Microsoft’s search a lot better than it used to be

Damn, I saw some people talking about how much better Microsoft’s Live Search was and I just tried a few searches and, indeed, it’s a lot better than it used to be. They’ve significantly closed the gap with Google.

How does it do on your favorite searches? I even picked out a random Windows API call and did a search on that. MSN used to always suck on those. But Live.com gets it right.

It’s also fast and the UI is nice. I think it matches Google all the way around on search.

Google is still slightly better on some searches (I think the result set on Google for Scrapbooking Blog is better than that on Live.com for Scrapbooking Blog, for instance). But, it’s much harder to tell the difference than it used to be. Live.com even does well with all my stock quotes (it used to be far less consistent than Google) and on my ego search for “scoble” Live.com is much better than Google (Live.com lists my current blog first, Google lists my blog that I haven’t posted to for a year first).

How does it do on your searches?

Now, the problem is, if Microsoft matches Google, who will switch away from Google? I won’t. The trust I’ve built since the late 1990s of searching Google many times a day without a problem is going to be a very hard thing to beat. To get me to switch Microsoft will have to be better than Google.

How about you? Does Microsoft (or Yahoo or Ask) have any hope of getting you to switch your default search engine?

Comments

  1. It would take one of two things. Google doing something stupid – on par with the AOL search data privacy debacle. Or for a competitor to come along with a significantly better search.

    Not just incrementally better, but something that changes how I interact with search. The work going on in domain specific search is a start, but is still in its infancy. There is definitely still a lot of space left in search, and it will require a company to figure out the next jump in tech/user interaction.

    At the moment, Yahoo/Microsoft haven’t innovated beyond Google’s search platform – at best they’ve equaled it. These days, that’s just not good enough.

  2. Just to see how it fares, gave it a try.
    Peculiar – I searched for ‘liketheocean’ (yeah that is my virtual web -www.liketheocean.com !!!).

    The results from Live.com is here and one from Google is here.
    There was only one result returned by Live while there were many from google (mine was listed in the 2nd page). Still Trying to think y… may be because it is a static page ?!!!

    For me to switch to Live – it would be take much more that what they currently have (not just because they did not find my page !!!). Google has become a kind of habit and the trust that had been built all these years is really difficult to break :)

    Note : Hi Scoble, I had be reading ur blog for a long time , this is the first time and leaving a comment (previously it was a voice mail). Nice Blog. Keeps me inspired … Keep getting us interesting stuffs . Tx.

  3. It would take one of two things. Google doing something stupid – on par with the AOL search data privacy debacle. Or for a competitor to come along with a significantly better search.

    Not just incrementally better, but something that changes how I interact with search. The work going on in domain specific search is a start, but is still in its infancy. There is definitely still a lot of space left in search, and it will require a company to figure out the next jump in tech/user interaction.

    At the moment, Yahoo/Microsoft haven’t innovated beyond Google’s search platform – at best they’ve equaled it. These days, that’s just not good enough.

  4. Just to see how it fares, gave it a try.
    Peculiar – I searched for ‘liketheocean’ (yeah that is my virtual web -www.liketheocean.com !!!).

    The results from Live.com is here and one from Google is here.
    There was only one result returned by Live while there were many from google (mine was listed in the 2nd page). Still Trying to think y… may be because it is a static page ?!!!

    For me to switch to Live – it would be take much more that what they currently have (not just because they did not find my page !!!). Google has become a kind of habit and the trust that had been built all these years is really difficult to break :)

    Note : Hi Scoble, I had be reading ur blog for a long time , this is the first time and leaving a comment (previously it was a voice mail). Nice Blog. Keeps me inspired … Keep getting us interesting stuffs . Tx.

  5. In so far as my content is concerned, Google still beats the pants off MS Live. I’m (inexplicably) at top on Google for a lot of technical things, like “VBA Round”, “parsing Excel formulas”, “SQL TRANSFORM”, “ADSI queries”, etc., while on MS Live, I’m no where to be found. Then again, MS Live might be ranking posts on quality, in which case it may be a more accurate reflection of reality. ;)

  6. In so far as my content is concerned, Google still beats the pants off MS Live. I’m (inexplicably) at top on Google for a lot of technical things, like “VBA Round”, “parsing Excel formulas”, “SQL TRANSFORM”, “ADSI queries”, etc., while on MS Live, I’m no where to be found. Then again, MS Live might be ranking posts on quality, in which case it may be a more accurate reflection of reality. ;)

  7. I agree that Live.com is much better than the old search, but I don’t see myself switching to it anytime soon. I can’t really think of a reason though.

    It could happen though, I used to think Ask.com was the end all search engines and I haven’t used it in a couple years.

  8. I agree that Live.com is much better than the old search, but I don’t see myself switching to it anytime soon. I can’t really think of a reason though.

    It could happen though, I used to think Ask.com was the end all search engines and I haven’t used it in a couple years.

  9. Finding the right web results is very soon going to be a prerequisite of Search; it will become meaningless to differentiate on “better results” or speed. The competition is going to take place on the fringes of search (which will in turn become the mainstream; e.g. Video Search) and, more significantly I think who’s cleverest and bravest in marketing, distribution, partnering and leveraging strengths. It’s going to be fascinating once Microsoft gets Live Search and adCenter the way they want them and fires the starting pistol for the race really to begin. Google has had it all its own way so far and done an amazing job in a very short time.

    I currently use both Live Search and Google. It’s hard to unpack when and where I choose which one although the fact I use Live.com as my homepage is a big factor. This is a whole lot different to a year ago when it was all Google.

  10. Finding the right web results is very soon going to be a prerequisite of Search; it will become meaningless to differentiate on “better results” or speed. The competition is going to take place on the fringes of search (which will in turn become the mainstream; e.g. Video Search) and, more significantly I think who’s cleverest and bravest in marketing, distribution, partnering and leveraging strengths. It’s going to be fascinating once Microsoft gets Live Search and adCenter the way they want them and fires the starting pistol for the race really to begin. Google has had it all its own way so far and done an amazing job in a very short time.

    I currently use both Live Search and Google. It’s hard to unpack when and where I choose which one although the fact I use Live.com as my homepage is a big factor. This is a whole lot different to a year ago when it was all Google.

  11. I figured out that MS Desktop Search works much better for me than Google Desktop Search. Google seems to provide an always changing view on my local files as their index is never up-to-date. Especially when I move mails from my inbox to an archive, I will still get search results pointing to my inbox in Google(which are invalid if I click on them) but not in MS. Google also seems to not care too much about the file metadata, e.g. all the information you can add to an Office document when you save it.
    On the web I always go to Google … habit? trust? I do not know how to name it, but if MS would manage to integrate web search into the desktop search, I might not even bother anymore to go to a web page to search. I would just enter the search term and go, no matter who provides the results. Google Desktop Search has this search window that pops up when you press twice – that is so usable! I really missed it when I removed Google Desktop Search from my machine.

  12. For me the number one criteria (after consistently good search results) is how fast does the home page load. I like to set Google as my home page and whenever I launch my browser it is instantly ready for me to search. The inclusion of search dialogs in toolbars and such is nice, but ultimately not something I can count on being there (I guess until Vista.) For me, the Live home page takes forever (compared to Google) to load.

  13. For me the number one criteria (after consistently good search results) is how fast does the home page load. I like to set Google as my home page and whenever I launch my browser it is instantly ready for me to search. The inclusion of search dialogs in toolbars and such is nice, but ultimately not something I can count on being there (I guess until Vista.) For me, the Live home page takes forever (compared to Google) to load.

  14. I figured out that MS Desktop Search works much better for me than Google Desktop Search. Google seems to provide an always changing view on my local files as their index is never up-to-date. Especially when I move mails from my inbox to an archive, I will still get search results pointing to my inbox in Google(which are invalid if I click on them) but not in MS. Google also seems to not care too much about the file metadata, e.g. all the information you can add to an Office document when you save it.
    On the web I always go to Google … habit? trust? I do not know how to name it, but if MS would manage to integrate web search into the desktop search, I might not even bother anymore to go to a web page to search. I would just enter the search term and go, no matter who provides the results. Google Desktop Search has this search window that pops up when you press twice – that is so usable! I really missed it when I removed Google Desktop Search from my machine.

  15. I think judging a search engine is almost impossible – how do you /know/ what results should be top (as Eric W Bachtal points out…)?

    The best results should be the quickest, from the widest variety of sources (not everyone wants to read wikipedia!).

    One problem I find with Google is that the index of blogs seems to be wrong, often, picking up categories or archive pages instead of actual posts on the subject I’m looking for. This is something to experiment with on Live.

  16. I think judging a search engine is almost impossible – how do you /know/ what results should be top (as Eric W Bachtal points out…)?

    The best results should be the quickest, from the widest variety of sources (not everyone wants to read wikipedia!).

    One problem I find with Google is that the index of blogs seems to be wrong, often, picking up categories or archive pages instead of actual posts on the subject I’m looking for. This is something to experiment with on Live.

  17. What is missing in the comparisons so far is that which is not the search. That is, I decided to launch the google page and live search, and perhaps it’s location, but the live search took ages. The fact that it did a redirect, and then the ‘front’ page has much more text and graphics to render, all that conspired to a very slow load time.

    The advantage Google has is not accuracy. That went out the window with all the search-engine-optimization companies. It’s speed. Get in, search, open up a few tabs with a few hopefuls, get out. If the first few links are dead ends, the next few will have something.

    I do not want to sign in. I do not want to check my sports scores (Unless I do, but only then) I do not want to know the latest on some actress. Yahoo, are you listening? Fortunately, Live search avoids the worst of these, and the use of text-only ads is good. BUT, in terms of speed, in server speed, in transfer speed, and in render speed, Live has a long ways to go.

  18. What is missing in the comparisons so far is that which is not the search. That is, I decided to launch the google page and live search, and perhaps it’s location, but the live search took ages. The fact that it did a redirect, and then the ‘front’ page has much more text and graphics to render, all that conspired to a very slow load time.

    The advantage Google has is not accuracy. That went out the window with all the search-engine-optimization companies. It’s speed. Get in, search, open up a few tabs with a few hopefuls, get out. If the first few links are dead ends, the next few will have something.

    I do not want to sign in. I do not want to check my sports scores (Unless I do, but only then) I do not want to know the latest on some actress. Yahoo, are you listening? Fortunately, Live search avoids the worst of these, and the use of text-only ads is good. BUT, in terms of speed, in server speed, in transfer speed, and in render speed, Live has a long ways to go.

  19. Yes, there’s hope. Google took ownership of the market because they got search right – for the first time. All search engines sucked before Google. Remember Copernic, which aggregated search results from various engines?

    The lead had changed several times before Google: 10-plus years ago, AltaVista was up there … and way back in 1996 (I think) they launched a desktop search tool. I had our company’s first Windows 95 machine (a super-fast P100!!) and was the only one able to run the software – which was so powerful that it overwhelmed our Novell-based corporate network and spidered everyone’s private folders.

    I did the honest thing and alerted our (outsourced) IT guy … because it was going to be a CLM if anyone ever discovered that I’d been able to access that stuff.

  20. Yes, there’s hope. Google took ownership of the market because they got search right – for the first time. All search engines sucked before Google. Remember Copernic, which aggregated search results from various engines?

    The lead had changed several times before Google: 10-plus years ago, AltaVista was up there … and way back in 1996 (I think) they launched a desktop search tool. I had our company’s first Windows 95 machine (a super-fast P100!!) and was the only one able to run the software – which was so powerful that it overwhelmed our Novell-based corporate network and spidered everyone’s private folders.

    I did the honest thing and alerted our (outsourced) IT guy … because it was going to be a CLM if anyone ever discovered that I’d been able to access that stuff.

  21. I’ve always been a Google user but I’ve always been fair and gave other search engines a chance. I tried Ask for a week or so, I tried Yahoo!, I tried Windows Live Search. None of them gave me a very good experience, none of them were as good as Google. The only search engine that I could have considered using regularly, was Ask. But after using it for a week and then accidentally switching back to Google, I didn’t access Ask again.
    I will give Live Search a try once again, but I guess it will be the same like always.

    What I experienced when using the different search engines is that you have to use them different to get your results. Having to use your keywords different to get your results? Even less chance of switching :)

  22. I’ve always been a Google user but I’ve always been fair and gave other search engines a chance. I tried Ask for a week or so, I tried Yahoo!, I tried Windows Live Search. None of them gave me a very good experience, none of them were as good as Google. The only search engine that I could have considered using regularly, was Ask. But after using it for a week and then accidentally switching back to Google, I didn’t access Ask again.
    I will give Live Search a try once again, but I guess it will be the same like always.

    What I experienced when using the different search engines is that you have to use them different to get your results. Having to use your keywords different to get your results? Even less chance of switching :)

  23. “How does it do on your favorite searches? I even picked out a random Windows API call and did a search on that.”

    Why ? You cant even program you big fat wannabe……

  24. “How does it do on your favorite searches? I even picked out a random Windows API call and did a search on that.”

    Why ? You cant even program you big fat wannabe……

  25. I’ve been using the Live.com search for a few months and I have to say it’s alot better then Google, the results are more accurate to what I’m looking for instead of just random sites that contain a string of characters.

    However one thing I have to give to Google is that GoogleBot still indexs new pages ALOT faster then MSNBot (LiveBot now?) ever has. The only problem I’ve had with Google is that if you get delisted because of an error on their end it could be months before you’re re-added to the index where as Live.com and MSN had you back on the index within days.

  26. I’ve been using the Live.com search for a few months and I have to say it’s alot better then Google, the results are more accurate to what I’m looking for instead of just random sites that contain a string of characters.

    However one thing I have to give to Google is that GoogleBot still indexs new pages ALOT faster then MSNBot (LiveBot now?) ever has. The only problem I’ve had with Google is that if you get delisted because of an error on their end it could be months before you’re re-added to the index where as Live.com and MSN had you back on the index within days.

  27. Here’s my yardstick: one of the first things I do when setting up a new machine is to install Firefox. And just compare Google’s results with Live’s for that search term. Which is more useful?

    Worryingly though, both include prominant sponsored links to what seem to me to be slightly… dodgy… sites. (I almost always ignore sponsored links so it’s not too much of an issue).

    Having said that, I remember ten years ago, /the/ search engine to use was Altavista, until it comitted portal suicide.

  28. Here’s my yardstick: one of the first things I do when setting up a new machine is to install Firefox. And just compare Google’s results with Live’s for that search term. Which is more useful?

    Worryingly though, both include prominant sponsored links to what seem to me to be slightly… dodgy… sites. (I almost always ignore sponsored links so it’s not too much of an issue).

    Having said that, I remember ten years ago, /the/ search engine to use was Altavista, until it comitted portal suicide.

  29. I like Live and tend to use it if I want to get more up todate results Microsoft seems to prefer newer pages whereas Google will keep returning older pages.

    Stu Why firefox?? I almost went round and set all our systems to IE I’am geting fed up of our developers building site’s that break in IE cos thast their default.

    Of course it’s muggins heer that has to speak to the clients and try to convince them where not a bunch of muppets.

  30. I like Live and tend to use it if I want to get more up todate results Microsoft seems to prefer newer pages whereas Google will keep returning older pages.

    Stu Why firefox?? I almost went round and set all our systems to IE I’am geting fed up of our developers building site’s that break in IE cos thast their default.

    Of course it’s muggins heer that has to speak to the clients and try to convince them where not a bunch of muppets.

  31. I’ve switched to live.com a few months ago. Both load equally slow (yeah, my connection sucks), so that is not an issue for me. The results from both were almost equal, but I think live.com has fewer spam results.

    However, the main reason is that i simply don’t trust Google. They have too much data about too many people. For some people I know, Google knows more about them than anybody else, probably including themselves. This is scary. Very scary. So I avoid them whenever I can. Yes, that is probably not necessary, but there is no real reason to use Google IMHO. The competition is just as good. Sometimes a little worse, but sometimes also a little better.

  32. I’ve switched to live.com a few months ago. Both load equally slow (yeah, my connection sucks), so that is not an issue for me. The results from both were almost equal, but I think live.com has fewer spam results.

    However, the main reason is that i simply don’t trust Google. They have too much data about too many people. For some people I know, Google knows more about them than anybody else, probably including themselves. This is scary. Very scary. So I avoid them whenever I can. Yes, that is probably not necessary, but there is no real reason to use Google IMHO. The competition is just as good. Sometimes a little worse, but sometimes also a little better.

  33. I switched to Live a few months ago. I like the UI more, and the Live infrastructure seems to have more exciting things going on that Google these days (unless buyouts excite you; they bore me). Maybe it’s because Live is the underdog, that it excites me more than Google (like Xbox excites me more than Playstation, Opera excites me more than IE and FF, OSX excites me more than Windows, Zune excites me more than iPod).

    Live’s results are as good as Google’s, and I get less of the “search index page” results (where you search for something, get a bunch of search index pages, that refer to other index pages, on and on, before you get to real content; Google is infested with that crap since 2004.

    But I think Yahoo gives the best results, but I don’t like the UI much.

  34. I switched to Live a few months ago. I like the UI more, and the Live infrastructure seems to have more exciting things going on that Google these days (unless buyouts excite you; they bore me). Maybe it’s because Live is the underdog, that it excites me more than Google (like Xbox excites me more than Playstation, Opera excites me more than IE and FF, OSX excites me more than Windows, Zune excites me more than iPod).

    Live’s results are as good as Google’s, and I get less of the “search index page” results (where you search for something, get a bunch of search index pages, that refer to other index pages, on and on, before you get to real content; Google is infested with that crap since 2004.

    But I think Yahoo gives the best results, but I don’t like the UI much.

  35. Switch? No much chance. MS (or yahoo, or anyone else) needs to significantly beat Google before I’ll switch.

    Why? Like you stated in your post. Trust. I have been using Google since… uhm… not sure when… almost day 1 really. It has always performed better than its competition.

    Now, it “might” be on par. If it took MS that long to equal Google, then MS is missing it.

  36. Switch? No much chance. MS (or yahoo, or anyone else) needs to significantly beat Google before I’ll switch.

    Why? Like you stated in your post. Trust. I have been using Google since… uhm… not sure when… almost day 1 really. It has always performed better than its competition.

    Now, it “might” be on par. If it took MS that long to equal Google, then MS is missing it.

  37. Default search engine? I hope you mean this as the engine we choose to search with and not as the silly defaults set in our browsers. Even my 65 year old mom and 70 year old dad have their favorites bookmarked or type them in the address bar. In eight years I’ve only seen one person hit and use their search button.

    Now, as to Google… I said it the other day in another comment. I slowly switched to Google, a search here a search there, and as I discovered they had consistently better results I used them more until I only looked elsewhere when Google failed (rarely).

    That’s not the case anymore. Google fails to satisfy me more often than not on the terms I search for these days. I exact quote specific terms, frequently exclude 5+ terms, and still I find myself wading though pages of crap before I find the results I want. That’s happening less and less with Yahoo and the like. Still, they are coming from behind and so playing catch-up in many instances so I usually try Google first. As soon as one consistently gives me more relevant results I’ll switch to them just as I switched to Google back in the day.

  38. Default search engine? I hope you mean this as the engine we choose to search with and not as the silly defaults set in our browsers. Even my 65 year old mom and 70 year old dad have their favorites bookmarked or type them in the address bar. In eight years I’ve only seen one person hit and use their search button.

    Now, as to Google… I said it the other day in another comment. I slowly switched to Google, a search here a search there, and as I discovered they had consistently better results I used them more until I only looked elsewhere when Google failed (rarely).

    That’s not the case anymore. Google fails to satisfy me more often than not on the terms I search for these days. I exact quote specific terms, frequently exclude 5+ terms, and still I find myself wading though pages of crap before I find the results I want. That’s happening less and less with Yahoo and the like. Still, they are coming from behind and so playing catch-up in many instances so I usually try Google first. As soon as one consistently gives me more relevant results I’ll switch to them just as I switched to Google back in the day.

  39. Robert, check out the Algebraic searches you can do on Live Search

    http://digg.com/software/Windows_Live_Search_Algebraic_Functionality

    All that aside I have used both extensively for the past 2 months and I think Google results are *much* more accurate than Live Search. While I had Live Search as my default, I had to Google search the same term many times more than when it was the other way round.

    Live is ahead in some respects though. The scratchpad is a great idea as are the related searches (though obviously found in other engines prior to Live Search adoption)

  40. Robert, check out the Algebraic searches you can do on Live Search

    http://digg.com/software/Windows_Live_Search_Algebraic_Functionality

    All that aside I have used both extensively for the past 2 months and I think Google results are *much* more accurate than Live Search. While I had Live Search as my default, I had to Google search the same term many times more than when it was the other way round.

    Live is ahead in some respects though. The scratchpad is a great idea as are the related searches (though obviously found in other engines prior to Live Search adoption)

  41. The results are definitely getting better.

    I’m so glad they ditched that scrolling thing they had before… It was terrible.

    The problem here, is that MS’s business plan seems to still be “lets be as good as google.”

    The main problem is, they’re not innovating. They’re simply letting other companies do the research and innovation and adopting best practices (eventually). That’s no way to catch up.

    Give me something new.

    It’s a small niche but here’s an idea. Give me search with regular expressions. Let me search case sensitive (I’d still like to know how many websites user Internet vs internet…but have no way of researching that easily)

    Give me an option to exculde blogs from the main search… Keep some sort of flag on websites if they’re transactional or informational (assuming any navigational results would still remain on top) and offer me to filter my results based on that..

    oh, and label your sponsored results at the top as sponsored results… and remove the onclick from the actual box and put it just on the link. What happens if I just want to highlight text from it?

    This is getting long, and you’ve got plenty to go on. We’ll have a followup meeting next week to check on your progress.

  42. The results are definitely getting better.

    I’m so glad they ditched that scrolling thing they had before… It was terrible.

    The problem here, is that MS’s business plan seems to still be “lets be as good as google.”

    The main problem is, they’re not innovating. They’re simply letting other companies do the research and innovation and adopting best practices (eventually). That’s no way to catch up.

    Give me something new.

    It’s a small niche but here’s an idea. Give me search with regular expressions. Let me search case sensitive (I’d still like to know how many websites user Internet vs internet…but have no way of researching that easily)

    Give me an option to exculde blogs from the main search… Keep some sort of flag on websites if they’re transactional or informational (assuming any navigational results would still remain on top) and offer me to filter my results based on that..

    oh, and label your sponsored results at the top as sponsored results… and remove the onclick from the actual box and put it just on the link. What happens if I just want to highlight text from it?

    This is getting long, and you’ve got plenty to go on. We’ll have a followup meeting next week to check on your progress.

  43. I always like when people compare results on search engines.

    Here’s some of the things I’ve noticed from watching people search:

    1.) A lot of people who say “Engine doesn’t have the sites I want” are the same people who can’t tell the difference between organic and sponsored results – they just randomly click the first result.

    Don’t believe me? Bid $100/click on the word “home” and put jibberish in your ad. Within minutes you’ll have hundreds of clicks anyway.

    2.) Many people just don’t know how to search. If you’re searching for “Jaguar” you’re going to see results for animals, cars, sports teams etc.. You need to clarify. Many people search for these broad terms then claim the search engine sucks.

  44. I always like when people compare results on search engines.

    Here’s some of the things I’ve noticed from watching people search:

    1.) A lot of people who say “Engine doesn’t have the sites I want” are the same people who can’t tell the difference between organic and sponsored results – they just randomly click the first result.

    Don’t believe me? Bid $100/click on the word “home” and put jibberish in your ad. Within minutes you’ll have hundreds of clicks anyway.

    2.) Many people just don’t know how to search. If you’re searching for “Jaguar” you’re going to see results for animals, cars, sports teams etc.. You need to clarify. Many people search for these broad terms then claim the search engine sucks.

  45. I want Live’s “no pagination” feature back! That was the one feature that hooked me. No scrolling through search results was amazing. Now, they’re still not as good as Google, so I just don’t care about them.

    The mobile Live Local is pretty cool. It shows location with phone numbers for businesses, that let a smartphone just call the number from the search results. That’s pretty cool.

  46. I want Live’s “no pagination” feature back! That was the one feature that hooked me. No scrolling through search results was amazing. Now, they’re still not as good as Google, so I just don’t care about them.

    The mobile Live Local is pretty cool. It shows location with phone numbers for businesses, that let a smartphone just call the number from the search results. That’s pretty cool.

  47. No.

    Microsoft is then what… 5, 10 years behind still?

    Plus, Microsoft has a tendency to want to cram as much info in a page as possible, whereas, Google has a minimalistic approach.

    For me to switch to ANY other search engine, it would have to offer something more, which it doesn’t.

    Plus, Google is the defacto standard. Nobody cares about other search engines anymore.

  48. No.

    Microsoft is then what… 5, 10 years behind still?

    Plus, Microsoft has a tendency to want to cram as much info in a page as possible, whereas, Google has a minimalistic approach.

    For me to switch to ANY other search engine, it would have to offer something more, which it doesn’t.

    Plus, Google is the defacto standard. Nobody cares about other search engines anymore.

  49. Do The Engines Suck? Or Just the Searches?

    I think the engines and their algorithms are fairly good (for English content). I think it’s the searching criteria we users define that is lacking most of the time.

  50. Robert… live.com also recognizes the pattern when a piece of data is a tracking number (like google).

    Try it… search for one of you own recent tracking numbers. I don’t remember this in search.msn.com does anyone?

  51. Robert… live.com also recognizes the pattern when a piece of data is a tracking number (like google).

    Try it… search for one of you own recent tracking numbers. I don’t remember this in search.msn.com does anyone?

  52. Robert, I’ve tried Google, Yahoo, MSN and Live.com .. and my view is that Google kicks the crap out of everyone else. In fact, MSN and Live.com are at the bottom of the pile. On the other hand, Google is constantly innovative in its approach.

    For example, a search for Durham, NC automatically gives a link to Google Maps. Similarly, a search for “Chicago jobs” automatically throws up a search box for jobs by category in the Chicago area. Ain’t that cool ?

    And then, there’s Google Scholar et. al …

    MSN may have improved, but is still wayyyy behind Google …

  53. Robert, I’ve tried Google, Yahoo, MSN and Live.com .. and my view is that Google kicks the crap out of everyone else. In fact, MSN and Live.com are at the bottom of the pile. On the other hand, Google is constantly innovative in its approach.

    For example, a search for Durham, NC automatically gives a link to Google Maps. Similarly, a search for “Chicago jobs” automatically throws up a search box for jobs by category in the Chicago area. Ain’t that cool ?

    And then, there’s Google Scholar et. al …

    MSN may have improved, but is still wayyyy behind Google …

  54. Still not as good for most business and tech things, but now my top search tool as a collector and sometimes as a shopper.

    Try something like “Georg Jensen” or even a more generic term such as vintage or antique silver. Google has improved the results on that so that it’s no longer a dozen pages of eBay that don’t even lead to the search item, but Live gives me what I know are many of the top sites and usually in descending order.

    On the gazillion collector and shopper searches done regularly, eBay corrupted Google searches a lot.

    Vera

  55. Still not as good for most business and tech things, but now my top search tool as a collector and sometimes as a shopper.

    Try something like “Georg Jensen” or even a more generic term such as vintage or antique silver. Google has improved the results on that so that it’s no longer a dozen pages of eBay that don’t even lead to the search item, but Live gives me what I know are many of the top sites and usually in descending order.

    On the gazillion collector and shopper searches done regularly, eBay corrupted Google searches a lot.

    Vera

  56. “I’m so glad they ditched that scrolling thing they had before… It was terrible.

    The problem here, is that MS’s business plan seems to still be “lets be as good as google.”

    The main problem is, they’re not innovating. They’re simply letting other companies do the research and innovation and adopting best practices (eventually). That’s no way to catch up.”
    —————————

    I think MS was the first to have algebraic searches, and related searches. And they have the scratchpad for image searches, soon to be made available for all searches (according to internet rumor). And they had the single-page infinite scroll (fine, they tested it and it didn’t work, but it was still innovative; it’s still used for their image search).

    You’re just unaware of what MS is doing.
    Google’s not done much innovating lately besides buyouts, and they’ve done NOTHING to improve their search; it’s the same as it was years ago, only with worse results as time goes on.

  57. “I’m so glad they ditched that scrolling thing they had before… It was terrible.

    The problem here, is that MS’s business plan seems to still be “lets be as good as google.”

    The main problem is, they’re not innovating. They’re simply letting other companies do the research and innovation and adopting best practices (eventually). That’s no way to catch up.”
    —————————

    I think MS was the first to have algebraic searches, and related searches. And they have the scratchpad for image searches, soon to be made available for all searches (according to internet rumor). And they had the single-page infinite scroll (fine, they tested it and it didn’t work, but it was still innovative; it’s still used for their image search).

    You’re just unaware of what MS is doing.
    Google’s not done much innovating lately besides buyouts, and they’ve done NOTHING to improve their search; it’s the same as it was years ago, only with worse results as time goes on.

  58. “Why? Like you stated in your post. Trust.”
    ————————–
    LOLOLOL
    “Trust?” For a web search engine?? Why would I, or anyone need to “trust” a search engine? You try a search and see what the results are. Unless you’re referring to Google’s storing all of your searches so they can profile you so as to feed you pointless ads; maybe that’s what you “trust” Google to do. I don’t waste time “trusting” something as inconsequential as a search engine.

  59. “Why? Like you stated in your post. Trust.”
    ————————–
    LOLOLOL
    “Trust?” For a web search engine?? Why would I, or anyone need to “trust” a search engine? You try a search and see what the results are. Unless you’re referring to Google’s storing all of your searches so they can profile you so as to feed you pointless ads; maybe that’s what you “trust” Google to do. I don’t waste time “trusting” something as inconsequential as a search engine.

  60. Bat: I disagree that Google hasn’t improved over the past few years. It’s gotten better in my searches that I track. Also, they’ve added tons of little features like movie reviews, weather data, stock charts, and other things. Also, Google Local blows away everyone else.

  61. Bat: I disagree that Google hasn’t improved over the past few years. It’s gotten better in my searches that I track. Also, they’ve added tons of little features like movie reviews, weather data, stock charts, and other things. Also, Google Local blows away everyone else.

  62. Bat: I definitely trust Google. I’ve done 10s of thousands of searches on it and it behaves consistently and quickly. That builds my trust of what it’ll bring back and do for me.

  63. Bat: I definitely trust Google. I’ve done 10s of thousands of searches on it and it behaves consistently and quickly. That builds my trust of what it’ll bring back and do for me.

  64. For me, it’s going to near impossible to switch more than 50% of my searches away from google. The reason is that my brain is just wired to type http://www.google.com when I want to search. Also, as a firefox user, I am used to using the search box, which defaults to google.

    That said, recently, I have made about 1/3 of my searches on live.com. The reason is that the results are very good, but often significantly (and usefully) different than google.

    I would say that live.com would be a huge success if they could reach 25% search share.

  65. For me, it’s going to near impossible to switch more than 50% of my searches away from google. The reason is that my brain is just wired to type http://www.google.com when I want to search. Also, as a firefox user, I am used to using the search box, which defaults to google.

    That said, recently, I have made about 1/3 of my searches on live.com. The reason is that the results are very good, but often significantly (and usefully) different than google.

    I would say that live.com would be a huge success if they could reach 25% search share.

  66. Google wins hands down for me. Why? I type in my full name and the first link is to my blog. What’s so great about that? The fact that my full name appears nowhere on my blog or my profile. Try it in Yahoo or MS Live and the best I come up with is a friend’s blog within the first 20 listings which has a link with my full name.

    Now that’s what I call impressive. Of course, it might be related to the fact that I am on Blogger, but it is still impressive.

  67. Google wins hands down for me. Why? I type in my full name and the first link is to my blog. What’s so great about that? The fact that my full name appears nowhere on my blog or my profile. Try it in Yahoo or MS Live and the best I come up with is a friend’s blog within the first 20 listings which has a link with my full name.

    Now that’s what I call impressive. Of course, it might be related to the fact that I am on Blogger, but it is still impressive.

  68. Just like techie duping YouTube ain’t gonna pull in any converts, so too will “making it better” not work. It’s about the experience and the community per se…Google has a lot of history, offerings and hooks to keep people coming back.

    But on the flipside, Google has gotten all noised-up, blog and Wiki city, it’s half worthless for me. It’s not really a search engine, it’s an advertising engine. Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw, ok now that’s a search engine…

    Live seems slower than a one-legged locust…and to quote that FBI guy from ‘Prison Break’, the problem with being on the trail, is that you will always be behind…it always feels “me too”.

    Google can’t do applications and UI’s, Microsoft can (halfway), but should just stop trying to outdo Google, Apple and Sony, and focus on their core strengths. It really only provides for an endless source of amusement for the public and press, as you watch the geeks acting all faux cool, loaded up with a UMPC or Tablet, Microsoft Smartphone, Zune, 360 with HD-DVD add-on’s, doing Windows Live tricks with a straight face even — this while spending billions of shareholders money in never-ending futile pursuits, worshipping the Gods of Failure. Well, it also keeps Wilcox and Gartenberg gainfully employed…

  69. Google is playing to not lose. Altavista used to be the best search and then paid results messed it up. It was easy for Google to enter the search market when that happened. If Google can maintain the purity of its results it can stay in the game.

  70. Google is playing to not lose. Altavista used to be the best search and then paid results messed it up. It was easy for Google to enter the search market when that happened. If Google can maintain the purity of its results it can stay in the game.

  71. Just like techie duping YouTube ain’t gonna pull in any converts, so too will “making it better” not work. It’s about the experience and the community per se…Google has a lot of history, offerings and hooks to keep people coming back.

    But on the flipside, Google has gotten all noised-up, blog and Wiki city, it’s half worthless for me. It’s not really a search engine, it’s an advertising engine. Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw, ok now that’s a search engine…

    Live seems slower than a one-legged locust…and to quote that FBI guy from ‘Prison Break’, the problem with being on the trail, is that you will always be behind…it always feels “me too”.

    Google can’t do applications and UI’s, Microsoft can (halfway), but should just stop trying to outdo Google, Apple and Sony, and focus on their core strengths. It really only provides for an endless source of amusement for the public and press, as you watch the geeks acting all faux cool, loaded up with a UMPC or Tablet, Microsoft Smartphone, Zune, 360 with HD-DVD add-on’s, doing Windows Live tricks with a straight face even — this while spending billions of shareholders money in never-ending futile pursuits, worshipping the Gods of Failure. Well, it also keeps Wilcox and Gartenberg gainfully employed…

  72. [...] 마이크로소프트의 Live.com 검색이 구글과 거의 동등한 수준을 보인다고 Scoble이 전합니다. 속도와 인터페이스도 뛰어날뿐더러 몇몇 키워드에서는 구글과 동등하거나 오히려 나은 결과를 보연준다고하네요. 음.. 그래도 구글에 이미 익숙해진 사람들의 검색 습관을 바꾸기는 힘들꺼고 그걸 극복하려면 구글을 완전히 압도해야한다는 마무리. [...]

  73. Hmm, I disagree that Google local is definitely miles better than local.live: Local.live produces miles better results for the part of the UK I live (East Anglia). Check it out! (I specially love the bird’s eye view over Cambridge).

    However there’s certainly lots more intelligence and knowledge that needs to be developed, e.g., local live is abysmal on address searches, even for London!

  74. Hmm, I disagree that Google local is definitely miles better than local.live: Local.live produces miles better results for the part of the UK I live (East Anglia). Check it out! (I specially love the bird’s eye view over Cambridge).

    However there’s certainly lots more intelligence and knowledge that needs to be developed, e.g., local live is abysmal on address searches, even for London!

  75. “What is missing in the comparisons so far is that which is not the search. That is, I decided to launch the google page and live search, and perhaps it’s location, but the live search took ages. The fact that it did a redirect, and then the ‘front’ page has much more text and graphics to render, all that conspired to a very slow load time.”

    What are you talking about? This page here?

    http://search.live.com

    That is a bare bones page. It has less text than Google’s, and while it has a couple of extra graphics, they are smaller than Google’s huge logo — I bet the number bytes works out to be similar. And sure, it does a redirect, but so does Google. I type ‘google.com’ and it redirects me to google.ca.

    Google’s page does load faster, but the difference is very very minimal. I wouldn’t even ascribe it to the content of the pages. I think Google’s servers farm is just faster.

  76. “What is missing in the comparisons so far is that which is not the search. That is, I decided to launch the google page and live search, and perhaps it’s location, but the live search took ages. The fact that it did a redirect, and then the ‘front’ page has much more text and graphics to render, all that conspired to a very slow load time.”

    What are you talking about? This page here?

    http://search.live.com

    That is a bare bones page. It has less text than Google’s, and while it has a couple of extra graphics, they are smaller than Google’s huge logo — I bet the number bytes works out to be similar. And sure, it does a redirect, but so does Google. I type ‘google.com’ and it redirects me to google.ca.

    Google’s page does load faster, but the difference is very very minimal. I wouldn’t even ascribe it to the content of the pages. I think Google’s servers farm is just faster.

  77. I have completely switched over to live.com for searching. In fact, next month will be 1 year since I stopped using google on a daily basis.

  78. I have completely switched over to live.com for searching. In fact, next month will be 1 year since I stopped using google on a daily basis.

  79. [...] Robert Scoble says that Windows Live Search is a lot better than it used to be.  He’s generating some good discussion in the comments, too.  The points being made about Live Search; that it’s getting better, that getting Google users to switch means more than just getting better at search; that Live.com is a key to the success of Live Search, and that the game is just beginning, are all points we discuss in depth in the round table discussion.  Give it a listen. Published Friday, October 13, 2006 8:58 AM by Kip Kniskern Filed under: LiveSide, Live.com, Search [...]

  80. In IE7 I set my home page to Google and leave my search box (top right) at the default Windows Live.

    Force of habit keeps me on Google but it’s good to have Live as a second opinion, plus I have the other plug-in search providers.

  81. In IE7 I set my home page to Google and leave my search box (top right) at the default Windows Live.

    Force of habit keeps me on Google but it’s good to have Live as a second opinion, plus I have the other plug-in search providers.

  82. Microsoft’s search may be “a lot better than it used to be”, but it’s still not quite as good as Google Search, and *both* are still grossly sub-par compared to Apple’s Spotlight.

  83. Microsoft’s search may be “a lot better than it used to be”, but it’s still not quite as good as Google Search, and *both* are still grossly sub-par compared to Apple’s Spotlight.

  84. Robert, I don’t think that Google’s local stuff blows away Live’s at all. What are you talking about?
    Can you give some examples? Or are you just regurgitating Silicon-Valley doctrine?

  85. Robert, I don’t think that Google’s local stuff blows away Live’s at all. What are you talking about?
    Can you give some examples? Or are you just regurgitating Silicon-Valley doctrine?

  86. Bat: I just did a search for San Francisco Sushi. I like the speed a LOT better and the formatting is better on Google. But, yeah, you’re right, Live.com has largely caught up there as well. Thanks for challenging me on that.

  87. Bat: I just did a search for San Francisco Sushi. I like the speed a LOT better and the formatting is better on Google. But, yeah, you’re right, Live.com has largely caught up there as well. Thanks for challenging me on that.

  88. It is a lot better, and my default engine because I use Vista, but it still sucks because the CACHING sucks. It doesn’t highlight anything, the cache fails half the time, and there’s no text-only option.

    Also, as mentioned in the mini-msft blog foriegn language results seems iffy.

  89. It is a lot better, and my default engine because I use Vista, but it still sucks because the CACHING sucks. It doesn’t highlight anything, the cache fails half the time, and there’s no text-only option.

    Also, as mentioned in the mini-msft blog foriegn language results seems iffy.

  90. [...] Robert Scoble has a post where he feels that Live search is getting better. I have been using Live search for quite some time and now use it fulltime as I find it excellent. Now you may think that I am biased as I work for Microsoft but that’s not the reason. I was looking at my referrals log for this blog and in the last 3 months I see that live.com and search.msn.com brings in 20% of my referrals and google has gone down from 100% to about 76%. This is a huge improvement as same time last year I used to have 0 referrals from search.msn.com. My referrals is not such a huge collection and was wondering if people with higher referral  volume see such similar spike. [...]

  91. i think live search is better than google. i would probaly only use google for like very tough searches, where you need a lot of results. but if i go to common everyday sites, then i probaly don’t need google to list millions of sites that i would probaly not care about. i’ve also heard that google spies on what you search and do on the internet. and i kind of don’t trust a company that would do that. i also like the suggested searches that they give along side your search, in case you want to be more specific. i know use live search all the time because i find it more convenient.

  92. i think live search is better than google. i would probaly only use google for like very tough searches, where you need a lot of results. but if i go to common everyday sites, then i probaly don’t need google to list millions of sites that i would probaly not care about. i’ve also heard that google spies on what you search and do on the internet. and i kind of don’t trust a company that would do that. i also like the suggested searches that they give along side your search, in case you want to be more specific. i know use live search all the time because i find it more convenient.

  93. I have already switched to Windows Live Video Search.
    It gives me all relevant video results from ALL video services, compared to Google’s Video search, which only searches Google Video(and soon I am sure YouTube).

    However what kind of Search Engine only shows results from one website(their own)? Well that is what Google Video Search does.

    Switched to Windows Live Video search.

  94. I have already switched to Windows Live Video Search.
    It gives me all relevant video results from ALL video services, compared to Google’s Video search, which only searches Google Video(and soon I am sure YouTube).

    However what kind of Search Engine only shows results from one website(their own)? Well that is what Google Video Search does.

    Switched to Windows Live Video search.

  95. Its been intersting to read all of the comments. Several have mentioned this and I am not adding anything new. But I do find that the quality of results from Live Search seems better than Google. I find that I am wading through less of irrelevant sites and am getting to find things more precisely. My searches are not so much on social spaces (maps, places etc) but are more on finance related areas. I have now switched over entirely to Live Search for the last 2 months and I am happy with it.

    Its wonderful to be an user and keep switching to whatever works, isnt it? Especially if you dont have a cost attached to it. :-)

  96. Its been intersting to read all of the comments. Several have mentioned this and I am not adding anything new. But I do find that the quality of results from Live Search seems better than Google. I find that I am wading through less of irrelevant sites and am getting to find things more precisely. My searches are not so much on social spaces (maps, places etc) but are more on finance related areas. I have now switched over entirely to Live Search for the last 2 months and I am happy with it.

    Its wonderful to be an user and keep switching to whatever works, isnt it? Especially if you dont have a cost attached to it. :-)

  97. Robert,

    You asked what can Microsoft do to hurt Google. I’m surprised, coming from MS that you don’t acknowledge the obvious: 95% of Google’s customers come to the via Windows. By making search integrated into the Vista OS, defaulting to live,com and bypassing the browser, MS — just by providing search results that are “good enough” for most customers — can put a big dent in Google’s revenue. Could be why Google is trying so desperately to diversify their product offerings beyond browser-based search.

    People make such a big deal about Google Office taking aim at Microsoft’s major source of income, while never acknowledging just how vulnerable Google’s single source of income is.

  98. Robert,

    You asked what can Microsoft do to hurt Google. I’m surprised, coming from MS that you don’t acknowledge the obvious: 95% of Google’s customers come to the via Windows. By making search integrated into the Vista OS, defaulting to live,com and bypassing the browser, MS — just by providing search results that are “good enough” for most customers — can put a big dent in Google’s revenue. Could be why Google is trying so desperately to diversify their product offerings beyond browser-based search.

    People make such a big deal about Google Office taking aim at Microsoft’s major source of income, while never acknowledging just how vulnerable Google’s single source of income is.

  99. [...] Scoble gives credit to Live on Search Performance..! Well Scoble hasnt been positive on all things Search from Microsoft, looks that has changed for the time being. Damn, I saw some people talking about how much better Microsoft’s Live Search was and I just tried a few searches and, indeed, it’s a lot better than it used to be. They’ve significantly closed the gap with Google. How does it do on your favorite searches? I even picked out a random Windows API call and did a search on that. MSN used to always suck on those. But Live.com gets it right. It’s also fast and the UI is nice. I think it matches Google all the way around on search. Full post here: http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2006/10/12/microsofts-search-a-lot-better-than-it-used-to-be/ Nice to see credit where it’s due!  Cheers Filed under: Search, Business [...]

  100. Unless live.com can drive enough traffic (more than 85% of my traffic is from Google), I dont think it is relevant enough. If Google can, so can Live!

  101. Are you kidding me? Live.com is still wide open for spammers. It’s easy to manipulate.

    Look at the search result for [cheap fares]. It’s full of bogus affiliate blogspot blogs all owned by the same person (who’s probably raking in over $10k/day based on that one term alone). The technical term for this is “pwned”. :)

  102. Are you kidding me? Live.com is still wide open for spammers. It’s easy to manipulate.

    Look at the search result for [cheap fares]. It’s full of bogus affiliate blogspot blogs all owned by the same person (who’s probably raking in over $10k/day based on that one term alone). The technical term for this is “pwned”. :)

  103. After reading all the comments, my personal favorite was Bat’s: “MS was the first to have algebraic searches.”

    I can honestly say that in my years at Google, I don’t think anyone has asked me for that feature, and I’m a heavy user of the calculator feature. :)

  104. After reading all the comments, my personal favorite was Bat’s: “MS was the first to have algebraic searches.”

    I can honestly say that in my years at Google, I don’t think anyone has asked me for that feature, and I’m a heavy user of the calculator feature. :)

  105. I have been using Live search for a month now on both my work machine and laptop. I find the results just as good quality as Google’s. I’ve tried Google when I’ve been unhappy with Live’s result, only to find every time that Google didn’t find better results anyway.

    It took me a few days to even accept Live’s search results without checking the same query on Google!

  106. I have been using Live search for a month now on both my work machine and laptop. I find the results just as good quality as Google’s. I’ve tried Google when I’ve been unhappy with Live’s result, only to find every time that Google didn’t find better results anyway.

    It took me a few days to even accept Live’s search results without checking the same query on Google!

  107. Oh I had forgotten the word ‘Search’ and ‘Google’ has replaced it in my dictionary! It’ll be rather difficult to accept anything other than google, unless something truly magical is provided by any other search engine!

  108. Oh I had forgotten the word ‘Search’ and ‘Google’ has replaced it in my dictionary! It’ll be rather difficult to accept anything other than google, unless something truly magical is provided by any other search engine!

  109. Well I think that it is good enough for me to use it and since it is already in I.E toolbar why not. I have been using it for over a month on a daily basis, I used to do all my searches with Google…Live is good! You should try it for at least few days before making a decision…

  110. Well I think that it is good enough for me to use it and since it is already in I.E toolbar why not. I have been using it for over a month on a daily basis, I used to do all my searches with Google…Live is good! You should try it for at least few days before making a decision…