I’m switching to Bing today.
Both Google and Bing are fast (the differences in performance are unnoticeable to me). And they both produce near-identical results for me, at least for the searches that I perform. Bing certainly has pretty pictures, but that’s not my reason either.
My reason is actually a little more esoteric: I copy and paste URLs a lot. Most often I am posting URLs to Connect items or blog posts I’ve written, since they answer a question better than I could if I had to re-write it from scratch. The difference in behavior is minor but makes Google my new loser in the search engine race.
Let’s take a pretty simple search. Recently I’ve addressed several issues where folks were searching for metadata about objects. The obligatory response is to use INFORMATION_SCHEMA views. However, I’ve written a pretty comprehensive blog post about why you should avoid these views. (I won’t get into that here, but you can go there directly if that’s the search that got you here.)
To get to my blog post through a search engine, I’ll enter “case against INFORMATION_SCHEMA” as the search phrase. Here are the results in Google:
And in Bing:
In both cases they were the top result. The visual differences are obvious but minor (Google seems to value a lot of white space, and telling me how fast the search returned, which I don’t really care about unless I’m still waiting). The big difference for me is when I right-click and copy the link. Now, before you try it, take this grain of salt: when I’m doing this kind of thing, I am using Firefox on a Mac. So the behavior may differ in your case. But here is what I see.
When I right-click the link in Bing and choose “Copy Link Location” I get the link I expect:
When I right-click the link in Google and choose “Copy Link Location” I get this nonsense:
Now I understand why they’re doing this – if you copy the URL and share it (or even if you just click through) they want to capture that click operation. And while it causes an extra server redirect, it’s not noticeable enough to be my problem. The issue I have with this is that, when I want to go copy and paste that link into a comment on some other site (probably representing at least 50% of my usage pattern), it is an absolute mess. In order to avoid it, I have to go through an additional step and actually click through the link and copy it from the address bar there. This may seem petty or trivial, and really only represents a few seconds of extra work, but the tediousness adds up.
So, for now, Bing is my choice.