Redmond is challenging Google once again to Bing It On. Microsoft is targeting so-called Scroogle with another combative campaign that aims to turn the heads of the search engine masses -- this time in the United Kingdom.
The campaign suggests trying out trending searches on Google and Bing side by side. The four on the home page on Friday morning are “California abortion law,” “Michael Douglas,” “Richard Belzer SVU,” and “Craig Robinson.” I chose “California abortion law” in my test.
Bing wanted to know which results I thought were better: the list on the left or the list on the right. I chose the right. Next, I searched for “NSA data center.” I chose the results on the left this time. Finally, in the last of three searches, I clicked on “Planet with no sun.” I chose the results on the right.
I had to go through two more searches before I got the results. And the results were in Bing’s favor. Bing won three out of the four searches. I tended to choose the search results that included videos, photos and other standard background articles on the news topic. Bing provided that whereas the Google results were almost all strictly news.
Are The Results Accurate?
We turned to Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Research, to get his thoughts on the Bing It On campaign. He told us there was recently a controversy as Yale professor Ian Ayers sought to replicate it and then claimed he had debunked the Bing It On challenge. Microsoft disputed the study just as he and his research had disputed the earlier Bing results.
“This is a U.K. campaign, which I don't believe Microsoft has done previously. The marketing does get attention and generate discussion. So on a pure awareness level, regardless of whether the methodology is sound or the results accurate, it's a success for Microsoft. However it's very unlikely to have a major impact on real-world usage,” Sterling said.
The thing that was most interesting about the Yale-Ayers study, which sought to disprove Bing It On, was that Google won 53 percent of the time and Bing won 41 percent of the time. Even though Bing wasn't preferred by the majority it came closer to Google than might have been expected.”
Microsoft Stands By Bing
The first Bing It On campaign rolled out about a year ago. Redmond pointed to its independent study that shows people prefer Bing search results over Google. Although most people identify themselves as Google searchers, the study shows people chose Bing Web search results over Google nearly two-to-one in blind comparison tests.
"In addition to better search results, Bing also includes useful information from your friends and experts from Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Foursquare and more, which is not available on Google," said Mike Nichols, corporate vice president and chief marketing officer of Bing. "If you want the best search results and a new, more useful way to search with your friends, try Bing today."