Many people will remember the “Pepsi Challenge” that occurred years ago during which Pepsi allowed willing participants to blind-taste their product against Coca-Cola to see who came out on top. Recently, but in a technology and internet-focused approach, Microsoft put this same concept to work by placing Bing against Google in the hopes of “breaking the Google habit.”
“I’ll just Google it”: This is a saying we say and hear time and time again, as it is obvious that we are a Google-dependent society and this search engine is our go-to more often than not. However, Microsoft is adamant that when put side-by-side, Bing will be the top dog for displaying search results, not Google. In fact, they believe that people will prefer Bing over Google 2:1. These are strong assumptions, but in a recent study of 1,000 adults, 57% of the participants did prefer the search results provided by Bing rather than Google. 30% of those participating put Google on top and 12% felt that it was a “draw.” These search engines were obviously masked so as to prevent each person from being able to decipher which was Bing and which was Google, and some (like myself) might find these results a bit surprising.
Microsoft has made it clear that their goal is to aggressively promote this search engine rivalry through internet tactics as well as television. Their belief is that even when Google wins in the comparison, Bing is still achieving more acknowledgement and consideration for use by others.
So, what could this mean in the long-run, especially if this face-off expands and gathers more interest? The study is obviously still fairly small and has not changed anything yet, but it is certainly interesting to think about (especially from an SEO perspective) how the search engine world could transform from a Google-dependent one to Bing. Perhaps the saying “I’ll just Bing it,” will eventually begin to be the norm.
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