Home opinion-and-analysis The Linux Distillery Google, Bing, Yahoo! - which is the best?

Google, Bing, Yahoo! - which is the best?

Not all search engines are created equal and while Google has been the undisputed king for some years, perhaps Bing or even long-time Yahoo! is worth a try. A Microsoft employee has produced a blind search tool to help you find out just which one delivers the goods.

Microsoft developer Michael Kordahi has constructed BlindSearch or, as he likes to call it, “the search engine taste test.”

Use BlindSearch by typing in a typical web query. The application then returns three columns, being the top ten results as given by Google, Bing and Yahoo!.

The source of the results is not displayed and the order of the columns is random, so you do not know which engine delivered which set of results. This means you are not employing any subconscious bias based on any branding accompanying the results.

While you can simply click away at the 30 results given, BlindSearch encourages you to rate which column you believe had the best matches.

As soon as you indicate your preference, the search engine names are revealed and you can discover if your preferred search engine was the winner, or if you might consider it time to switch loyalties.

There are some minor deficiencies in BlindSearch, the most obvious being lack of localisation. All searches take place from the BlindSearch server and consequently are executed as United States searches originating from the U.S.

Additionally, other components of the search engine experience are missing, notably image thumbnails, cached results and other elements.

Nevertheless, it is an interesting application and may change your views on search engine performance.

Kordahi encourages feedback and points out while he works for Microsoft this is not a Microsoft project and has no bias towards Bing.

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David M Williams

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David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. Within two years, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Newcastle, as a UNIX systems manager. This was a crucial time for UNIX at the University with the advent of the World-Wide-Web and the decline of VMS. David moved on to a brief stint in consulting, before returning to the University as IT Manager in 1998. In 2001, he joined an international software company as Asia-Pacific troubleshooter, specialising in AIX, HP/UX, Solaris and database systems. Settling down in Newcastle, David then found niche roles delivering hard-core tech to the recruitment industry and presently is the Chief Information Officer for a national resources company where he particularly specialises in mergers and acquisitions and enterprise applications.