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Inquisitive and competitive by nature, we wondered what would happen if we typed in very same question at Google. So we asked Google, "What is mass of Jupiter?" Amazingly enough, Google spat out an answer right at top of their results page as well. But Google's answer was, "mass of Jupiter = 8987 × 10 to 27th power kilograms." Now, we're Internet marketing experts, not rocket scientists, but it appeared that Google actually provided more precise answer.
Good humored sports that we are, we went promptly back to MSN Search to give it another try. Since their first result at least taught us that Jupiter's mass is 318 times that of Earth's mass, we typed in next logical question, "What is mass of Earth?," thinking that we could then arrive at our own conclusion by multiplying that answer by 318 to arrive at answer Google had already provided.
Unfortunately, MSN's answer to "What is mass of Earth?" was "Answer: World: mass: 1 Earth masses"
You'd think that folks over at MSN would have tested their examples on MSN Search as well as testing same queries on other major competitors before selecting them for final cut. Well, maybe not.
We then spent better part of afternoon periodically asking MSN Search and Google questions to see how they'd fare. If you're ever bored, try asking them, "How hot is sun?", "How many eggs are in a bakers dozen?" or "How far is it from New York to Utah?"
Here's what we learned from our afternoon of follies.
1. If you're looking for encyclopedia-type answers to questions like "What is a marsupial?" ask MSN Search (or visit encyclopedia.com or Britannica.com)
2. If you’re looking for a black and white photo of daisies, use MSN Search because image search is nicely arranged and you can filter results by size as well as by color or black and white.
3. If you’re looking for results “near me,” stick with Google’s automatically localized results by including city and state in your query.
4. If you’re looking for most precise answer, perhaps you should stick with Google (at least for now).
Lisa Melvin is the Search Engine Optimization Copywriter at WebAdvantage.net, the Traffic Optimization Company, Maximizing the visibility of their clients’ sites, driving targeted traffic and increasing sales with their Search Engine Optimization, Media Buying and Online Marketing Services.