Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
9/12/2012
07:49 PM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results

Microsoft's search engine fared better in our readers' taste tests than in mine. But readers still didn't see the "nearly 2-to-1" advantage that Microsoft claims.

Microsoft SkyDrive Vs. Dropbox, Google: Hands-On
Microsoft SkyDrive Vs. Dropbox, Google: Hands-On
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Last week, I wrote about Microsoft's effort to prove that people prefer Bing over Google by establishing a website, BingItOn.com, that invites users to take a blind search test. Microsoft claimed that the results would support a previous study that showed that almost 60% of users prefer Bing. I took the test, and Bing flunked. So what results did our readers get?

Bing fared better with readers than it did with me, but not by much.

Bing (in my judgment) won just one of the five tests I conducted. Google won three, and the other was a draw. Of the 65 trials conducted by readers (five each, per the test instructions) as of this writing, Bing came out on top just 19 times. Google scored 33 victories, and 13 were a draw.

Bing's 29% success rate with readers was a good bit higher than the 20% I gave it, but still well behind Microsoft's claim of a success rate of 57% in a lengthy, independent study by Answers Research. So what's up?

"Perhaps Bing is preferred by people who know less? Or maybe it is optimized for natural language search, which cognoscenti would never actually use?" suggested one of our test takers, who went by the name "OldUberGoober." His results were 3-1-1 in favor of Google.

[ Check out 8 Microsoft Changes For Office.com, Cloud Product Users. ]

Reader EddieKuns got an identical result. "When I've deliberately tried both search engines in the past, I have found the Google search results to be more useful, but not in a way I could easily put my finger on," said Kuns.

That's significant, as it implies that it's tough to game the test by guessing which is which. (I thought at least two of the results I selected were Bing, but they turned out to be Google.)

Not that Bing didn't win some rounds.

Reader "MattAppCompat" also dialed up 3-1-1, but in favor of Bing. "My searches included news on boxing (upcoming fight this weekend), news in my town, my name, BBQ restaurants in my region, and breaking technology news," said Matt. "I was surprised at the results and thought Google would have won but it was Bing. I'd recommend everyone go through."

Reader "fhlweiosdfgkj," who is presumably from "Consonantinople," scored it Bing 3, Google 2. But overall, Google won more than 50% of the time, which just doesn't jive with Microsoft's claim that the study found that 57% of Web searchers prefer Bing.

Tough to say what's going on here. According to the same math I used in my original column (the binomial formula), the probability of Bing winning just 29% of the rounds, if it really is preferred by 57% of 'Net users, and it really is a blind test, is just 3.9%.

Our survey, of course, was not scientific, so you can interpret the results for yourself. If you haven't already, you can try the test here. Please report back.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Jazz_z
50%
50%
Jazz_z,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2012 | 8:29:16 PM
re: Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results
Google won 4-1.
Ricky9
50%
50%
Ricky9,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 9:08:13 PM
re: Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results
I don't have any particular loyalty to Google as a search engine. I usually use Blekko. Needless to say, I was a little surprised to see that I consistently chose results that were generated by Google instead of a more even spread.
Ricky9
50%
50%
Ricky9,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/16/2012 | 9:07:55 PM
re: Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results
I don't have any particular loyalty to Google as a search engine. I usually use Blekko. Needless to say, I was a little surprised to see that I consistently chose results that were generated by Google instead of a more even spread
GOOGLEROCKS!!!!
50%
50%
GOOGLEROCKS!!!!,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/19/2012 | 9:45:24 PM
re: Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results
GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS!GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS!GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS! GOOGLE ROCKS AND BING SUCKS BEACH BALLS!
pkohler01
50%
50%
pkohler01,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/17/2012 | 6:40:33 PM
re: Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results
I did this twice and got the same results both times - I got Google 4 vs Bing 1... then when the test was over, I wound up on a page displaying my results and admitting "Google won this round but, others picked Bing web search results over Google nearly 2 to 1 in blind comparison tests".

Considering my results were consistently lopsided in Google's favor, I was a little surprised that they would think I was interested in knowing how other users faired. It more or less reminded me of the cola taste-off's in the '80's only instead of being Pepsi, maybe Bing was closer to RC Cola.

Despite my results, I think it's kind of neat that M$ would stick themselves out there like that. They deserve some props for that, even if my results didn't align with their apparent results from other users.

I don't have any particular loyalty to Google as a search engine. I usually use Blekko. Needless to say, I was a little surprised to see that I consistently chose results that were generated by Google instead of a more even spread.
ANON1246678751328
50%
50%
ANON1246678751328,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/15/2012 | 2:20:30 AM
re: Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results
As long as Bing fails to roll out features to the rest of the world, this will be a navel-gazing exercise for the US only. For most of the planet it isn't even possible to filter search results by date.
fartfs
50%
50%
fartfs,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/14/2012 | 4:23:08 PM
re: Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results
Screw the comparison - just make a functional site that loads both!

Bing 3, Google 1, Draw 1

I am a veteran Google user but will have to reconsider. I particularly hate that Google routes many of my clicks onr esults through their servers which half the time takes seconds to respond.
GAProgrammer
50%
50%
GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Strategist
9/14/2012 | 12:57:37 PM
re: Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results
I think you hit a good point here. Most of us have been using Google forever and we already know the optimal search patterns. Joe Public, however, doesn't have that same knowledge. I think your guess about natural language patterns is probably spot on. Having a bunch of technically savvy people do a test on a system that most are very familiar with is also a very poor sample procedure.
moarsauce123
50%
50%
moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
9/14/2012 | 11:34:10 AM
re: Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results
So why do you search in the first place when you already know what the results are? How well did Bing fare for searches where you could not anticipate the results?
Tronman
50%
50%
Tronman,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/13/2012 | 6:59:00 PM
re: Bing Vs. Google Taste Test: Reader Results
I've been using Bing over Google since it first came out. 99.99% of the time, my anticipated results are on the first page. When Bing fails I try Google, but it never brings back results that Bing can't bring back.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.