Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A day with MSN Search Beta

I have been a Google search user for a few years now. I do almost 100% of my search using Google. Given all the hype around MSN search, i decided to use ot for a day and figure out whether it in anyway enhances my search experience. I logged every important search i made today and have given reasons why i feel one engine is better than the other as far as helpful search results go.

1) I use Firefox for my daily work, and it provides a Google search box by default. So i decided to get a similar msn search box. So searched both MSN and Google. Google's first result pointed me to Ryanware blog which contained an installation for the msn search plugin, while MSN didn't get this result anywhere in the first page. Google - 1, MSN - 0
2) For writing a new windows based tools, i often refer to MSDN for getting the API definitions and other MFC class related info. I dont search normally MSDN, but i use Google and search for example, "msdn+CCommandLineinfo''. In this specific example search, Google gave the class definition from MSDN as the first result., while MSN didnt show the class definition page anywhere in the first page. Google - 2, MSN - 0
3) I use QNX as my embedded OS at work. So similar to the search 2 above, i use the QNX webpage for help on API functions. So here is an example search on MSN and Google. Google as usual gets me the right page as the first result. MSN doesn't have the exact page as the first result, and it has links to the right page in a few results, so iam not that disappointed with this result. So i give equal points to both Google and MSN. Google - 2.5 MSN-0.5
4) Searching for BSNL broadband on Google gave the BSNL's broadband application form as the first result, which is pretty impressive. MSN pointed to the BSNL homepage as the 5th result. OK, but not up to the mark. Also in this search case, having the news items pointing to the launch of BSNL broadband on top of the page on Google was very helpful. Google - 3.5 MSN - 0.5
5) Searching for Bangalore Habba, MSN managed to find the homepage, while Google was just pointing to some news items about the Habba. Google 3.5 MSN 1.5
6) Searching for the PGSM course at IIM, Bangalore . Google has the best results. MSN not up to the mark. Google 4.5 MSN 1.5

Most other searches Google and MSN were mostly close. But still given that Google consistently gives better results, looks like MSN folks have a lot more work to do.

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