Digital State Marketing – Bing vs. Yahoo!

September 20, 2011 - Digital State Marketing

Yahoo and Microsoft may be using the same technology for searching the Internet they are not however producing results in the same way. Understanding the distinctions between the two can be useful for the user who is looking for the best alternative to Google. Microsoft and Yahoo have been partners for a decade, however they are continuously creating new ways of displaying their individual results.

Both had a desire for a flexible relationship in their plight against Google, despite this they are still competing for traffic against one another. This is because more search requests mean more opportunities to sell adverts alongside the search results. When searching on Yahoo if a person clicks on an advert then Yahoo keeps $88 of every $100 with the remaining balance going to Microsoft, however the money generated by Bing is kept by Microsoft solely.

In order to lower its costs and to concentrate on developing other services Yahoo changed its U.S and Canadian sites over to Bing’s search technology in late August. Yahoo suggested that it would be making changes that would make their results more helpful than that of Bing’s; thus far however, the alterations have been inconspicuous.

The Associated Press stated in a review that the main differences between Bing and Yahoo in terms of search results is how they are displayed and the pieces of information displayed around the top of the first page. To carry out its research the Associated Press did over 30 searches on various topics such as sports teams, holidays, travel requests and so on, on the two search engines. They focused on the results that came from entering the queries into the main search boxes on Bing and Yahoo, as this is the main way that people find what they are looking for online. The following is a brief summary of the pros and cons for both sites.

Bing has been particularly promoting their services for travel and shopping as a means to find better deals, however people generally have to open another link or tab to use them. Bing typically displays more aesthetically pleasing results, offering more photo thumbnails on the first results page as well as displaying more video previews that can be played on site by hovering the cursor over them. Bing also posts explanations in terms of where the clips have come from and what they are about. Finally Bing generally seemed to have more panache aesthetically, for example when searching for “Halloween” it was split into categories for example “Halloween decoration” that were highlighted orange, in keeping with the Halloween theme.

Yahoo regularly displayed less photo thumbnails and video clips on their first page, the video clips also usually needed clicking through to the site in order to see them. However Yahoo was ahead in terms of searches regarding entertainment, star athletes or sports teams. This is because next to the results they are displaying a picture or team logo as well as some biographical information. For entertainers especially, the box also included songs and video.

Therefore it is possible to claim that Bing is in fact out doing Yahoo however Google is still way ahead of the curve.