Comparing Bing and Google

Until this weekend I hadn’t done much with Bing.  I looked at the pretty pictures and tried a search now and then but that’s about it.  I recently stumbled on Bing vs. Google.  You can enter your search text and it will search both of them side by side.  It also has a custom search provider you can add to FireFox.  I do most of my searching through the browser.

I’ve been using this as my default search provider for a few days now and its kind of interesting.  Pages that appear high on both lists are obviously something I want to read.  I’m also intrigued by the pages that only appear on one site.  I’ve been trying to see what Bing finds that Google doesn’t.  I did a few tests with some SQL Server searches.

  • Google has A LOT more ads on their page for most searches.
  • Both seemed to return about a third commercial companies.
  • There seems to be a fair bit of overlap.  Anywhere from a third to a half of the results usually matched.
  • Bing says it has more results.  Searching on “SQL Server Backup” Bing returned 26.7 million to Google’s 8.3 million.  Searching on SQL Server it was Bing’s 9.8 million to Google’s 670K.  I never did click all the way through to verify these numbers.

I don’t have enough information to decide which is better yet.  I really wish the site would give me some metrics on whether I clicked links in one engine or the other and whether or not those links appeared in the other search engine too.

In any case I’m enjoying seeing two sets of search results side by side.  We’ll see how long that lasts though.

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