Which search engine is better — Bing, Google, or Yahoo? Which one will get you the answers you want? Which one will be fastest in sending you where you need to go?
You can now do a blind “taste test” of the three search engines at a site called, appropriately enough, Blind Search http://blindsearch.fejus.com/. This site allows you to enter a query and get three columns of results. The columns aren’t marked. You pick one that best matches the search results you wanted and then you’re shown which search engine the results came from.
The first three times I tried Blind Search — and I probably couldn’t have done this on purpose if I’d tried — I got the three different search engines as my first choice in the results — Bing first, then Google, then Yahoo.
What did surprise me is why I chose the search results I did. Some I chose because I liked the excerpts that were shown with the search results. Sometimes I liked the order in which search results appeared — I appreciated that official or more information packed material showed up near the top. Very occasionally I would choose one set of results over another because I objected to an item appearing in one of the lists of search results.
For me the takeaway from this is that the search results from all three of the engines are fine. I never ran a query and got a set of results that made me go, “Yuck, this is totally off-base.”
So are the wars going to shift? Maybe less about the search results themselves but how they’re presented, what they’re presented with, and the tools each search engine offers to better deal with them?