Yahoo and Bing are better at performing searches than Internet search engine giant Google, according to analytic firm Experian Hitwise.
Though Google accounted for 66.05 percent of all U.S. searches in July (dropping 2 percent compared to June), compared to 15.07 percent for Yahoo (up 4 percent) and 12.98 percent for Bing (down 2 percent), the latter search engines deliver better search results.
According to Hitwise (http://www.hitwise.com/us/press-center/press-releases/experian-hitwise-reports-google-share-of-searche/), only 67.56 percent of searches executed on Google resulted in a visit to a Web site, compared to 81.36 percent for Yahoo and 80.04 percent for Bing.
In other words, the report suggests that Yahoo and Bing do a far better job than Google in delivering search results, which is the main (and only) task of a search engine.
"The share of unsuccessful searches highlights the opportunity for both the search engines and marketers to evaluate the search engine result pages to ensure that searchers are finding relevant information," Hitwise said.
Hitwise's report is surprising because Google is the largest search engine in the world and Google Inc. has always been a pioneer in making searches faster, more accurate and efficient.
Not surprisingly, many Netizens feel the report is flawed because of the following reasons:
> The metric is flawed because there is no indicator if a user found the information they needed without clicking on a Web site. Hitwise has determined Yahoo's and Bing's success rate based on not the accuracy of search results but on percent of searches executed that resulted in a visit to a Web site.
> The effectiveness or efficiency of a search engine cannot be determined by visits made to a Web site. If one has to click several sites to find the information, it would be considered a search less effective for the user.
> In case of Google, you do not even have to visit a page to get what you were looking for as the results are certain to include what you are looking for, including charts, pictures, phone numbers, etc. It presents useful information directly in its results whereas Yahoo and Bing do not.
> It makes no sense to use clickthrough to measure search quality. Every ad firm is constantly hitting google just to measure how their clients rank. Every search firm is constantly hitting google to compare results. None of these results in a clickthrough. Hence the results are distorted, and tell us nothing.
> Finally, let's not forget Google's accusation (http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Horizons/2011/0202/Hiybbprqag-Did-Google-catch-Bing-cheating) earlier this year that Bing was caught red-handed copying Google's search results. Bing, of course, has denied the accusations.
However, some Web surfers have acknowledged that Google is not as good as it used to be.
While one person commented, "Google is the best, but near as good as it used to. Google has become a major corporation with a major corporation mentality serving other major corporations," another expressed disappointment at the fact that every search result in Google shows a paid source at the top: "It seems as though every search result turned up by google from a paid source. Do a search on a Bed and Breakfast and you get nothing but the big power houses like tripadvisor or bedandbreakfast.c or hotel.c, etc.,...These major companies, tripadvisor specifically, then hold all these little B&B's hostage, forcing them to pay tripadvisor in order to get a "veiled" ranking on their site."
What do you think? Is the report flawed or is Hitwise taking a cheap shot at Google? Leave your comments below.