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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Google and Bing Side by Side

The tech blog-o-sphere was buzzing about Microsoft's revamped search engine named Bing. Yesterday, I tweeted about Bing with a few people and in general we didn't get what all the hype was about. When I tested Bing I didn't see anything that makes Bing significantly better than Google search. (Perhaps if Microsoft took Seth Godin's advice to spend less on marketing and more on development, they would have created a game-changer). The one thing that Bing has going for it, as do most alternatives to Google, is that it does serve up search results in a slightly different order than Google does. This is useful for students because it can, in some cases, reveal to them links that they might not have seen had they used just one search engine. But running the same search on multiple search engines is time-consuming and really not all that productive. Fortunately, there are smart people who develop tools to display search engine results side by side.

Today, TechCrunch posted a short piece about a tool created by Paul Savage which allows you to run searches on Google and Bing simultaneously. Results are displayed side by side for easy comparison of results. Try it here for yourself.












Applications for Education
For now I'll put Bing and the Google v. Bing comparison search engine into the category of a simple way to get students to look at more than the first couple of pages of Google links. I don't think Bing is a game-changer in the search world, but it's always nice to offer students alternatives.