Microsoft Search (continued)
Well I finally got the new Microsoft search to work for me.
So I ran some comparisons. Naturally I typed in "Fred Wilson".
The results are pretty much the same across the big three; Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.
There are four Fred Wilsons who seem to always be at or near the top of any Internet search; my blog, the artist Fred Wilson, the Chess teacher Fred Wilson (who is right around the corner from me here in NYC), and (yes!) the LA rock band Fred Wilson.
Google has my blog first, probably because of the large number of incoming links. Second is the artist, then the chess teacheer, then the rock band.
Microsoft has the chess teacher at the top. My blog is second. The rock band is third. Strangely, the artist barely makes the first page.
Yahoo! also has the chess teacher at the top with my blog second and the artist third and the rock band fourth.
This doesn’t really tell me much, but I did find the experience interesting. I think in this one example Yahoo!’s results are the best, followed by Google, with Microsoft in third largely because they didn’t get the artist high enough.
Another thing I noticed was that Google was able to show six links "above the fold", whereas Yahoo! was only able to show three, and Microsoft was only able to show two. That is because both Yahoo! and Microsoft choose to take up valuable screen real estate with sponsored results. My guess is that choice will hurt them with users in the long run.
I tried some more complicated multi-phrase searches like Bittorrent + Flaming Lips and Open Source + Investment Research. The results were not particularly similar between the three search engines and I consistently found that Google had better results.
This is not to say that Yahoo! and Microsoft don’t have good search services. I think they’ve both come a long way in a short time and are now offering something quite competitive with Google.
But at this time, Google is still the first search engine I’ll go to when I need to find something quickly.