Over the past month or so the search engine battle has really heated up. Microsoft’s new search engine Bing has received lots of attention. According to latest reports Bing has overtaken Yahoo and is now at #2 position. Time will tell if Microsoft Bing has what it takes to hold on to this position once all the hype dies down. Google hasn’t been sleeping either, they have been rolling out lots of small changes including real-time search and innovative products like Google Squared.
With each of us being so used to Google, judging a search engine impartially may be harder than apparent. And that is the concept behind Blind Search. Blind Search displays the search results for any query from Google, Bing and Yahoo arranged in three distinct coloumns. You are asked to vote for the coloumn which you believe provides the best results. The names of the search engines are revealed only after you have voted.
This website is a fun experiment from a Microsoft employee Michael Kordahi. BlindSearch is an interesting tool to play with as it allows you to objectively judge a search engine merely by its results.
I tested Blind Search with a random set of five queries. I started off with the vanity query ‘Pallab De’ (won by Yahoo), followed it up with ‘Sikkim Manipal’ (won by Bing), ‘What is Satio’ (won by Yahoo), ‘larrabee’ (won by Google) and ‘Shashi Tharoor’ (won by Yahoo). The results were surprising to say the least. I ended up preferring the results thrown up by Yahoo more than the results served by Google and Bing! And Yahoo is one search engine I almost never use. To be honest the presentation of data and interface also is an important aspect of a search engine (in fact its one of the biggest selling point of Microsoft Bing), but Blind Search is still an interesting experiment. Give it a try and you be also be surprised by the results.