I came across this link on TechCrunch. (Actually, came across it as a retweet of the TechCrunch story by someone I follow on Twitter since I’m not subscribed to that site’s RSS feed.) It’s called the Blind Search Tool. (BTW, the site was made by a Microsoft engineer.) Basically, you search for a term and it shows you three different sets of results in column from three search engines – Google, Yahoo!, and Bing – in a random order (columns are shuffled randomly). Have a look at the search results, and then ‘vote’ for a search engine by click on the button for whichever result set you like best. Blind Search Tool then reveals which set is from which search engine.
To my surprise I found that I almost invariably found Yahoo!’s search results to be the best. But then again, your preferences of what is a ‘good search result’ could be different from mine. What this tool does is that it cuts out all the crap and makes you find out which search engine you really want. I mainly focussed on the top five search results, because quite frankly those are the ones which really matter. Which search engine did you find the best? Leave a comment!
(In case you choose Yahoo! Search too and want a lighter search page, then bookmark search.yahoo.com.)
The dust has settled regarding the news that Microsoft is buying out Yahoo!’s search division. In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft’s Bing search engine is going to replace the backend for Yahoo! search for a period of ten years; in return, Yahoo! Search Marketing will handle ad inventory for both the companies on their search properties. Yahoo!’s current CEO Carol Bartz has confirmed that frontend will still be Yahoo!-branded. This switchover will happen sometime in 2010. Details are still not clear on what will happen to services such as Yahoo! BOSS, Yahoo! SearchMonkey, Yahoo! SiteExplorer, etc (as Yahoo!’s Nicki Dougan told me on Twitter). Carol Bartz is taking seemingly good financial decisions for now; I wonder though whether being out of the search engine game for ten years will stunt Yahoo!’s growth a decade later. (I don’t think they’ll sink money into search R&D for the time being.) Unlike Jerry Yang, Carol Bartz’s heart doesn’t bleed purple and gold.
Yahoo! really screwed up under Terry Semel’s leadership. What else could you expect out of a former Hollywood exec? When Jerry Yang came back as CEO, Yahoo! gained back a lot of its technological advantage…but Yahoo! has failed at marketing its products properly. You may disagree on whether you find Yahoo! Search better or Google Search better, but as you’ll see on Blind Search Test, Yahoo! is at least better than Bing. Despite that, Bing traffic grew by leaps and bounds after its launch purely on the foundation of Microsoft’s marketing.
Personally, the only bit I liked about Bing was the preview of the destination page which you get on hovering over a result. The photos on the front page are nice – although nothing you can’t get on Flickr. Oh, and their logo looks as if it was made in Microsoft Paint. 😛
Originally posted at Youthpad.