“Nice Grouping” from Young Frankenstein (1974). To hit the bull’s eye when searching, sometimes you have to know how to ‘cheat’
In this article review, I will be summarizing “A Comparative Study of Google and Bing Search Engines in Context of Precision and Relative Recall Parameter” by Tauqeer Ahman Usmani, Durgesh Pant, and Ashutosh Kumar Bhatt.
Umsani et al.’s article evaluates the effectiveness of Google and Bing using 3 types of searches: simple one word, simple multiple word, and complex multi-word. The search engines were evaluated for their precision and recall for each of these types of searches. To understand their evaluation, here are some definitions:
Precision: the quality of searching the right information accurately, specifically in this study, results were categorized as more relevant, less relevant, irrelevant, links (a page of only links, no information), and inaccessible. Links were given scores according to relevancy, and precision was calculated as the ratio of the sum of these scores to the total number of sites selected for evaluation.
Relative recall: a ratio that is the number of relevant records retrieved compared to the total number of relevant records available. Usmani et al.’s ratio is total number of sites retrieved by search engine / sum of sites retrieved by Bing and Google.
Here’s a list of the search terms used in the study:
Simple one word searches
Simple multi-word searches
- Semantic web
- Search engines
- Operating system
- Office automation
- Managerial statistics
Complex multi-word searches
- Internet and its uses
- Evaluation of computer world
- System analysis and design
- Policies and planning of Indian government
- Evaluation of Indian history
For each term, 100 sites were analyzed from Google’s and Bing’s results. Usmani et al. score, tabulate, and correlate their results to reach a conclusion that is mixed. According to their analysis of the precision of each search engine, Google scores high for simple one word searches, but Bing scores high for simple multi-word and complex searches. For relative recall, Google scored highest in all categories, however it was found that both search engines returned more irrelevant results compared to relevant results. Taken together, the authors conclude that Google is best for simple one-word searches, while Bing is better for more complex theories.
What I conclude from this is a fact that is clearer now that I am reaching the end of my month with Bing: searching and finding the best information is about using multiple search engines, databases, and resources. If one method or search engine doesn’t work, don’t give up – try something different. Each search engine has its own pros and cons, so it is important to use a variety of searching tools and techniques based on your needs.
 Usmani, T., Pant, D., Bhatt, A. K. (2012). A comparative study of Google and Bing search engines in context of precision and relative recall parameter. International Journal on Computer Science and Engineering, 4(1), 21-34.