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Bing Showing More Than 10 Results Per Page... Sometimes

bing vs. google

Bing vs. Google - which should you choose when you need to find something online? For most consumers, the decision starts with an even simpler question: "what the heck is the difference, anyways?" Bing, which is largely tied with Yahoo for search engine market share (in other words, way behind the Big G), understands this, and is doing everything it can to differentiate itself from the search giant.

The most recent example of this attempt comes in the form of a break from the classic mold of showing 10 and exactly 10 results on each SERP, as Search Engine Land reports.

Bing has been experimenting with this for months, and it now looks like the change is here to stay. At the same time, Google is doing some experimentation of its own by offering only seven results per page for certain types of queries.

Random Number of Results Each Time - a Bug?

The change to Bing's search engine results pages was initially observed by users at Webmaster World, who initially believed the change to be a bug. However, when questioned, Microsoft stated that the change was an intentional feature included with its June update, and not a bug at all. The MS spokesperson said that "in cases where there are answers (like a photo or video or news answer), we may provide a few more links to ensure there is right number of algo in addition to the answer blocks."

Despite this vague rule of thumb, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land reports that he's unable to find any actual logic as to whether Bing displays 10, 12 or even 18 results on a given page. Some searches reveal 15 results on page 2, while others reveal 11, and the difference can even present itself from user to user for the exact same query.

A Big Enough Difference Between Google and Bing?

If there's any clear difference between Bing and Google's approach to results-per-age at this point, it's that Bing leans toward long (up to 18 or even more results on a page) while Google is leaning short (either 7 or 10 links, in most cases).

So the question is, which one will users ultimately prefer? It's easy to support either case; some users will enjoy the ability to see a larger selection of links without performing that dreaded "second click beyond the initial search," while others may suffer from sensory overload if they're given too many choices at a time.

From a site owner/developer perspective, showing up on the first page of Bing when you'd otherwise show up on the second page of Google could only be viewed as a good thing. But does this mean that site owners will allocate more of their efforts toward optimizing for a search engine that only holds around 10% market share by some estimates when Google holds nearly 75%? This remains to be seen.

Does the fact that Bing is showing more results on each page of search results make you more likely to care about whether your site is optimized for Bing? Let us know in the comments section below.

Ryan Lundin

Posted on 4th September, 2012 by Ryan Lundin

About Ryan Lundin

Ryan Lundin is a content curator, manager, editor and writer from Marquette, MI.

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