Wednesday “Wisdom” – Use Google, Period (Part 1)
Not Bing / Yahoo. Not Alta Vista. Just use Google.
I know that for the SEOs reading, and maybe those of you who have seen the ridiculous Bing TV ads will wonder how I could have either the authority or the audacity to suggest that all other search engines are useless.
However… I want to be clear. I am not saying that other search engines are useless. Truthfully, I have a vested interest in Yahoo, since they operate much of their business out of the town in which I live. Besides, they have some use, currently. Comparing Bing and Yahoo’s lack of functionality to Google goes to show how amazing Google actually is. To paraphrase a plethora of literary characters, “There would be no light without the darkness,” and other search engines are the darkness to Google’s light. I, like Professor Slughorn (Harry Potter ftw) strive to live in the light.
In any case, this post, and probably the next Wednesday “Wisdom” will explore the reasons to stick with Google for web searching. My hope is that, by refusing to use Bing and Yahoo, they will fix their algorithms, layouts, etc. to make for better results and a better aesthetic experience.
So, I did a non-scientific study for this part of the series. I developed a list of random search examples to compare Bing and Google. I used a cleared browser, sans cookies, etc. which should have made for a somewhat “controlled” search environment. As I said, this is not a scientific study, but it’s more fair than it could have been (despite my pre-study bias).
The screen captures are taken between the paid ads and the following page fold.
First search: “Auto Repairs”
You’ll notice that there are only 4 organic results here, because Bing assumes that I didn’t mean to search for “Auto Repairs” and wanted some of these “related searches,” which they stick just below the Bing Local results. No, I wanted to search the term auto repair, and I wanted as many organic & local results as possible, not condescending suggestions as to what I should have searched for.
You’ll notice that Google displays 4 organic results with 7 places results, for a grand total of 11 (VS 9) above the fold. Also, each result is far more helpful. Yes, I’d imagine that some people who search for “auto repairs” might want to find DIY stuff, but it’s probably not the best thing to assume. Most people searching for this want local auto repair companies. If they want DIY help, they’ll usually insert that into the search phrasing.
Second Search: “Best Coffee in Manhattan”
I think it’s safe to say that if you search for this phrase, you seek opinions on the subject. Therefore, you probably want fewer, if any at all, locals or places results, because the coffee shops themselves will be somewhat biased on the matter.
5 Bing Local results and 5 organic results. Seriously? Yelp was probably a good choice to see some reviews. The other organic results seem pretty helpful, but the 5 local results are pretty much useless (unless you trust every coffee shop with a sign reading “best coffee in town”).
Google, on the other hand has 9 results above the fold, sans the obviously biased local postings. All of these results have potential in some way. Need I say more?
One more example for today…
Third Search: “Best Free iPhone Games”
For this one, I can’t actually fault Bing too much. It’s just the fact of Google taking an extra step to show up Bing in the results.
Bing has 8 results above the fold, all of which are probably helpful to some extent. I would certainly click on these results based on the meta data given.
Besides this, however, they include authorship in the results. With 3 profile pictures in the results, users familiar with this niche of search phrases might be able to make a better decision based on authors that they trust. Furthermore, Google gets a point for including an authority – a news result from Examiner.com.
So, are you convinced? Am I wrong? I could be… I just don’t see any reason to use Bing and, by association, Yahoo. Maybe if they see lower use… Oh, yeah, they already have lower use than Google. Well, maybe if they see even lower use, they will actually work to fix their various problems. Who knows? Maybe people like condescension, semi irrelevant results and random quirks. I guess they could have something going if that’s the case.
To be continued…