imageI had another look at Bing this morning. And soon wished I hadn’t

Microsoft’s “decision engine”, disappointingly, is still trailing way behind search leader Google in the relevance stakes. The only decision I made based on the results delivered by Bing this morning was to run promptly back to the safe haven that is Google Search.

Google doesn’t always get it right, of course… but by God it’s streets ahead of its wannabe rival.

An example of Bing’s irrelevant results

I launched a new website on Irish wildlife and natural history a couple of weeks back. It’s still very early days, and I’m not expecting it to rank highly in organic search results quite yet. For now I’m very much focussed on building a foundation of great content… the other stuff will follow.

However, it means I am interested in what search engines are serving up on keywords relevant to Ireland’s wildlife, nature and the environment. That’s what prompted me to trot over to Bing this morning and type Ireland Wildlife into the search box.

Oh dear!

imageNumber one result, according to the “Decision Engine” is a page from… wait for it… The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (Illinois). It’s a nature bulletin from March 1978 (nofollowed that one… let’s not perpetuate the idiocy) highlighting the fact there are no snakes in Ireland. It goes on to give a broad brush overview of Ireland’s natural history from an Illinois perspective. Riveting stuff!

How on earth can that be the most relevant and authoritative page in the world for a user searching for info on Ireland’s wildlife from Co. Cork? Yes, I know I can “Narrow results to only pages from Ireland”, but in all fairness I shouldn’t have to!

On the date of writing Bing’s top 5 results for “Ireland wildlife” contained a US page, a Northern Ireland Tourism page, a UK wildlife page, the generic Wikipedia entry for Ireland and… drumroll… our very own National Parks and Wildlife Service. Hallelujah… a relevant result!

Google, on the other hand, serves up the Irish Wildlife Trust homepage in pole position for the same query (spot on), followed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Fota Wildlife Park in Cork, a “Proud2beIrish” page on Ireland’s Wildlife and my @WildIreland twitter stream (which is very nice of them).

It’s only one example, sure… but you decide which search engine you think is better at relevance!