Google vs Bing – The Battle Heats Up With

Nov 21, 2013 by



Google have been dominating search for over a decade. And rather than back that up with stats, just ask your mother (or grandmother) to ‘Google it’. If they know what you’re talking about, that’s as good evidence as any that Google is the reigning and undisputed search heavyweight champ.


Similarly, ask them to ‘Bing it’ and you’ll most likely be met with a confused or perhaps concerned look… “Bin it?”.


With that being said, Bing has made respectable gains in market share and now they’re taking Google head-on with a good a ol’ fashioned blind test. You know, the kind that in 1983 helped Pepsi push past Coke who then desperately released their ill fated ‘New Coke’. Yuk.


The blind test results apparently showed that more people preferred Bing’s results over Google – although their methodology causes concerns. Firstly, they used a small panel of 1,000 and they offer no information on how the respondents were chosen – just that they were ‘randomly selected’. Furthermore, we don’t know how the queries were served. Was each query random selected from their sample? Did the selection of one query subsequently affect the next they’d see?


For a test with such significant implications, Bing should know to detail every single aspect of their methodology.


What I’d be most interested in are the results of people that have subsequently taken the test online at The number of people doing so must be huge seeing as Bing has gone as far as advertising the test on the header of their main search page:


Bing Blind Test


With a likely respondent size that would make a veteran data monkey go weak at the knees, surely Bing would publish the results of these tests. Or perhaps only if they show in Bing’s favour? I rummaged through the results page and privacy policies after taking my own test and there is no information about results being tracked. Quite a shocker that Bing would let all this precious data go to waste.


Before getting in touch with them to ask this killer question, others had beat me to it. Bing simply don’t track the results because of concerns for user privacy. Quite astounding really.


I then went ahead and took the test myself, excited to see if I felt that Bing’s search results were indeed superior. Here are the results:


Bing It On


A whitewash for Google. Although answering 5 questions isn’t enough to define statistical significance, it sure as hell backs up the reasons why I’ve always reverted back to Google. I took the test once more and Google still won but on that occasion Bing stole two rounds.


Despite all the criticism, I praise Bing for finally offering Google some competition in search and making bold marketing moves. From hiring the hilarious Brian┬áBadonde to blind tests that are at least getting us talking, if not convinced that they’ve cracked the key to search algorithms. Google didn’t get where it is today but being conventional – they did it by always pushing the boundary in everything they did.


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