Google Wins. Wikipedia Wins.

I'm at the end of my informal one-week search engine comparison. My conclusion? Google wins. Overall, it provided more relevant links, higher up the search page than did Microsoft. I'd approximate that for about 60% of searches the quality of the results were equivalent, Google provided better results in 30% of cases and 10% went to Microsoft.

Google was also more likely to provide relevant advertisements and only to provide them when they were useful - Microsoft placed ads directly above the search results nearly always, and they were of lower relevancy.

The other thing I noticed was the 'Wikipedia' effect. For a lot of my more general searches, the search engine that placed the Wikipedia link higher in their search result was the one that provided the better result for that search. Sometimes I find myself adding '+wikipedia' to my searches - and I notice Wikipedia ranking highly for many searches irrespective.

For technical information, I think I'll always want a full web search - but I wonder if a general search for me will gradually evolve into the best way to find what I'm looking for on Wikipedia.

Posted by Alexander at July 18, 2008 05:14 PM

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