Posted February 8, 2011 9:36 am by with 7 comments

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I guess when you’re in a war, resorting to guerilla tactics is something that, while ugly, gets the job done.

Take, for example, the kerfuffle over whether Bing copied Google’s search results–or not. If the Microsoft search engine has in fact been copying Google, then it should just keep on keepin’ on! According to Hitwise, Bing saw a 21% increase in searches at its own web site and another 6% growth spurt across all Bing-powered search sites.

Even better news for Bing? Its users are having an easier time finding what they are looking for, with almost 82% of searchers finding what they were looking for–or at least visiting a relevant web site. By comparison, Google’s “success rate” was just over 65%.

Why is that an important metric? Think about why you switched to Google in the first place. If you are like most searchers, Google became your default search engine because “it just worked.” You found what you needed and were able to get in and get out. Many argue that Google has gotten away from that simplicity and the numbers suggest that Bing is finding a way to win over searchers with its interface.

Of course, there’s a flip side to this story. If Bing is indeed copying Google, it may want to stop. After all, why copy the results of a search engine that lost market share AND does a poorer job of matching searchers with relevant results. 😉

PageRank penalty coming our way in, 3….2….1….

  • Now with the title of Chairman of the Board of Marketing Pilgrim, Andy has the luxury of selecting posts that are “most likely to incite” and can exercise his headline mastery more strategically. It’s good to be the king :-).

    • And then, you get to clean up any mess, ‘cos you are the editor. 😉

      Long live the king! 😛

      • I better put some newspaper down on the office floor.

  • Wasn’t Bing’s model to focus on enough search topics to satisfy @80% of users, and to leave the esoteric stuff to Google? If they can (intentionally or by ‘serendipity’) borrow Google’s success on the esoteric stuff while focusing their own energy and resources on areas in which Google is having trouble (content farms, spam in retail and product reviews, etc.), they should be able to create a useful search product.

    Whatever you think of its motives, Google has been holding back in its fight against spam – I suspect that it has tools it can use that will get rid of a lot of bathwater, but not without losing a few babies.

  • Cynthia

    Bing’s success lies in the lowest common denominator. For your average surfer who just wants to see the most popular picks (and get led there like a dog on a leash) Bing works great. I prefer Google. Also, on a completely shallow note, there’s something about Bing’s colors and layout that I find too fussy.

    • I have to confess to not using Bing much yet, but I agree with you on the layout. For my taste, the large picture in the background just doesn’t look good. Simple is better (see: Google). That said, if Bing can do a better job, who cares then right?

  • Very intriguing statistics here. I knew how Google dominated the percentage of searches made, but I had no knowledge that there was such a contrast in the ‘success rate’ of searches. It makes me wonder why I still use Google…

    A few days ago Google said they had been working on something big regarding search. They’ve certainly come under fire recently over spam and so a solution may be in the pipeline. Having said that, Google’s last big news was Google Instant which kind of made searching less fun.