Firstly, we’d like to apologise to anyone who has landed on this page looking for advice on actually changing the headlights in a 1984 Ford Escort. This article does not feature any useful tips on how to swap out your headlights, sorry. It does feature useful advice on how to find that information though – so you may wish to read on.
So, what are we talking about? We’re talking about longtail search and how the different search engines deal with requests such as this. More and more searches on the Internet these days are longtail, with people looking for specific answers to specific problems. The best search engines are the ones that offer answers to these problems, and the ones that don’t are, well, fairly useless.
With that in mind we asked Google, Yahoo and Bing the same question to see how they offered to help. We asked each search engine the following:
How do I change the headlights in a 1984 Ford Escort?
Here is what they had to say for themselves.
Yahoo took our search query, ignored the actual question part of it and just offered up websites about the Ford Escort. Websites such as wikicars.org and escortfocus.com were Yahoo’s best effort at answering our question. As you will agree, fairly useless. We didn’t ask for a history lesson on the Ford Escort, we asked how to change the headlights. Thanks for nothing Yahoo.
We then moved on to Bing and asked it the same question. Bing at least heard the word ‘headlights’, but had no idea why we’d mentioned them. Bing offered up ciao.co.uk as its first two results. Obviously Bing though we needed to read some reviews on the Ford Escort and possible see some price comparisons for buying one. Nice effort Bing, but again utterly useless.
Then we asked Google. Google, unlike the other two search engines, actually listened to our query and understood that were looking for advice on ‘changing the headlights’. Google offered up two results that quickly led to the correct information.
So who would you ask for advice on something specific such as changing the headlights on a Ford Escort? Would you ask the search engine that offered a history lesson on the Ford Escort, the search engine that offered some reviews on the Ford Escort, or the search engine that offered to tell you how to change the headlights?
This is why Google is the most used search engine, it works.