While I am impressed with Microsoft’s Bing search engine it lags Google in Blog and news searches, and is not as accurate as evidenced by it returning screen-scraped versions of original content instead of filtering these results like Google does. Still, the search engine is good and if Google ranks a 9/10 then Bing is 7.5 or so based on my searches to date.
It is worth mentioning that Bing is doing a good job spidering the web but still doesn’t seem to do this as quickly as Google in many cases. On a positive note, yesterday I wrote a blog entry with the term “packet triplication” in it. Prior to posting I noticed Google had very few pages with the term in its results. Today both Bing and Google have my blog entry with this term on their first pages for searches on this term. Interestingly Google ranks my entry as the #1 result while Bing ranks my entry and my blog home page as #3 and #2 respectively.
Microsoft’s search challenge of course is not just search quality but their brand. Are they MSN, Microsoft, Live or Bing? It is worth pointing out that if you enter live.com into your browser it takes you to Bing. So you might think Live is dead. But no… Enter mail.live.com and you are taken to the Live email sign-in page. If it is confusing for me and I am researching the matter, how will the typical consumer make sense of it all? If the company can stop changing names and confusing the market for a few years, Bing could actually take market share from Google.
Yesterday Bing had an Alexa rank in the 500 range (1 being the best ranking) and this was down from the multimillion range in the prior week. Today it has dropped to 1,070 which is a sign that people checked out the search engine and then went back to using Google.
Bing’s Alexa ranking is dropping (getting higher/doing worse) after less than a week
Still, old habits die hard and it will take many years for a significant amount of users to switch to Bing and if it isn’t better than Google the question many will ask is why even bother?