Blind Search compares search engine results

By Sterling “Chip” Camden
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Taking a page out of Pepsi’s anti-marketing marketing playbook, Microsoft Developer Evangelist Michael Kordahi has created a blind taste test for the search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo!  Enter your search query, and the results from each of these three are shown sans branding:

blindsearch

You may then vote for the results that seem most appropriate to you, at which point the identities of the three search engines are revealed.

After the first eight weeks online and more than half a million searches, Kordahi published the results up to that point.   Users preferred Google results 41% of the time, Bing at 31%, and Yahoo at 28%.  This has been painted as a win for Microsoft, indicating that Google’s 70% market share is not due to the quality of their product but rather to their brand recognition (insert “pot calling the kettle black” joke here).

In my own informal test, I entered 57 different queries on a wide range of subjects (though with a decidedly geeky slant).  I chose Google’s results 47% of the time, Bing 37%, and Yahoo 16%.  Two of the searches for which I preferred Yahoo were “best search engine” and “competes with Google”, neither of which included Yahoo in the results.   For “best search engine”, all three listed Dogpile at the top.

Here’s the list of all of my queries, with a 1 under each preference:

SearchGoogleBingYahoo
august 5, 19451(wrong date, Google helped me find the right one)
august 6, 19451
best search engine1(yahoo wasn’t in the results, but neither was bing. All three listed dogpile at the top)
blind search1
bloomsday1
camden software consulting1
cheap netbooks1
chip camden1
chips quips1
chips tips1
chipsquips1
chipstips1
closures1
code samples c++1
code samples javascript1
code samples python1
code samples synergyde1
competes with google1(yahoo wasn’t in the results)
composition vs inheritance1
concurrent programming1
cracking iphone1
facebook vs linkedin1
fine as a split frog’s hair1
geeks are sexy1
google page rank1
heavy lies the head that wears a crown1(inaccurate quotation, bing led me to the correct one)
howto install apache1
IntPtr1
is google doomed1
is google evil1
is microsoft doomed1
is microsoft evil1
is there a god?1
is yahoo doomed1
is yahoo evil1
Javascript DOM1
kde or gnome1
kubla khan1
let’s do it1
mint julep1
peanut allergy1
programming languages1
recursion vs iteration1
redirecting wordpress feeds1
ruby array class members1
ruby vs python1
sauerbraten1
social media1
sterling chip camden1
Synergex1
synergyde1
tighten a bicycle chain1
troilus and cressida1
uneasy lies the head that wears the crown1
visitor pattern1
where are my keys?1
where is tajikistan1
Total27219
Percentage47.37%36.84%15.79%

It’s pretty addicting, and I have to admit feeling surprised and a little dirty every time I picked Bing.  How about you?  Go give it a try.