Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Take the blind search engine test for genealogy

Some time ago I wrote about the new Microsoft search engine, Bing. At the time, I did a specific search on the name of one of my great-grandfathers. I knew there were a number of specific online sources, including an archive in Norther Arizona University and some books that included his name. Google found all of the pertinent sources in the first search. Bing did not find any of the sources and was very disappointing. Well, it is time to re-evaluate the searches. This time I used an online tool that does a simultaneous search in three search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo. The Website is called BlindSearch and you can directly compare your own searches.

I decided to try the same search I made earlier, that is, searching for "Henry Martin Tanner." All of the three responses to the search had many useful references. After a few minutes consideration I decided on one of the lists. It turned out to be Google, the winner for me, once again. But I have to admit that both of the other searches had a lot of the relevant documents right up there in the ranking.

I understand that Microsoft, the producer of the Bing search engine, purchased the search technology from Yahoo recently. It would now be understandable why those two search engines would produce similar results. My conclusion always has been, use all the tools you have available. If one search engine does not produce results, try another. No one solution fits all on the Internet.

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