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Since we launched Bing, we’ve conducted ongoing tests to measure our relevancy, assess customer feedback and satisfaction, and examine our product in many different ways. A while ago, we began to notice an interesting trend - Bing was beating Google in our search relevancy tests. After carefully following the trend data for several months, we decided to commission an independent study to test which web search results people prefer.
You may be surprised: the research shows that people chose Bing web search results over Google nearly 2:1 in blind comparison tests. People are surprised because of how deeply the Google habit is ingrained in most searchers—they are responding based on their habits rather than the facts.
We built our Bing It On campaign to share these results with you and demonstrate that people can get better web search results on Bing than Google. With Bing It On, we’re encouraging you to try Bing – whether you’re a first time customer or an occasional visitor. You may be surprised at what Bing offers and how it can help you spend less time searching and more time doing.
How was the test conducted? An independent research company, Answers Research based in San Diego, CA, conducted a study using a representative online sample of nearly 1000 people, ages 18 and older from across the US. The participants were chosen from a random survey panel and were required to have used a major search engine in the past month. Participants were not aware that Microsoft was involved.
In the test, participants were shown the main web search results pane of both Bing and Google for 10 search queries of their choice. Bing and Google search results were shown side-by-side on one page for easy comparison – with all branding removed from both search engines. The test did not include ads or content in other parts of the page such as Bing’s Snapshot and Social Search panes and Google’s Knowledge Graph. For each search, the participant was asked which search engine provided the best results – “Left side search engine”, “Right side search engine”, or “Draw.” After each participant performed 10 searches, their votes were totaled to determine the winner (Bing, Google or Draw, in the case of a tie).
When the results were tallied, the outcome was clear – people chose Bing web search results over Google nearly 2:1 in the blind comparison tests. Specifically, of the nearly 1000 participants: 57.4% chose Bing more often, 30.2% chose Google more often; 12.4 % resulted in a draw.*
Why did we think a blind comparison test of the pure web search results would be valuable? Because it is the best way to really test the quality of web search results where the majority of clicks occur – without the influence of the ingrained, habitual impact of the Google brand. Now you know there is a better alternative to Google.
You can take a similar test yourself at Bing.com. It’s time to see what you’ve been missing.
- The Bing Team
*The overall sampling error rate for the study is +/- 3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
Web search results panes like those compared in test inside red circles.
© 2013 Microsoft