If you ask the average person which search engine they use, “Google” is the overwhelming response. Statistics show that Google is far and away the most utilized search engine, being used for 91% of searches (statcounter.com). This should come as a shock to…well, no one. Anyone who’s ever heard of the Internet knows that Google is the big man on campus.
Recently, Microsoft has attempted to prove that they are worthy of overtaking the search giant as top dog. Bingiton.com allows users to do a side-by-side blind test, comparing Google to Microsoft’s own Bing in a no-holds-barred Internet search smack-down! (That sounded a lot cooler in my head.)
Users are asked to perform five searches, and are then presented with the results, with Bing on one side and Google on the other, obviously unlabeled. The winner is chosen by selecting “Results on left,” “Results on right,” or “Draw,” if the results are too similar to call. In the example below, I searched “curiosity rover.”
Before anyone says anything, yes, I took the test on Chrome. And yes, I actually chose Google. Can you tell which is which? I’m not going to tell you; that would spoil the fun.
Admittedly, the first thing I thought was “Wow, Bing’s going to get hammered.” Proving that your search engine is better than Google? That’s a tall order, even for Microsoft. It should be no contest, right?
According to the site, Bing actually BEAT Google, with 57.4% of users choosing Bing more often. Now, before we get too carried away, those numbers actually come from a separate test conducted by a market research firm out of San Diego, CA. 1,000 people, aged 18 and over who have used a search engine before, were asked to perform 10 searches (as opposed to the 5 that Bing It On asks you to do) and choose which search engine provided better results. However, unlike anyone taking the test on Bingiton.com, they were not told which search engines were involved.
Needless to say, that’s still pretty interesting data. Although, I’d love to see some more information about the 1,000 people involved. My personal results had me picking Google every time (although that may have just been based on habit), and a quick look through a few blogs and articles seems to indicate that most people have shown similar results. I’d have to wonder just how well things are going for Bing with the general public of Internet users, many of whom undoubtedly have a bias towards Google and would make the effort to choose it over Bing.
So obviously this raises one big question: What does this mean? Well, it’s kind of hard to say. On one hand, all we really have is a test done by Microsoft that shows that Microsoft’s product is better than Google’s. Big whoop.
On the other hand, though, they were able to find a sizable group of people who seemed to prefer Bing over Google. We’d have to learn more about them, but we do know that, somewhere out there, there actually is a group of people who actually chose something other than Google. That’s got to be worth something.
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