Google vs. Microsoft Live Search Part 1

As more and more pages flood the net, it’s getting increasing difficult to find relevant search results within the first few results. I don’t have much patience when it comes to search. I expect to find what I’m after in the first 2 or 3 results or I try something else. I was reminded of this when I did a search this morning. I was looking for the Fantasy area of the Sportsline website so I went to Google and typed “Sportsline” and here are the first three results:

sportsline1

As you can see, Google organizes the different departments under the main search topic. In this case, it’s easy to see “Fantasy” listed under CBS Sportsline giving me the result I’m after.

Here are the same results using Microsoft Live Search:

live1

You’ll notice that the first three results all go to the same site, CBS Sportsline, but the results are not as helpful at getting me to the right area. In fact, they are a bit confusing. It appears that the 2nd result is related to the first result which it is. Yet the third result looks like it should an entirely different website which it isn’t.

Google does a better job at getting me to the result faster. It’s similar to looking at a directory at a department store: Once I’m in the store, I go to the kids shoes or men’s department. If know the parent site, Google does a better job at getting me to the right area/department. Both do a good job at getting me to the parent site but so did Web Crawler and Alta Vista. Google has raised the stakes again.

Take a look at the following results and you’ll see what I mean:

  1. Search for “ESPN” at Google and Live – Google organizes the major areas (MLB, NBA, NFL) . Live keeps you searching down the list of results.
  2. Search for “Delta Airlines” at Google and Live – Google organizes Delta links under the main search term making it easy to navigate right to Flight schedules or Reservations. Live gets the main Delta site correct but isn’t much help after that. I’d have to click on that result and the click through the Delta site to get to the area I’m after.
  3. Search for “Nordstrom” at Google and Live – Both place ads up top but Live places 3 and Google places just one. This one isn’t even close. Look how well organized the Google results are compared to Live’s results where the first result links to a Nordstrom store in San Francisco. Huh? I live in Seattle. One thing I do like about the results on Live is the “related searches” selection on the far right.

Google generally does a better job at getting me to the result I’m after faster than anything else. Maybe this has something to do with the experience Google has gathered over the years. It has an uncanny way of determining what I’m after better than anything else.

Microsoft Live has a ways to go before I’d consider using it full time. Just getting me the parent site isn’t enough anymore.