An Update On The Search Engine Competition Between Google and Bing

Bing vs Google

Over the last two decades, online advertising has grown from a niche-market concept into a $500 billion sector of industry. Currently, the lion’s share of online advertisements is both controlled and presented by two of the world’s most popular search engines: Google and Microsoft’s Bing. Given the enormous amount of money at stake, the two portals have been competing with each other for the last several years, each trying to entice the public with promises of more accurate and more precise search results. However, choosing the truly superior search engine requires an in-depth analysis of both platforms and their specific advantages and flaws.

Quantifying a Better Search Engine

Before one can begin to discuss the advantages of any search engine, it’s important to determine the current notion of consumer expectations. Today, very few individuals can actually recall the world before Google, where search engines were neither accurate nor particularly precise. When Google finally entered the market with their now-patented PageRank algorithm, the user was presented with a platform that was so superior to other search engines that any comparison between systems would be little more than an educational exercise.

Today, the market situation has changed, and both Google and Bing realize that there is no such thing as a perfect search engine. More importantly, consumers themselves do not desire a perfect search engine, but simply a platform that will address their needs and concerns better than the competition. On the other hand, online advertisers who represent the revenue-generating force behind the search portals will typically select a provider able to present their client’s ads to the highest number of potential customers, at the best possible price.

Algorithms and Scoring Systems

Google: The search engine uses the continuously updated version of its patented PageRank algorithm that was directly responsible for the company’s rise to the top during the Internet revolution of the early 2000s. The algorithm ranks webpages based on the number of times they are referenced and linked to from external websites.

Bing: Microsoft’s search engine has very little in common with its predecessors, MSN Search and Windows Live Search. The algorithm used to generate search results in Bing has received praise for its ability to accurately decipher natural language. In addition, Bing calculates the importance score of any webpage based on a “click distance.” Unlike Google’s PageRank algorithm, Bing measures the “click distance” of the domain’s internal webpages from the homepage, giving more weight to the sites closest to it.

Breadth

Google: Google is the clear winner in this category, with over 40 billion indexed pages.

Bing: Even though Bing’s total number of indexed pages fluctuates between 10 and 15 billion, the search engine began to index webpages only a few years ago.

Accuracy

While both search engines are considered very effective for single-word searches, the disparity increases for other, more complex types of queries.

Google: Google’s advantage with respect to accuracy lies with the size of its webpage index. As a result, users of Google will often find a higher number of relevant results searching for multiword technical phrases, or directly cited quotes. Additionally, Google’s query autocorrecting system is widely considered to be superior to Bing’s system.

Bing: Microsoft’s search engine has proven to be highly effective for users, who prefer to search using the natural language approach. In other words, typing “How can I repair a computer?” will typically provide results that relate to computer repair how-to guides and tutorials, instead of listings of computer repair shops in the area.

Current Growth and Revenue

Google: Currently, Google is the unquestionable king of search engines, controlling approximately 67 percent of the U.S. and over 80 percent of the global search markets. Additionally, Google also dominates the competition in terms of revenues generated through ad-related mechanisms. In 2011, the company generated $37 billion from pay-per-click advertising alone.

Bing: Both Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo! Search – now using Bing as its search results provider – have experienced steady growth during the first few months of 2013. Currently, Bing and Yahoo! account for 17.3 percent and 12.0 percent of the U.S. search market, respectively.

Future Outlook

Google and Bing search engines represent only a fraction of the wide array of products designed by the global brands behind them. However, both Google Inc. and Microsoft consider the control of the U.S. search market to be quintessential to their future profitability. Consequently, both companies are fueling enormous amounts of money into technological upgrades of their ranking algorithms, as well as advertising campaigns meant to attract consumers to their respective search engines.

Given the current state of global search market, Bing has their work cut out for them if they ever want to dethrone Google from its current position. However, one thing is certain: as long as the online advertising market continues to be profitable for search engine providers, the competition between these two companies is bound to continue.

Henry Dalton writes on the tech business, computers, gadgets and other like topics; gadget lovers searching for neat accessories may want to take a peek at the Kensington iPad keyboard cases.


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