Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Query Contest

Okay, I'm being a bit selfish with this post, but it may also give you some fun (and waste a lot of your time) over Christmas.

www.QueryContest.com compares the number of hits returned from a web search for two different terms, e.g. Beatles versus Rolling Stones, or "go boldly" versus "boldly go". QueryContest shows the number of hits for each of the two search terms - from Google, Bing and Yahoo.

In my experience, web sites of this type tend to come and go quite quickly. Either that or I keep losing the web address and cannot find it the next time I want to use it - hence the selfish idea of blogging it so I don't lose the URL!

QueryContest is limited to telling us the number of hits found worldwide for any search term, so it does not necessarily give a definitive answer to any question. Indeed, sometimes the three search engines return contradictory results (as shown for Beatles versus Rolling Stones). Nonetheless, it is useful for measuring popularity of people, things and places, and it can offer an indication of the likely correct spelling or grammar when comparing two words or phrases. For definitive answers I use dictionary.cambridge.org, but for new and emerging words and terms that are not yet in the dictionary, QueryContest helps a lot.

Have fun!