hakia Launches NoBrandSearch.com, a Blind Test of Search Engines

hakia's new site, NoBrandSearch.com, is an attempt at offering up a blind "taste test" of search results. The idea is that users should be surprised that their choice isn't Google all the time. Likely, hakia is hoping that its own search engine is chosen most of the time.

Each time you search, two sets of results are provided. They're chosen from four search engines: Google, Yahoo!, Bing and hakia.

However, the results only included the ten organic links you're used to seeing. It does NOT include Instant Answers or one box features that search engines are increasingly including.

Take, for example, a search for US tennis star, Andy Roddick. The Australian Open has just begun, so let's do a NoBrandSearch for his name. (Click on any of the images below for a larger image.)

Screen shot 2010-01-18 at 2.32.51 PM.png

As you can see, the results feature your basic fare - the official site, Wikipedia, etc. Click to vote for either set of results and you find out that these results are from Yahoo! and Bing.

Screen shot 2010-01-18 at 2.33.25 PM.png

But here's what you really get if you go to Yahoo! and Bing:

Screen shot 2010-01-18 at 2.33.56 PM.png

Screen shot 2010-01-18 at 2.33.37 PM.png

The same scenario plays out over many types of searches, including travel information and movies.

hakia's NoBrandSearch.com is good at showing two things:

  • Search is not just 10 blue links anymore
  • Those 10 organic links are pretty much the same across all search engines, just shuffled up a bit.

Even when you go and see the added features such as movie times and sports scores, you realize that most of the search engines provide the same results. The big question remains: Why do users overwhelmingly choose Google?