This is just pathetic. I am inundated with commercials for Bing. As you may remember, I took the “Bing it on” challenge and Google won 4-0-1 (one tie). But with the constant Bing commercial assault, I question myself. Maybe I was unfair. So I’ve gone back three more time, putting in more and more unusual searches. And the result? Google always wins. This most recent time, I searched for: cashew chicken recipe; 47% video; St. Patrick; lightning rod; and Reinhard Hardegen. Google won this time 5-0-0.
What I try to do is avoid looking at the images and other presentational elements. Instead, I look at the results and ask myself, “Which list provided the data I was actually looking for?” And the closer I look, the better Google looks. Bing has a strong tendency to turn every search into a shopping trip. When I searched for “lightning rod,” the third result Bing provided was some place selling lightning rods. I suspect that only one out of a hundred people searching for this were looking to purchase one.
I can see what Microsoft is up to and why they think they can offer the “Bing it on” challenge. Bing generally does a better job of presentation. There are more images, for example. But even in the short time that I’ve been doing these challenges, Google seems to be changing its output to be more pleasant to look at. That’s to be expected. It is a relatively easy matter to present data more appealingly. Improving the actual data is much harder to do.
After four challenges, all of which Google won overwhelmingly, it is clear that Bing has fundamental problems that no amount of marketing will fix. As I’ve said before: Bing is far better than it used to be. But that doesn’t mean that much in this comparison. People are used to Google. Bing will need to offer something distinctly better than Google before people will switch in large numbers. Thus far, Bing isn’t even matching Google.