A few weeks ago Orchid Box brought you a review of the four top new search engines - Bing, Wolfram, Cuil and Kosmix. Hearing today that Bing has overtaken Yahoo in the US in terms of traffic, we reckon it's time for an update...

 

Bing is trying, but Google is still no. 1

 

1/ Bing

So as mentioned above, Bing has stepped up to the plate for the new search engine kids and taken up the mantle of main Google challenger (though they are still well behind the G-Dog - 88% of the market compared to 6%). And even if it isn't dominating the market, Bing search has already exceeded expectations. Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer expected (or hoped) Bing might gain the second position after five years, so after just a few weeks this is an impressive gain. Whether traffic falls away after the initial novelty of a new search toy to play with remains to be seenl (you would imagine that a large amount of traffic came from one-time quick users or analysers trying it out) but we can safely say it is a step in the right direction.

If we look at one of Orchid Box's clients - Bookarmy.com - we can see that already traffic has begun to arrive at the site through Bing. Initially Analytics treated Bing.com as a referral site but it has now kindly been promoted to the position of "search engine", joining Google, Yahoo and Altavista amongst others in the coveted section.

 

Bing as a Referral (8/06/09)

 Bing As A Referral

Bing as a Search Engine (15/06/09)

 Bing as a search engine

 

Cuil

Oh dear. It might look different and have some nifty tricks to it, but Cuil has largely been a disaster since it's launch. Criticised for its irrelevant or slow search results, its creators attempts to bring up an image with every search brought shocking results.

Kosmix

 Kosmix, considering it's comparative size and investment hasn't done too badly. Though it was launched several years ago the real categorisation of the search results, and hence its exclusivity, didn't come in till late last year so an analysis is now finally fair. Traffic wise it doesn't do too well, but not awfully either, but it has performed well enough to earn further investment and links to other sites, such as RevolutionHealth. Time will tell if this development will make any difference.

Wolfram

Though criticised by some for over complicating results, Wolfram has performed reasonably well in terms of expectations. The ridiculously complicated algorithm which drives the engine has been lauded in terms of its effectiveness and complexity, and some have argued that the maths is more important than the search engine results. Personally I feel Wolfram should be criticised for the somewhat uninventive and egotistical naming of the project - not quite the levels of vanity seen when Amerigo Vespucci named the large stretch of land he explored - but it's more exciting when we have to struggle, decifer and hypothesise over the origin of these ridiculous brand names.

Bing, Google - Should all Search Engines have Stupid names?

As a final comparison bear this in mind: between them Wolfram, Kosmix and Cuil have brought Bookarmy absolutely nil traffic in June, even overtaken by obscure Czech search engine Seznam which no-one in the world outside of the Czech nation can possibly have heard of (the traffic didn't stay for too long if you were wondering).

Not exactly a shining endorsement for those three then!

It could be argued Bing has had a head start on the others as it is a Microsoft development, but it's still a commendable feat taking it to second so quickly. Can they consolidate? Can they gain? Will my paint skills get any better by the next post. It's all up for debate...