Bing’s approach to search is proving to be marginally more popular. Bing promises to be more relevant than other search engines, but does it work? Let’s put the “decision engine” to an unscientific test to see.
Bada Bing! A comscore report shows that in the U.S., Microsoft’s new “decision engine” Bing.com slightly increased its market share for the second straight month, enticing some Google and Yahoo users to give the new kid on the block a try. The attraction of Bing.ca is that it is a “decision engine” rather a traditional search engine. Instead of relying so much on keywords, Bing organizes data in a way designed to increase relevance. This all sounds nice, but does it work?
While both engines return some similar websites on the first page, the most relevant sources — TFC’s official ticket center, StubHub, TicketMaster, and discount retailers — are pushed to the top of the page in Bing. On the other hand, Google has a seating chart, TFC’s homepage, a forum post, and an unofficial TFC Twitter account on its first page.
Why is that a problem? Well…
1. Google’s kind of relevant but sidetracks
Google wins in one area for having the Craigslist Toronto tickets page appear. This is a great place to find resellers, and Bing loses points for not having this appear in the results. (At the time of my search, TFC tickets aren’t available on the first Craigslist page, but several are available in the next 100 results. )
However, Google drops the ball in another area. Even though I took the time to narrow the search to tickets, Google still returns results that, aside from a stadium seating chart, aren’t very helpful for purchasing tickets. Google links to a few websites that talk about tickets but don’t sell them, which sidetracks me from getting what I want: direct access to tickets available for purchase.
Bing is also guilty of two sidetracks: a duplicate result and a lackluster website that only links to eBay auctions. However, the rest of the results on the front page go directly to outlets for purchasing tickets to TFC matches.
2. Google delivers a bizarre result
Google links to a web forum post of someone requesting tickets to the August 7 match against Real Madrid that has already passed. This does nothing for me as the date has passed, nobody replied to the person, and it doesn’t get me any closer to purchasing tickets. How did this manage to appear on the first page?
This is not to disparage Google as it’s still a great search engine, but this very unscientific experiment in search shows why some people may be switching to Bing. In this particular instance, the results were more relevant to my needs and the “Related Search” bar to the left also provided great suggestions to how I could further narrow done my search in the realm of Toronto FC tickets.
I’m not ready to turn over all my web searches to Bing just yet, but the decision engine will get more trial runs out of me when it comes to ticket searches.