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Bing Vs Google - A Performance Perspective

Being the total acceleration junkie that I am the first time a new site is launched or recommended to me the first thing I do is take a look at the performance of it.  So when I heard about Bing the first thing I did was fire up HttpWatch and take a look at the site.  To make things a little more interesting I decided to compare the results to Google, I used the classic home page and not my customized iGoogle home page.

Tests were conducted from my home broadband connection in London, England.  Each test was done with a fresh instance of the browser and with an empty browser cache.  I did access the sites multiple times to make sure that there were no anomalies (which there weren't)  below are the results from one test run.  What was I searching for - ME!

  Bing Google
Number of Objects 11 11
Total Home Page Size 114K 52K
Total Download Time for Home Page 3.2 seconds .867 seconds
Search Results 1.55 .666
Number of Search Results 6440 2700

Looking into the statistics a little further I was curious why with the same number of objects on the page the Bing site was twice as heavy as Google.  Turns out the culprit is the background photo, in the test runs I conducted the background image was 74K.  Being a photography buff I think the photo was excellent but for almost 65% of the total download size to be attributed to a single background image is a bit much for a search engine.  

Both sites try to predict what you are searching for and provide suggestions, in both instances these requests were miniscule and the response times ranged from .04 -.08 for both sites.

Bing and Google both realized that I was in the UK and offered to allow me to search for results only in the UK or the entire web.  I chose the entire web for both.  Being in the UK Google does redirect me from www.google.com to www.google.co.uk.  The 302 redirection took .157 seconds    

I'm not sure why Bing returned over twice as many search results for my name, I didn't have the time to go through all the entries.  I also hadn't realized I was that popular on the web.


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More Stories By Dawn Parzych

Dawn Parzych is a Technical Product Marketing Manager at Instart Logic. Dawn has had a passion for web performance for over 15 years with a focus on how to make the web faster. As a technical product marketing manager at Instart Logic, she researches and writes about trends in the web performance space and how they impact the user experience. Prior to joining Instart Logic, Dawn worked at F5 Networks, Gomez & Empirix.

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