In September, Microsoft launched a major marketing campaign for its Bing search engine called "Bing it On". The campaign included TV ads where people on the street were challenged to compare search engine results from Bing and Google. At the time, Microsoft said that the tests showed that Bing search results were preferred over Google's by "nearly 2-to-1 in blind comparison tests."
This week, a new post on the Bing blog said that Microsoft had conducted a new study on Bing vs Google comparisons but with one difference. The previous study had people type in whatever search string they wanted. However, the blog stated that "that raised the question 'what if people are just searching for really weird things, instead of searching like they normally do?".
The new test gave people a list of five search queries to type in, and that if they didn't like any of them, they could refresh them until they found one they did like. Microsoft said that the search queries came from Google's own top search queries for 2012, stating: "We figured the right thing to do was to go with our competitor’s terms. After all, you’d think Google would be better at their own top queries, right?"
Microsoft said that the study, which used 1,000 people picked by an independent company, was based on pure web search results with no extra features such as Microsoft's Facebook support or Google's Knowledge Graph added in. The blog stated:
Even taking away some of our most innovative features and with the handicap of using Google's top search queries, Bing still comes out on top, with 52 (percent) of people preferring Bing’s results over Google’s, 36 (percent) preferring Google’s, and 12 (percent) choosing Bing and Google equally (for those that favor discarding ties, that’s 60 (percent) Bing, 40 (percent) Google when people had a clear preference). For the especially geeky, all those numbers are +/- 3 (percent) at a 95 (percent) confidence level.
While not quite the "2 to 1" ratio that Microsoft used in its "Bing it On" campaign, these new results suggest that people really do seem to like Bing's results over those of Google.
Source: Bing blog | Image via Microsoft