Wednesday 26 September 2007

Windows Live Search versus Google

We have left the default Windows Live Search in Windows Vista x64 IE7 on this particular workstation to see how it compares with Google.

We need to install a second child seat anchor in my V8 Taurus SHO. The closest Ford dealer is City Ford.

Do a search via the browser's built-in Windows Live Search and this is what we get:

Note that we put "City Ford" in quotes which is supposed to delineate the search to those exact words. It did not, instead it gave Edmonton City as the top series of search results.

Yes, there is the City Ford Sales link at the top right, but a second click does not count.

Here is Google's results:

They were bang on with the search results with no quotes. We even received a map to the location plus all of the relevant contact info for the dealership. No second click!

Note to Microsoft: There is a very good reason why the graphs near the middle of this article show your search share slipping. The above search result comparison clearly demonstrates the reason.

UPDATE: Might as well show Microsoft a bit more. :('s results:

The top two links are totally relevant just as Google's results were. No map though.

UPDATE 2: The link that eluded us earlier: Todd Bishop's Blog: Reports: Microsoft's search market share slips.

UPDATE 2007-09-27: As per our Microsoft friend in the comments, we were consistently getting the same results as we tried the same search again and again. At least initially. Perhaps there is a new Web farm and DNS was a little slow on our end of the world to get there? Anyway, this is the NEW results we just received for the same search:

Bingo! Now that's what we are talking about! Excellent improvement! If the Windows Live Search Team continues to make service improvements such as these, we may actually see those curves start to move up!

In our case, the default search in IE will stay at Windows Live for now!

Kudos to the Windows Live Search Team for the huge improvement.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


Anonymous said...

I was curious if the new Live search had improved on this, and it seems like it has. The top link is now "City Ford Sales Ltd" just like Google.

Now, I know you don't think 2nd clicks count, but if you do click the link, you'll get a map, address, driving directions, phone number and website to the place.

Either way, the new Live search, and in particular the focus on local search, seems to have made a difference for this particular search.

Disclaimer: I am a MSFT employee, but not working on search nor in the Live team. And as always this is my personal opinion, not necessarily that of MSFT.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

I did see an article about the changes too.

So, I tried it again but still obtained the same result. I logged onto one of our remote desktops that we use for client SBS feature introductions just in case ISA was holding onto the results, and still came up with the same.

This is using as the starting point. I end up at when the results pop up.
Are you starting somewhere else?


Anonymous said...

No. Same starting point.
The results page has this URL: