both of them points for their maps. They are different enough so that I can’t really compare them.

Fifth test: Images
Again, Rochester Public Library was the search words.
Google: About 485,000 results (0.23 seconds)
Bing: 9,150 results

Both had a mishmash of photos, most of which were not my library, but then again, both showed actual photos of my library on the first page. I like how you can narrow your search for size and type of image with both search engines. I like the way Google has the option to show the actual size on each image and how it enlarges the image a little bit when you hover over it. Bing shows the size of the image when you hover over it but does not enlarge it. Bing does have other options to narrow down your search by layout and by people.

Again, they had enough different features that both scored points.

Sixth test: News
Search – Rochester Public Library
Google: About 116 results (0.31 seconds)
Bing: 43 results
I was impressed that Bing had the latest news article where the library was on the local news and Google didn’t!
Bing had 4 out of 10 articles on the first page that pertained to my library.
Google also had 4 out of 10 on the first page but strangely enough, three of the four were different articles. This is an eye opener. It seems I would have to search for news with both if it weren’t for the fact that I have Google alerts set for Rochester Public Library and I was already alerted to all of the news that both were showing.
I think neither gets a point for that. Bing had the latest news, but Google alerts covered with Google news didn’t.But I have to give one of them a point… Hmmm. Ok, I’ll give the point to Bing on this one because if I didn’t have my alerts set, I wouldn’t have caught the latest news.

Ok, I’m tired of all the comparing, I know I didn’t do an exhaustive study on this, but time is limited and I do have better things to do at the moment so, let’s summarize the results…

Google = 4
Bing = 4

It’s a tie. They both do wonderful things – it just depends on what you’re looking for and what you’re comfortable with. I’ll probably stick with Google but won’t be so hard on Bing anymore.

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