Google Blogoscoped

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How Well Does Bing Handle New Stuff?

Microsoft’s search engine Bing is doing pretty stable on certain types of queries. But one thing Google has been doing exceedingly well in the last years is proper indexing and ranking of very new stuff. (Not too long ago, it was surprising and noteworthy when Google added a blog post below an hour or so... these days, it’s almost expected!) For a comparison, I wanted to see how well Bing does on more fresh topics. The Google & Bing comparison tool comes in handy for tests like these.

What did I find? Note my tests were non-representative; I simply mostly took a couple of items from the link blog, as it contains new stuff. In the end, quite a few queries resulted in Google and Bing doing equally good while quite a few other queries resulted in Google doing substantially better. There was no instance during my tests in which Bing was beating Google when tested on these fresh items, though.

Below is a list of where Bing failed, specifically (admittedly, “failure” is somewhat subjective in search engine rankings, and my search queries may be “biased” in some way due to mostly coming from Waxy). Disclaimer: the queries were performed yesterday and today, so things might have changed in the meantime; also, I only took into account web search results on both search engines, and not news oneboxes:

Here are a couple of queries where I found both Google and Bing doing equally good, if differently at times – note these were not all the queries where they both did well, I’m just showing a limited set of samples:

But fresh queries isn’t all there is to a search engine! It might be Bing is doing better on another type of queries (comments on this welcome!). It’s also worth noting that the difference between best search engine and second or third contenders is growing increasingly small these days... Microsoft generally did a very solid job, and they find the “correct” page on many queries.

Getting search as right as Bing must take an impressively huge effort, though that also raises the question of “why” – which problem are they trying to solve? Which deficiencies of Google do they want to make up for, what niche are they trying to target, in which ways do they want to offer more to users than Google already does? And if for the sake of argument we assume Microsoft has solved the problems Google tackled several years ago, then how many years will it take for them to solve the problems that today’s Google handles well, like ranking fresh stuff? And if they do ever catch up, isn’t there a good chance Google already reached the next level by then?

[Hat tip to James!]


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!