Two days ago we talked about how Bing is quietly trying to differentiate itself from Google by offering more than 10 results per page, something of a no-brainer that many users will probably appreciate. Microsoft is now upping the ante far more directly, with a “side-by-side search off” the company is calling “Bing It On.”
The goal is simple: convince users once and for all that the Bing search engine will show the results they’re looking for faster, more efficiently and just plain better than Google. But are users actually preferring Bing over Google in Microsoft’s contest?
5 Rounds, 1 Winner
The concept of Bing It On is simple. Visit bingiton.com, enter a search query, and you’ll be treated to two columns, each featuring their own search results. Decide whether you prefer the search results on the right or the ones on the left, and move on to the next round. After five rounds, Bing tells you whether you ultimately preferred their search results or Google’s.
According to the site, users so far are preferring Bing over Google by a 2:1 ratio. I found similar results when I tried five queries of my own, ultimately choosing Bing 4 out of 5 times. However, it’s worth noting that Bing is offering “suggested search queries” that you can click on for each round. It seems likely that Bing hand-picked these queries as ones that show significantly higher-quality results on Bing than Google. However, it also seems likely that most people carving out the time to take the Bing It On challenge will also take the time to enter their own queries.
Serious Promotion Behind the New Campaign
Microsoft is getting serious about promoting Bing It On in hopes of encouraging web users to “break the Google habit.” A television ad campaign will begin during the MTV Video Music Awards, and Bing It On challenge stations will appear at both Microsoft stores and in other locations (presumably malls and busy urban areas) across the country.
Microsoft is also offering a chance at prizes to those who tweet about Bing It On, including Xbox 360s, Windows 8, Windows Phones and the new Microsoft Surface tablet.
Have you answered Microsoft’s call to “Bing It On?” Did you prefer Google’s or Bing’s results? If you haven’t been using Bing in the past, will you now? Let us know in the comments.