Nov 092011

New research involving popular search engines Google and Bing reveal that Google is not as “biased” in favor of its own sites as Bing. According to Search Engine Land, Bing serves Microsoft-related results “Far more” often than Google provides links to its own services in search results.

The research was done by Josh Wright, a professor of law and economics at George Mason University. Wright entered a large, random array of search queries into both Google and Bing and found that Bing favors Microsoft content more frequently and prominently than Google favors its own content. Specifically, Google references itself in its first results position in 6.7 percent of the queries, while Bing showcases Microsoft in the top spot in 14.3 percent of queries. That’s more than twice as often.

Wright believes his research will help dispel the challenges Google has faced regarding “anti-competitive behavior.” According to Search Engine Land, the popular site has been served with an FTC inquiry over its business practices, antitrust complaints and Senate hearings.

Earlier this year, however, a study conducted by Harvard professor Ben Edelman reached the opposite conclusion. His research, which involved a wide array of search engines, came to the conclusion that “Google intentionally places its results first.”

Edelman’s results may need to be taken with a grain of salt. Search Engine Land noted that Edelman has been a longtime paid consultant to Microsoft, while Wright’s research was sponsored by the International Center for Law & Economics.

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