Google Searches Still Way Better Than Siri, Study Finds

James Johnson

Since the advent of Siri voice-assisted technology for the iPhone 4S Apple has been busily promoting the technology as a Google competitor and dare we say it “killer”, there is only one problem with their claims, Siri is still a far inferior product when compared against Google search results according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

To test Siri technology Munster asked the platform 1,600 questions. He asked 800 of the questions on a busy Minneapolis street and 800 in a quiet room.

According to the Piper Jaffray study:

  • Google understands 100% of the questions (they are keyed in and not spoken)
  • Google replies accurately 86% of the time
  • Siri comprehends 83% of queries in noisy conditions, 89% in a quiet room
  • Siri answers accurately 62% of the time on the street and 68% in a quiet room.

Munster ultimately gave Apple Siri technology a “D” for accuracy while Google earned a solid B+ for search results.

In his own estimation Munster says Siri is approximately two years behind Google’s learning curve but confident that Siri will continue to improve with iOS 6 and future updates to its technology.

Siri currently receives 60% of its asnwers from Google, 20% from Yelp, 14% from WolframAlpa, 4% from yahoo and 2% from Wikipedia.

Munster suspects that Google will provide less results in the future as Siri technology looks for other third-party partners to power its tech.

“Breaking down Siri’s reliance further,” Munster writes, “Google provides 100% of navigation results, 61% of information results, 48% of commerce results and 42% of local results. Among other result aggregators, Yelp provided the most local results (51%) and commerce results (51%), while WolframAlpha provided 34% of information results.”

Here are some of the Siri mistakes CNN culled from Munsters work:

  • What team does Peyton Manning play for? Responded with the answer to the previous query. This was the most common error.
  • Where is Elvis buried? Responded I can’t answer that for you. It thought the persons name was Elvis Buried.
  • Where am I? Pin dropped in the wrong place.
  • When did the movie Cinderella come out? Responded with a movie theater search on Yelp.
  • How do I get from Boston to New York? Responded I can only give directions from your current location. I cant give you directions to a place you are not in.
  • What spices are in Lasagna? Responded with a Yelp search with lasagna on the menu.
  • When is the next Haley’s comment? Responded “You have no meetings matching Haley’s”
  • I want to go to Lake Superior? Responded with directions to the company Lake Superior X-Ray.

Are you surprised by Siri’s less than stellar search results? As Steve Wozniak recently pointed out, Siri has gotten worse and not better since being purchased by Apple, perhaps now would be a good time for the company to rapidly expand Siri’s abilities.