Microsoft is tackling Google head on with a new promotion designed to help unseat the search giant from its lofty perch. Titled ‘Bing It On’, the promotion sees Web users comparing the results of the two search engines in a blind test.
The idea behind ‘Bing It On’ is very simple. You’re asked to enter a search phrase of your choice and are then presented with two sets of results. You choose which you prefer, and the whole process repeats a further four times. At the end of it you’re told which of Google or Bing you chose on each occasion.
Unlike Chris Matyszczyk and Joe Wilcox, who both favored Google, Bing won 3-2 in my test. Which is certainly an interesting result seeing as I use Google on a daily basis and Bing only as and when I need a second opinion. Perhaps I should try switching to Bing as my first choice search engine for a while and see if it delivers.
That’s the very point of this ingenious promotion: to remind people Bing exists and to persuade them to give it more than a perfunctory glance every now and then. And more people should rather than stick with Google as a known quantity. But it’s hard to persuade people to stop using a service that has come to be known as the homepage of the Internet.
This isn’t actually a new idea, as in 2009 there was a blind search tool created by a third party which saw users comparing the results from both Google and Bing. It’s almost as if Microsoft filed the idea and kept it on ice for three years until it was confident the results would fall in its favor. Which it now claims they are by a ratio of 2:1.
Bing deserves a bigger share of the search market, and ‘Bing It On’ could help change a few people’s minds on the Google alternative. It could, but it probably won’t.