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Metal (Technical)

Which is the best search engine?

If you’re tempted to leave Google, and wondering if Yahoo have upped their game, or whether Bing is revolutionising search, take a look at Blind Search.

You can enter a search term, and get the three sets results you’d get from Bing, Google and Yahoo, without knowing which is which. You can then vote for the best set of results.

In my highly scientific sample of 10, Google scored 6, and Yahoo and Bing 2 each. So still no contest really. And there were two sets of results which I’d describe as highly poor, both belonging to Yahoo.

I thought I’d have a tie-breaker between Bing and Yahoo, and Bing took the 11th vote. So it ended with Google on 6, Bing 3 and Yahoo 2.

Unfortunately, at present the system looks like it can be gamed, as if you dig around the HTML you can see which column is which before voting. In the short time I used it, Google dropped from 42% to 39%, which looked suspicious.

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4 replies on “Which is the best search engine?”

well the system can be gamed just by comparison of results (unless they are identical), no need to poke in html.

You don’t even have to look at the HTML to game the system. After tinkering with it for a few minutes, I figured out a way the system can be games successfully each and every time.

Note: I didn’t try gaming the rankings toward yahoo, but I could have done so within minutes.

As far as legit results are concerned, out of 30 trials,
I got 12 for google, 10 for bing, and 8 for yahoo.

You see, what the author of the test needs to verify is that which engine comes up top is the engine whose results the user likes best. You and I could both run the same search with the same search terms, and each choose a different search engine that we thought gave us the best answers. What you consider the best results is not necessarily what I consider the best results. To each her/his own.

You can game the system without looking at HTML.
You can game the system without even comparing results.
I can put in a search term and know exactly which engine is giving the which column of results with 100% accuracy each and every time.

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