Why is Google better than Live Search?

One word: relevance.

I was looking for information on WPF/e (now Silverlight) today and, without thinking twice, I went to Google to find it. However, after seeing how good the results were for this Microsoft technology, I thought I go take a look at the Redmond-giant’s own search engine and see how it performed.

Disappointing, to say the least.

Take a look at the results (I’m shrinking them to put them side by side, but you can click to see them better):

google_wpfe_silverlight7 live_search_wpfe_silverlight6

Before going into relevance, let’s talk design.

When I use a search engine, you will probably agree with me, I couldn’t care less about the search engine itself, what I want is to find resources related to my keywords.

I’ll admit that my screen resolution of 1024×768 is not targeted by Live Search, even though about 70% of users still have resolution equal to that or less (you can google* look it up on Google if you don’t believe me) but still, Google displays 5 complete top-level results while Live Search only gives me three. I don’t want to have to scroll, I want my result to be in the top five and have the top five in front of me when I execute my search.

Now let’s talk about relevance.

These are Google’s top 3 results:


Notice how result number one is a link to Microsoft’s official website for WPF/e. Even better, notice how Google’s index is so up-to-date that the title is now MSDN Silverlight Dev Center, a name which was only release one or two days ago.

Now take a look at Live Search’s top 3 results:


Do I even need to comment? I guess if Microsoft wants to offer search services and sell their products, they should by search results from Google :)

* Google would like to avoid having its name become an everyday verb.