Bing Might Come Out Ahead
Google, a name synonymous with “searching on the internet”. Their mission? To organize the world’s information. But something’s changed.
Here’s the situation:
- RankBrain and AI’s Influence: Google’s RankBrain, their machine learning AI system, is at the heart of this shift. Meant to better understand user queries, it led to a homogenization of results. Where you once discovered diverse content, you’re now often met with the same popular pages. The AI’s attempt to predict user desires has ironically limited the depth and breadth of what it shows. It’s like asking for a vast library and being handed a single shelf of bestsellers.
- Depth vs. Superficiality: In the past you were able to navigate through up to 1000 search results. Now, broad queries might top off at a mere 150 results, a shadow of the expansive web. The unique sites, the deep-dive content – they’re buried, if present at all.
- Ads Over Organic: The line between organic results and advertisements has blured. Google claims a separation of church and state – that their ad business doesn’t affect their search algorithms. But the ad prominence is undeniable.
- The Bing Contrast: Enter Bing. Far from perfect, and used to be a mediocre Google copycat. But as Google has gotten so bad, I resort to bing frequently and more and more often it’s results are ahead of Google. They seem more attuned to the actual query. And these days it’s a lot better at indexing sites. This used to be one of Google’s staples. I have often marveled at how rapidly Google indexes new content, even from domains that have just been set up. Now it has become difficult even for established players to get new pages into Google’s index. Bing also made significant progress regarding business listings and maps integration in recent years. Bing is now just as good as Google at finding the closest repair shop or whatever. To be honest, I haven’t tried Bing Maps yet, but it doesn’t look too terrible.
Google’s evolution from a comprehensive search engine to a more AI-curated, ad-focused platform is evident. And in this shift, Bing, with its good indexing capabilities and query-responsiveness, might just find its footing.
It’s still too early to write Google off. But the search terrain is shifting.