By now millions of people have heard about and taken the “Bing It On Challenge.” Launched last month, Microsoft’s advertising campaign pitted Bing’s search results against Google’s in a blind comparison. Taking the challenge online did not help Bing win my vote, or, based on reported results, just about anyone else’s.
In the Bing It On Challenge, you simply enter search queries and choose between the two sets of results. After five rounds of searches, you see which search engine won your vote.
According to Bing, searchers use Google out of habit, but when faced with a blind comparison test, they chose Bing’s results over Google’s 2:1. Bing boasted that 2 to 1 result in ads both on and offline, but the results didn’t come from the more than 5 million people who reportedly have taken the challenge online.
The 2:1 results came from a survey conducted by an independent company, Answers Research, which Bing hired. About 4,700 people participated in it, and according to the results, the quality of Bing surprised about 64% of them. About 33% of people in the survey who primarily use Google said they would use Bing more often after taking the Challenge.
Bing says it isn’t tracking results from the online challenge, so I did some checking to see what results people reported. What did I find? Google is still king of search.
I looked at comments from the first few articles and blog posts (aside from Bing’s) ranking in search for “Bing It On”. Of the first 30 comments in which people reported taking the challenge, Google won 21 and Bing 7. Two were a draw.
Although I often feel frustrated with Google and even recently vowed to make the switch to Bing, I’ll admit it hasn’t happened yet. And based on my results, it won’t.
The first time I took the challenge, I used phrases that popped into my head. Without thinking I had used keywords from our SEO campaigns, so of course, I choose results showing client websites ranking #1. That wasn’t very fair, so I tried it again and again without using any client keywords. I tried various types of searches, even misspelled a word to see what difference it made.
Although I could tell Google’s results from Bing’s in some rounds, others looked very similar. I picked the best without bias. Google won every challenge, with most 5-0.
What about you – did you take the challenge? What were your results? Which search engine do you prefer? We want to hear about it!