If you need ammo, Bing is your search engine

If comparing Bing and Google on regular search results isn’t enough, try comparing them based on autocomplete suggestions

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Poor Microsoft is at it again, trying to get people to choose Bing over Google for web searches, with a revamped Bing It On Challenge. Getting people to switch from Google to Bing for search seems like the ultimate in lost causes, yet Microsoft persists like the ant trying to move that rubber tree plant. Nevertheless, they’re at least trying so I figured I’d give them a fair shot and take their challenge.


Image credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson

The new Bing It On Challenge asks you to try five searches blindly, each time you’re presented with the results from Bing and Google, side-by-side and unbranded, and you pick which you prefer. At the end, based on your choices it tells you which search engine wins. I took it, and Google won out for me.

Now, the thing is, the results given by both engines were usually similar enough that it was a pretty close call. Either set of results would have been fine. The fact that I chose the Google results four out of five times was probably a bit of random luck.

I wondered if there was a better way to compare the two search engines? Since the basic search results seemed close enough, how about we try to differentiate Bing from Google based on some other criteria? So I went ahead and created my own Bing It On Challenge, comparing the two based on their autocomplete suggestions for five searches. Here’s what I found:


Image credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson

Kids do, sometimes, smell like skunks, but they can also smell like a number of other things, including wet dogs. Google knows kids better. Advantage: Google 


Image credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson

While my stomach does often hurt, I usually know why (nine out of ten times it's my lunch choice), so Google isn’t giving me much here, and I definitely don't want to know why Kourtney (Kardashian, I assume) is drinking butter. Bing, on the other hand, suggests some good papal trivia and some timely information on North Korea. Advantage: Bing


Image credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson

Both engines have us covered for stamps, coconut oil and garcinia cambogia (whatever that is). After that, Google gives me info on Girl Scout cookies, while Bing veers off into guns and ammo territory. I am not a gun guy, but I am a dessert guy. Advantage: Google


Image credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson

Even though I know that Google is just stroking my male ego, being a man I have to fall for it and give them the nod. Advantage: Google


Image credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson

One thing Microsoft and Google clearly agree on is their attitude towards Apple: it’s evil and either dead or doomed. However, Bing allows for anti-Microsoft viewpoints so they get the nod. Advantage: Bing

So, here again, Google wins for me, but not by a lot. Bing seems good enough that, if Google didn’t already exist, I’d probably use Bing and not think twice about it. But, Google does exist and Bing isn’t giving me anything different or better enough to make me go through the hassle of making it my default search engine.

Then, there’s the real issue of trying to use Bing as a verb. It just doesn’t work. Plus, what’s the past tense of Bing? Binged? Bung? Neither is appealing.

Poor Microsoft.

Read more of Phil Johnson's #Tech blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Phil on Twitter at @itwphiljohnson. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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