Is Google Still the Best Search?
As a Microsoft MVP I was asked to just try Live.com for a week and report back to Microsoft. What I discovered surprised me. In May 2007, I wrote about testing Ask.com. In October 2007 I did some extensive testing of Yahoo Search. So I thought it was time to update my impression of various search engines.
I discovered that I never go to a main search page like Google.com anymore. That means I miss what ever cool Google logo has been created for the day. The main Live.com has nice color photo background which changes daily but I guess I’ll never see that either. Live.com does provide some mouse-over links relative to the image which is nice.
For the last couple years I found myself just using Google toolbar for my search. I’ve actually been using Google’s Chrome most of the time so now I just type my search directly into the address bar and voila. So good bye to toolbars and sayonara to main search pages.
Using my traditional search, the Pytlovany Test Live Search didn’t score to bad. For years I’ve been able to test search engines by using my last name because it’s so unique it has always worked well.
Live Search reported it found 4,710 results
Google reported “about 5,720”
Ask.com now reports 1,330
Yahoo claimed the most with 32,500 pages in English. I didn’t get a chance to check them all out.
Typically, I never go past the first page of displayed results so the number of pages found becomes less important. I was surprised to see that Ask.com cleaned up their results so it no longer included a lot of the bogus sites they used to list. I started to test other search terms and Ask.com failed again. Live.com and Google both provided the best results in the way of relevant pages.
I did notice one big change in Google from previous tests and other search engines. They now seem to give more weight to the social Web 2.0 sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and even Twitter.
Danger of Ads and Related Sites
Google and Live.com did best in presenting related ad based sites. Yahoo and Ask.com failed and displayed sites that are either dangerous or use keywords of their competitors to steal your business. I could still find some questionable ads on Google and Live.com so they both need to spend more resources on reviewing their advertisers.
Like Google, Live.com has been introducing some special features that will help bring on new users but as expected Google still maintains its hold on the search market. According to my most recent research Google still holds over 65% of the search market. Yahoo and Live/MSN are still doing their best to put a dent in this but Ask.com has all but disappeared from the stats.
You never know what how the market will flow so Google will need to continue to innovate. During the coming year it will be fun to watch and evaluate what Google and Microsoft come up with. I’ll also be keeping an eye on other unique search engines like the following…
And for real-time information you can’t really beat Twitter Search