Search Engine Showdown: Wolfram|Alpha vs. bing Library Lunchable: 7/29
Wolfram|Alpha: Computational Knowledge Engine
Wolfram|Alpha: Goals “Collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything.” “Provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.”
Wolfram|Alpha: Brainy “Contains 10+ trillion pieces of data, 50,000+ types of algorithms and models, and linguistic capabilities for 1000+ domains.” Built with Mathematica(computational tool) Users can submit suggestions/feedback through Community Forum and through feedback box (bottom of page) 29 Subject Categories like Mathematics, Food & Nutrition, Earth Sciences, Money & Finance
Wolfram|Alpha: Just different Real-time computations Results can be converted to PDF; export to Excel Able to view sources that contributed to search result Sense of humor: hello, chicken Start small. Use examples and categories.
Wolfram|Alpha: Limitations & Curiosities Picky syntax; learn how to set-up formula queries for better results Utilizes natural language processing (still improving). Welcomes feedback and comments to improve search results In order to get better and grow, the database is dependent on uploads of data (does not index or crawl for data) “Know things that are known, and are somehow public. It only deals with facts, not opinions.” Search results are considered primary source. Must cite!
Wolfram|Alpha: More curiosities “If you are under age 18 you may use Wolfram|Alpha only if you have permission from a parent, legal guardian, or teacher. By using the service you are telling us either that you are over age 18 and legally able to form contracts, or that an adult with authority to act on your behalf has agreed to these terms and to be responsible for ensuring your compliance with them in your use of the service and any results you obtain from it.”
Wolfram|Alpha: Complimentary Resources WalphWiki: Teaching Undergraduate Math Using Wolfram|Alpha
Microsoft’s bing: Decision Engine
bing: Google Contender Visually stunning, cutting edge interface, enjoyable search experience Real-time results Consumer oriented: travel, shopping channels Search refined by “real-time” groupings Advanced link features: thumbnails of videos will start playing once you hover over them; excerpts of text pop up when you hover over link.
bing: Clever Features After search query, you view Quick Tabs on the left which you can use to refine your search further. Save and email results. RSS feeds of search results Can search for pages that link to MP3 files, documents Windows Live ID account: “helps you open a bing cashback account, get bing news alerts, add bing map collections, and gain full access to the bing Webmaster Center and the bing Developer Center.”
bing: Categories Shopping: Cashback account, discounts, comparison shopping, reviews Travel: Farecast Technology; search for flights, hotels, cars, cruises, vacations; Travel Blog News: RSS, alerts, videos, location Maps: share, blog, print results Videos: mouse over search results Images: size, color, layout, style, people search Local: look up local business Xrank: track popularity Web: general search
bing: Resources Access to medical information from resources including The Mayo Clinic, The American Cancer Society, MD Consult, Gold Standard, the NIH’s NCCAM and MedlinePlus Search semantically indexed Wikipedia content to help with “reference” searches when people are looking for information about a given entity (person, place or thing) Can find dictionary/encyclopedic information, conversions, financial quotes, statistical information
bing: Pros Strong consumer oriented features/ sections You can get $ from Cashback program! Great features; interesting manipulation of results, real-time results Easy to opt out of tracking history Similar advanced search as Google; slightly different advanced search keywords (like “prefer”, “hasfeed”)
bing: Cons Hidden help instructions (scroll way down the page) No advanced search box Sometimes interface becomes cluttered w/ results Using Google has become automatic; will bing become a verb?
The Showdown: Who Won? We are the winners The two search engines serve different purposes and audiences Made Google “up its game” Two great resources, in addition to Google, to add to your “search toolkit”