Search Quality Fail

Blekko & Bing, Oh My!

Doing random searches today to see how poor the results are today.

Let's go do a history lesson here for a second. I used Excite when it was cool. Yes, I even had an Excite email address. Most people these days don't have a clue what Excite is. Sure AltaVista was ok too (most people still confused)....but I liked Excite. Everything I needed was there, and their search was workable.

Then the Googs came along and dominated the market. How quickly people forgot about Excite, altaVista, DogPile, AOL, etc.

Why did they dominate?

They provided better search results. No one cares if it is .05 seconds faster, they provided BETTER results. To be fair, it hasn't been close. Google has always been better than everyone else.

That just changed.

In an effort to make more people spend PPC dollars, Google has forgotten about what they did to become the best. I even laughed at the compare Google to Bing campaign. As if Bing was going to return better results....

So I put it to the test. Holy shit was I ever wrong. Google isn't even returning better results than up and coming search engine Blekko (who I think Apple should acquire and get into search).

Take a look at this search, and you'll see what I mean.

Atlanta criminal defense attorney.

Obviously, I want to find a criminal defense attorney who serves Atlanta. I didn't ask for anything other than that, and I expect to see WEBSITES of attorneys so that I can choose based on who provides the best website, who cares about search, who has great content....

Amazingly enough, Google finishes in DEAD LAST.

It's one thing to try to get more PPC spending, and to be so arrogant to think that the thousands of Internet marketing professionals out there who are trying to provide people with what they are looking for have no say in their or their client's search engines, but just like the mighty Excite, Google is walking a slippery slope. You want to return shitty results to boost PPC revenue? You'll lose your loyal customers. Enjoy.

http://blekko.com/ws/atlanta+criminal+defense+attorney

Blekko, who no one has ever heard of - much like Google early on, actually returned the BEST results.

9 different lawyer websites. All targeting Atlanta. 1 LinkedIn group fail. A- 9 out of 10 correct. The layout is so clean. It's odd to not see or be overwhelmed by ads. This is refreshing.

http://www.bing.com/search?q=atlanta+criminal+defense+attorney

Bing - Kudos to you and the team. It's nice to see someone working to improve your product and results. We're all proud of you.

Out of 12 results, 8 lawyer websites, 2 lawyer blogs. You do have two directories, which gives you negative points considering there are plenty of attorneys' websites to showcase. B+ 10/12 correct.

Your Local map product is terrible. Just blend it with results. Find a great UI designer and show extra information on the listings themselves. Don't copy Google and their local garbage. Innovate. Provide better results. This doesn't help anyone:

Come on Bing, be better. Innovate. Ditch this stupid idea.

Overall though, you gave me what I wanted, and you ranked real websites first. Good job.

Google -

500px before I see the results.

The first two results are NOT attorneys. They are directories. For some reason, this search isn't showing the useless Local maps with no information and bullshit websites. So...If you just didn't have those directories, this result is actually really good. Because you do as your top two spots, you get the worst ranking - B-. Now, because for some reason, the Google + that has no description or information at glance listings aren't there, so I'm actually happy with the results, but this is some odd glitch in the matrix. Normally it's 7 listings of CRAP where I can't detect what they do or read about them at a Glance (see Bing map above).

Blekko beats Bing who beats Google today.

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