For the rest of my family, they use search in a different way. They search for their favorite tv shows, for research (e.g. for trips, homework, the next big toy for xmas), for recipes, shopping, etc. They don't search to be more productive, they search for their hobbies and interests. As such, many of what they search for are social by nature. My wife likes to talk with her friends about the latest pair of shoes she's thinking of buying and my kids love to spend hours on facebook discussing the latest episode of CSI, etc.
I'm with most of you, I don't get why we need this social "thing" on "our' search engines. It clutters everything and I don't want others to know what I'm searching for. But for my family, they talk about the stuff they search for and having these features on Bing might make them switch.. maybe...
"To track our progress, we conducted tests that removed any trace of Google and Bing branding. When we did this study in January of last year 34% people preferred Bing, while 38% preferred Google. The same unbranded study now shows that Bing Search results now have a much wider lead over Google’s. When shown unbranded search results 43% prefer Bing results while only 28% prefer Google results."
That wasn't just a blind taste test, I was actively rooting for pepsi but I just couldn't stomach the taste and had to go back to Coca-Cola.
but after a couple of months those dried up. It seemed to speed up a little (don't know if it actually did) and the results seemed to get better (don't know if they actually did or I just kicked the subconscious habit)
Whether this is a problem with complex queries in Bing or a problem of the computer training the user, I can't say. This was just what my office found out. For the record, no one changed their search provider.
Assume you have adblock running as well? Maybe I'm the anomaly but Google still seems very good to me for these types of queries.
Top results for me on "how to fix a lawn mower":
Number of other forums that seem relavant
"fix flooded briggs-stratton" seems to return fairly high-quality results.
It's an illustration with the problems of ranking pages algorithmically rather than using a keyword search.
It's completely adequate/same for web searches of all types where the answer is a web page.
- Perhaps a bit less cluttered.
- The social thumbs-up is kind of nice.
Once long ago only Google got the basic search types right while all others were noise machines, then Google was still better at having more pages, more PDFs, more types of data, and now it's basically parity. All search engines seem bad at:
- fighting "how to" seo spam
- travel/product seo spam
Not sure it's a crisis though.
Other search types:
- Images is better
- Maps is worse, and
- Local is worse. For those I go over to Google a few times per day.
Instead of asking, "how can we add social to our product" they should be asking, "how can we make our product more useful." They're clearly trying to solve a business object and not a user need.
I think it's disingenuous to presume anything else.
Just because you personally don't think you need this, doesn't mean the companies involved aren't trying to solve what they perceive to be some users' needs.
It looks like Bing is trying not to clutter the UI with its social features by default:
"Sidebar is the most novel component of the new Bing. It's a mellow, gray sidebar that is closed by default. It shows a thumbnail of your picture and two control icons, and that's it. There's a hint arrow to expand it. When you open Sidebar, it shows you stuff from social networks that's relevant to your search."
Visually it is still uncomfortable to use Bing; specifically for anyone that respects typography and design. http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/the_best...
Bing has a deal with facebook and twitter to access the data.
> However, Google still has an argument that it cannot get all the same data on the open web as Bing. Twitter actually closed itself off to Google last year, blocking Google from even getting open web data. Even if Google renews a deal with Twitter, it’s now gunshy about building features around something that might disappear. Meanwhile, Facebook doesn’t seem to allow public posts out to the open web.
> Bing doesn’t have these issues, with a deal in place with Twitter and Facebook and no apparent blocking by Google.
edit: goodness would you imbeciles stop downvoting. This got downvoted the last time I asked it because people thought I was being sarcastic. It's IMPOSSIBLE to do a refined or advanced search. Calm down with the hate for Google's "horribly cluttered search interface" and tell me why this is OK or why I apparently can't see what you all see.
Like, I ctrl+f'd to make sure I'm not just blind.
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Personally I do not like Google's "Ads are just more answers" attitude, it opens the way for perverse incentives. Ads are ads, so I hope Bing, DDG, Blekko and others take a bite
I think ads and social should compete equally with other content in Results. In that, most ads should rank just above the spam at the bottom. And Social results should rank as any opinions, like forums and such.
Where's the money in that? Dont know, but users would flock.