In the 1970s and early 1980s, Pepsi ran a campaign called the Pepsi Challenge – a blind taste test in which unmarked containers of Pepsi and Coke were placed next to each other and customers were asked to taste and choose which one they thought was better. Pepsi was, by far, the winner. It was sweeter, while Coke was harsh.
Microsoft’s Bing It On campaign allows internet users to do the same thing with search engines – compare two unbranded products (Google and Bing) and decide which one they like better.
The Bing It On Process
First, go to the Bing It On website. Now you have the option of entering your own search term or choosing one of the recommended search terms found just below the search bar. I decided to enter my own search terms to be on the safe side – you never know what kind of trickery people running tests might pull. Two sets of results will be displayed and you will be given the option to select the results on the left, the results on the right, or call it a draw between the two. After you have repeated this process through five searches, your results will be displayed.
Now you know how Bing It On works. It’s a pretty nifty idea, although I should add that the website’s footnote reads “* Based on a comparison of web search results pane only; excludes ads, Bing’s Snapshot and Social Search panes and Google’s Knowledge Graph”. Removing the features that make the two search engines unique is likely to skew the results. Unfortunately, their removal is necessary in order to keep the sample search results from being too easily identified.
When I took the Bing It On challenge this morning, I scored 4/5 for Google and 1/5 for Bing.
My search terms were:
- LDS Caffeine press release
- Internet Marketing in Utah
- Assassin’s Creed release date
- Music concerts near Provo
- Health benefits of yogurt
Google results were more visually appealing to me. With Bing, I often felt that I was staring at a wall of text. It’s amazing what a picture or two can do to break the monotony. Even though I only scored 1/5 for Bing, I did walk away with a higher respect for Bing. It was more difficult to choose between the two than I had expected.
I recommend taking the Bing It On challenge for yourself. If you don’t do it for curiosity’s sake, at least do it for the prizes.