Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Comparing Bing and Google for health searches

Not particularly scientific but here is my attempt at comparing results from Google and Bing (using this rather useful side-by-side tool http://www.blackdog.ie/google-bing/search.php).

I’m based in the UK and the results went to the .com site (as opposed to .co.uk so it’s not clear what impact this might have. I’ve selected five searches which seem fairly reasonable terms.
I've also included the URLs so you can better see where the results are from.

Search term: prostate cancer screening

Google top 5

Bing top 5

Verdict – A marginal win for Google, Bing returned results that were slightly less focussed (e.g. the general Wikipedia article on prostate cancer or slightly less reputable.

Search term: MMR autism

Google top 5

Bing top 5

Verdict – A clear win for Bing. A controversial topic and it returned the most robust sources.

Search term: type 2 diabetes metformin

Google top 5

Bing top 5

Verdict – Clear win for Google. I felt the results were more focussed using Google.

Search term: side effects statins

Google top 5

Bing top 5

Verdict – A draw, I wasn’t really impressed with either (half a point each)

Search term: acne

Google top 5

Bing top 5

Verdict – A win for Bing.

Overall verdict is – rather boringly – a draw with two ‘wins’ each and the rather disappointing draw. Given that Bing is so new (2 days old) I think it’s pretty remarkable!

NOTE: See techcrunch's none health comparison: Search Smackdown: Bing Vs. Google


Jo said...

Oh so *that's* what Bing is ;)

It's come to something when I feel I'm behind the curve on a product that's two days old hehe. I did wonder what the Twitterians were on about with things binging up all over the place.

The Bing results I got were quite different from yours actually, and on my results I'd have probably let Bing win, although I think the hits were overall the same (just reordered).

These were the top two for Bing

Diabetes-type 2 - Treatment Unlike some other medicines that are used to treat type 2 diabetes, metformin should not cause additional weight gain. However, it can sometimes cause mild side effects, such as ...

Clinical topic - Diabetes Type 2...Metformin Evidence from the UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) (a trial specifically designed to determine the effects of tight glycaemic control on diabetes-related morbidity and ...

(who now knows what Bing is and will probably use it in addition to Google)
P.S. Word verification is "fingo" !

Jon Brassey said...

Hi Jo,

That was quick!

I'm guessing the difference was due to you going from the UK and using the UK interface. The results you highlight for diabetes question are great in Bing, certainly better than google!

Mariae said...

Both are giants in search engine but I do agree with Jon. However, in most cases Google gives a better result than Bing.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget your results may be "personalised" this will change the urls the search engine will serve up to you.