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Bing Search Engine News Forum

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Bing it On
Bing launched a "blind test" challenge.

 5:19 pm on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bing has launched a blind test challenge a la Pepsi Challenge. According to Bing their search results beat G's by 2:1.




 8:16 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bing 3
Google 2

Close...but I was surprised at the quality of Bing's results.

[edited by: sem4u at 8:19 am (utc) on Sep 7, 2012]


 8:16 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wow. 4 to 1, to Google. I am surprised.

I was purposefully not trying to work out whose results were whose, but there were little hints here and there.

I noticed on my first search that the results on the left (which turned out to be Bing) only had 8 results, as opposed to 10 on the other. I know there's been discussion on that elsewhere here though, on both sides changing the number of results. I wonder how much that affects the results.

Marketing Guy

 8:17 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

3/2 in favour Google for local searches (hotels). Bing seems to have trouble filtering out the junk meta engines and placing actual businesses.

But in fair, Google only achieves this via Google Places, so...


 8:43 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

2 draws, Google 2, Bing 1.


 9:15 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not very blind this test. I can see immediately by the layout which is which.

Personally I have found that I need both searches. Googles result are not relevant most of the time, and are merely guesswork since they keep ignoring my search terms, with Bing I can't filter search results by date.


 10:24 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

My result was "Uh oh! Hang on while we go jiggle the wires."


 11:43 am on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm sharing this with tech-challenged friends that always use the default service on their system, whatever it is when they search. Some of them don't even know there is an alternative, or how to get to it. Note, some already use bing as their default, although most use google.


 12:04 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

It was Bing 3 and Google 2 for me for non-geo (non-Indian) type of queries.

Surprisingly, there was one conversion query where I was sure that I was selecting Google; later turned out to be Bing. To be double sure I did all the searches again on google.com and bing.com and found that Bing infact was better.


 12:15 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I haven't paid any attention to bing for years, so this was definitely an eyeopener. I came out with 3 draw and 2 bing. I'll make the switch to bing and see how I like it.


 3:13 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google: 3
Bing: 1
Draw: 1

Most memorable was my search for "book about irs". For the moment, I unfortunately forgot David Foster Wallace's name and the title of his book The Pale King. All I remembered was that it was 'about' the IRS, so there was my query. Bing suggested I look for "book about iris" and returned nothing helpful in the top 20, whereas Google gave me the answer at #3 on page 1, and again on page 2. Clear win. The one win I attributed to Bing was for a "brett tabke" query -- it seems the feelings are wholly mutual ;-)


 3:58 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Being as vocal a critic about Google as I am there was no way I could pass this up. I took the taste test 10 times for a total of 50 search terms and it resulted in a disappointing dead-heat with 25 for each.

Here is the criteria I used:
1) - I have a large monitor set to high resolution and can get 7 or 8 results to show above the fold without any scrolling so I only evaluated by what I could see "as is where is".
2) - I REALLY put my personal preference for Bing aside and kept emotions in check.
3) - I used a variety of categories of search types.
4) - I used a variety of 1, 2, 3 word searches as well as long-tail.
5) - I didn't want any draws so when one did happen (and there were very close ones) I forced myself to dig deeper into descriptions to find a tie breaker.
6) - In most cases, surprisingly, I was not able to figure out which side was which but there were a few obvious ones. In those cases it took two hands and lots of determination to force the mouse to click the Google result if it was better.

The Game:
Period 1 - Each team traded shot and goals and things were quite even.
Period 2 - The Google Grunts found their legs and began taking a commanding lead much to the dismay of the home team fans.
Period 3 - The Bing Battalion fought back hard when they brought the local hometown boys off the bench. Late in the period they tied the score.
Overtime - A draw.

General Analysis:
1) - Both sites digressed to Wikipedia way too much. For me Wikipedia is like a 3rd search engine - I just go there automatically when I know they are likely to have the answer.
2) - Too often Google was trying to send me to sites selling things even though my intention wasn't "buy". It got ridiculous when both engines failed on an intangible obscure metaphysical search term but Google insisted that eBay had them in stock for real good prices.
3) - When my intention clearly was "in buy mode" Google won hands down but still tried to route me to national big brands rather than local major stores that I know would have them, and without fail tried to route me to American sources rather than Canadian ones where I am. (Although that may be because this game is being played through a proxy limiting their ability to sniff my location)?
4) - Google excelled in results for very obscure terms (except for one).
5) - Bing excelled in local search (the 3rd period).
6) - Bing excelled in differentiating between research vs intention to buy.
7) - Google provided the worst overall user experience especially for local search when instead of sending me to local business websites they instead listed about 3 or 4 yellow page type of directories. That is doubling my efforts when I have to go to them before eventually finding the business -- MAJOR FAIL ON USER EXPERIENCE. Interesting to note that each of those directories had AdSense ads running on them. I guess that doubles the chances of clicking on an ad instead of an organic result.
8) - Bing had better variety of relevant results which became a deciding factor when it was close.
9) - Bing, on average made better use of whitespace, squeezed more results into less space such as listing multiple YouTube video results horizontally whereas Google did it vertically.
10) - Of most interest to me was that when my search surrounded metaphysical spiritual experiences (based on symptoms) Google tried to send me to "authoritative medical" sites who with certainty proclaimed the assessment and potential cure whereas Bing offered more well rounded scientific results from a variety of sources and regions in a very non-judgmental manner -- KUDOS to Bing, I love you guys, unless you too eventually become a commercial search engine, in that case the love will be lost.
11) - The absolute worst FAIL on a single search term belonged to Bing -- wow it was bad, I had to do a double take and couldn't stop laughing.
12) - The absolute BEST result also belonged to Bing where I described (in long-tail) about a physical experience knowing where the root of it layed. I knew what result I needed to see and the ONLY result keyword that accurately applied to it was found in the 3rd result displayed by Bing and nowhere in Google even by scrolling to bottom of page -- again Googles results were along the line of it being an illness that needed to be cured.

I did this last night but waited until now to reflect on the experience because I was pondering why Google excelled in obscure terms. Then immediately waking this morning my first thought was there was no ad competition for those terms so they don't mind digging deep and displaying relevant terms? Who knows.

I haven't taken as much time to carefully assess this as I would normally and I know there are other points I could probably bring up but overall I have to say keep up the good work Bing and please don't sell yourselves out to consumerism. But Bing was definately not a 2:1 winner for me, maybe they are for more mainstream average users who don't assess with microscopes.


 3:59 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bing 3 to 2 over google


 7:47 pm on Sep 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

@SevenCubed - nice write-up.

It would be interesting to see how the results turn out for people that are not so clued in to the search engines as the readers of WW. Maybe that's the 2 to 1 group...


 4:15 pm on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Every year or so, I do a blind search thing like this and every time Google kills the competition.

For the types of searches I do a lot, the killer feature of Google, though, is the books search, which is not usually even included in the blind search results, so when it comes to "real" results on the actually SE site, the Google advantage goes up even more.

Like most people, I would love to see Google have some real competition, but MS is still miles behind for the types of searches I have tested.


 8:15 pm on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just get redirected to Bing when I try to go to Bing It On.

I try Bing occasionally, and one used a Blind search tool for a lot of searches (not just five) and started a thread here about it. I still prefer Google.


 8:31 pm on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just get redirected to Bing when I try to go to Bing It On.

Yep, looks like they killed this marketing failure. Guess they couldn't take the bad press.


 8:31 pm on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yep, just tried it, access to it has been shut down from outside of the USA..very stupid of Bing, they need to win over searchers in all countries not just the USA..

GEO "forcing" from search engines means I personally will not recommend anyone to use those that do it..

Bingiton is still up to USA IPs , but is now also blocked to the UK, but can be accessed via USA based proxy...nevertheless "GEO forcing" is a major fail, especially on a comparison tool between search engines..


 9:52 pm on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hmmmmmm I'm disappointed to see this gone so quickly. I was planning on getting non technical users I know to give it a try and give me feedback.


 12:40 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

do we have a "bing" person on the forums like we kinda used to have that "google" person?


 12:44 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I got to try it earlier

To my surprise, it was a draw till, 1 went googles way, wasn't by much tho

Amazing how close they are


 12:50 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

>"bing" person



It is a shame that I can no longer see Bing it On from the UK.


 2:54 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

All right, so even though I recently did the Blekko Three Engine Monte, I bit and did this one

Google: 4
Bing: 1

Just for reference, I did two "history" searches, two "yosemite" searches and one "SEO" search

yosemite hanta - Google
red peak pass - Google
philbert berthelier - Bing
consistoire de genève - Google
google quality rater document - Google

I suppose the last one is a bit of a cheat, but I wasn't feeling creative for number 5.

I suppose I should have mirrored more mainstream searches like, I don't know [beyoncé divorce] but since I don't even know whether or not Beyoncé is married, I don't know how I would judge those results!


 8:56 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

bing 4

google 1

blind test


 7:51 pm on Sep 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

access to it has been shut down from outside of the USA..very stupid of Bing, they need to win over searchers in all countries not just the USA.

It may be a very smart way of keeping the results good if Bing does much better in the US: either because user preferences differ, or Bing is weak at local and country level searches outside the US. After all there has to be a reason why Bing is so much more successful in the US than globally.


 3:53 pm on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

4:2 to Bing. I was impressed.

If I was them (Bing), I would turn this blind test into the biggest ad campaign ever - spend a billion dollars if that's what it takes. But they are too big and too used to losing to newcomers, they can't keep their eye on the ball even when the goal is open.

The difference between MS Bing and Google is in maturity. Google is still run by it's first generation kids who never have and never will grow up, who believe they are smarter than everybody else, and that everything they choose to do is good by definition. They are like a religion.

Microsoft is just in it for the money, they wouldn't have screwed up their search results in an attempt to "improve" unless they were losing market share.


 6:22 pm on Sep 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

If I was them (Bing), I would turn this blind test into the biggest ad campaign ever - spend a billion dollars if that's what it takes.

And there is the big IF. If Bing is winning by far! Otherwise why would anyone switch to Bing?

Difference between Bing and Google is that Goodle is a search engine company, while Bing is just a project of MS. To me it's like comparing a car made by top auto company(say MB) with a car that is made by a company that has nothing to do with cars(say Phantom Corsair by Heinz). The letter may look fancy with fancy gadgets, but when it comes to buying you want something stable and something that is made by people who have experience and vision. What is Bing, where was it, where is it now, where is it going? Go outside and talk to people, at least in US I haven't seen a person who would search something on bing, Yahoo yes, Bing no. Even MS guys agree that Bing is a fail.

I just did an image search on Bing, on the keyterms that I rank pretty well on G, and guess what I see same results. I have an impression that they can't say which one is better so they go and steal results from G. From one of key terms I receive 1k+ visitors a month from G. From Bing? 0 for this year. It wasn't on the firs page from the beginning, it climbed because of high CTR. But why did it climb on Bing?


 6:48 pm on Sep 14, 2012 (gmt 0)


Use G normally, still, this does make think B is worth more of my attention.


 3:11 pm on Sep 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bing 3 Google 2
I'm switching!
Now everyone needs to switch to swing market share to Bing.

G just hasn't earned to be my default search provider.
Based on what their machine thinks, Gorg votes us down everyday without batting an eye.
This vote is by real human eyes and common sense.


 3:31 am on Sep 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

If I was them (Bing), I would turn this blind test into the biggest ad campaign ever

It's either your'e them or they followed your advice :)
It's all over the TV in the US.

Let's see what happens after few months. I still see Bing in 5% of Google traffic for all my non commercial high traffic websites. Yahoo is at around 10-15%


 7:34 am on Sep 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I search for the term "Bill Gates House"

Bing Results are Really Better than Google. Bing Wins

2."T20 world cup"

Bing Results are better again. Bing wins

3."Abraham lincoln"
Google wins here

2-1 for me.


 4:48 pm on Sep 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I did 4 comparisons, and a surprise to me - Bing won 3 of the 4 hands down. The one that Google won was 3:2.

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