Create Your Own Bing Vs. Google Death Match

Bing vs. Google offers a side-by-side comparison that lets users see for themselves which search engine works better. We tried some searches, and our findings are inside.

First we tried some basic searches: “weather” gave us similar contextual results, with current weather and the forecast for the next several days. Next we looked for nearby restaurants. We searched “indian food,” “indian food dc,” and “indian food 20037 [our zip code].” All three searches gave us local restaurants on Google; only the last one did on Bing (although Bing linked us to local Yelp results, which is useful).

Then we searched in the areas that Bing claims it does better. Searching for flight info, we tried “American 257.” Both sites gave us the departure and arrival locations and times, although Bing also gave us the expected terminal and gate. We’re not sure how practical this actually is, considering it’s probably only useful if you’re meeting someone at the airport, in which case that info is displayed everywhere (not to mention that unless you have a ticket, you’re not going to be allowed near the gate to meet the flight).

Next, we tried another suggested Bing search: “fitness.” Both sites gave similar results, mostly links to fitness magazines and sites. Bing gave us some related search results for “fitness clubs,” “fitness equipment,” and “fitness programs,” which was helpful, while Google suggested these (and more) related searches, but didn’t provide results. Google also gave us news and blog links (probably not very useful in this case) and Google Maps results for nearby gyms, which, we imagine, would be useful.

We tried a relatively easy, topical question: When does Harry Potter 6 come out? Both search engines unfortunately decided that Yahoo! Answers was a good source for information; sure enough, that answer (July 17), was wrong (it’s July 15). The rest of the results were similar sites like WikiAnswers, but Google managed to provide one of these community question sites that had the correct date.

Here’s one where Bing really excelled: “MLB scores” yielded the scores from yesterday’s baseball games and the schedules for today’s games.

Except for the last result, there wasn’t much difference between the two search engines, although this is obviously not exhaustive. Try some searches and let us know in the comments if you see any big differences.

Bing-vs-Google: Now you can try them side by side [Consumer Reports Electronics]

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  1. juri squared says:

    I would like to mention that being able to find the terminal and gate would have been helpful to me last time I flew; I had a short connection time and my ticket didn’t have the info on it.

    Of course, that assumes you have internet access. It wouldn’t help while in the air.

    • Jfielder says:

      @juri squared: Grr, I hate when they do that! It’s like a big “Hey, figure it out yourself!”.

      • spongebue says:

        @jfielder23: The reason for it is reasonable, I think (then again, I used to work for an airline, so I could have a bias). Like it or not, planes don’t always come in at the exact moment they should. Sometimes they’re early, sometimes they’re late. Regardless of why, it happens. Because of that, the gates will sometimes change. That plane you’re taking to Milwaukee may have come in early from Seattle, before the flight to Denver could leave at that expected gate.

        Rather than have you go to the gate printed on your ticket, which could very well have moved to the other side of the airport since then, we’d rather have you look at the monitors posted all over the airport, or at least the gate agents (I know that even they generally don’t print the list until a few minutes before the plane gets to the gate, just in case).

  2. moore850 says:

    They both seem to think that dogpile.com is the “best search engine”. Neither lists themselves or the other in the top 10 of “best search engine”.

    • Alex Chasick says:

      @moore850: that is great, and I’m annoyed I didn’t think to search for that. I wonder if Bingbombing will be the next big thing.

  3. MightyCow says:

    I applaud Microsoft for trying, but Bing is worthless and its ads are incredibly annoying.

  4. Geoff says:

    Bing shined on my limited tests. I searched “harry potter” and front and center on bind were movie showtimes for my area, followed by the official site, some other sites, and a ton of news results, and then images.

    Google just gave me the official site, some other sites, and a few news results

  5. CaffiendCA says:

    Sadly, even if Bing turns out to be “better”, I’m not sure it can overcome the incredible market share the Google has.

    It’s an impressive achievement, and much better than Cuil’s sad attempt.

    • rickinsthelens says:

      @CaffiendCA: I remember when Alta Vist had an incredible market share, and before that Yahoo. The public is finicky, and will chase the next hot thing if it is good enough. I suppose some will try Bing becuase they feel a bit uneasy about Google’s dominance and growing clout. MS doesn’t seem so bad when you start to think how big Google is getting.

    • reynwrap582 says:

      @CaffiendCA: If Bing does turn out to be better, market share or not, Google will have some actual competition and have to up the ante. Bing will respond with further developments, and Google will follow that up. Competition = megawin.

    • cluberti says:

      @CaffiendCA: I’m not even sure it’s meant to “take over” Google, just be a nuisance (a “good-enough” one at that). Similar to ChromeOS vs Windows – it might be good, but it won’t topple Windows. But, it’ll keep them occupied thinking about and developing against it, which is actually a good idea, business-wise. Especially if you can make some money off of it as well, and use it as a testbed for search you *really* want to actually do well at in the OS and Sharepoint, Exchange, Outlook, etc.

  6. temporaryerror says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about the phrase “just bing it!”.
    Sounds kinda dirty…

  7. Murph1908 says:

    How does it do when shopping for something?

    When I searched Yahoo for a replacement ice maker for my fridge, I was annoyed that all of the paid ads were simply other aggregators. “Find the best price on a [sic] ice maker at eBay.

  8. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    So far Bing has sucked. I’ve used it from the search bar in IE to pull up ABC shows that won’t work in firefox w/o turning down my security settings, and Bing consistently doesn’t give me the show’s site in the first 5 or sometimes even 10 results; I get commentary, tv guide, imdb, but not the show itself. Maddening!

    Wikipedia entries also come up surprisingly far down the list of results.

  9. HogwartsAlum says:

    Thanks for doing this, Consumerist. I was wondering about Bing.

  10. Ratty says:

    I’ve been using Bing since beta as Kumo and they finally got me as a long-time google lover to switch over. The related searches are helpful. Wikipedia is usually near the top for my searches so I’m not sure about people who have issues getting wiki results.

    The maps, the mouseover video, and the image search organization are really treats to me.

  11. davere says:

    I hate the stupid hot spots that flash on the Bing background picture. I avoid the site just because of this alone. Too distracting.

  12. rte148 says:

    I’d need a bong before I used bing

  13. 2 replies says:

    FTA:“Bing also gave us the expected terminal and gate. We’re not sure how practical this actually is, considering it’s probably only useful if you’re meeting someone at the airport”
    …or more likely, if your a passenger with a smart-phone (or laptop with wireless internet or on flight wifi) and the crew didn’t tell you your arrival or departing gate (very likely), and you have only a few minutes to get there.

  14. 2 replies says:

    I personally still use Goog (more out of habit than anything else), but I’ve tried bing and am impressed with it’s travel section (farecast).
    And bing’s shopping cashback seems to be more often than not a better deal than Google checkout (which seems to usually only gives marginally good deals if you are a first-time GCheckout user).

  15. ekasbury says:

    As far as the gates are concerned, I often have tight connections. So, I fire up my blackberry the moment wheels touch and Google (they used to give you that info, at least) my arriving flight and connecting flight to see if it’s going to be 1mi sprint or a 300m sprint. Gate info is extremely useful.

  16. stranger than fiction says:

    My only experience with Bing so far is the map/satellite view used on Zillow.com. Zoom level, image clarity, and view options (north/south/east/west FTW!) have it all over Google Maps, even with their street view.

    /usually a Micro$uck basher!

  17. JeffM says:

    I ran one search at Bing for a guitar tab for a rather common song and it gave me the lyrics as the first hit.

    That was the end of my relationship with Bing- Google took me just where I wanted to go.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I work at a search engine and part of my job is dealing with movie results. It’s interesting that you phrased your query about Harry Potter as a question when all the search engines will give some kind of special display for movies. The debate is what *kind* of info to show. To me, the context of time is pretty important–since this movie isn’t out yet, you’re most likely looking for release date and/or advance tickets. “Harry Potter 6″ in Google has an annotated IMDB page on top. Bing has showtimes (but doesn’t mention when it actually starts playing–confusing), and Yahoo just says “coming soon to theaters, opening Wednesday, July 15.” I believe both Google and Yahoo have showtimes/tickets when the movie is open.

    Just interesting to note how different engines work and what people think about it. Intent is a pretty big chunk of what people building search engines are trying to figure out, and they all have a different approach.