Having Fun with BingItOn
Bing It On is Microsoft's latest smear campaign against Google. It might be seen as a sad attempt to improve Bing's standing, but it is great fun. BingItOn.com is the decade's version of the Pepsi Cola Taste Test back in the 1980s. During the test, Pepsi was chosen more often. In the Bing ad campaign, the taste test is based on search results. You type in something to search, and you get a two-column page containing similar search results. One side contains Bing's search results, and the other contains Google's. However, there is a twist. They flip sides so you cannot always pick one side. Wow, that's tough :)
What you have to remember is that although people ended up picking Pepsi in a blind taste test back then, when people went home they drank Coke. Some with BingItOn. Microsoft may have fooled people into picking Bing, but when they go home they won't necessarily use Bing for their web searches.A Twist
Let us put a twist to BingItOn.com. The modified challenge is to go through it, but always pick the side containing Google's results. To help everyone with that, we made a comprehensive writeup along with tips on what makes Google's results better.Round 1
In this round, I picked "BMW i8" as my search keyword. Type in your first term, and click Start.
Search for BMW i8
Here is the search result. You cannot figure this out by hovering on the pictures and looking at the URL.
Here is how to pinpoint Google:
Google's pictures have a fixed width. On the right, it tries to put on a fancy layout. However, you'll notice the thumbnails are cropped slightly.
On the images, you see "Report images" link. Google gives users the power to report what they think is inappropriate.
We picked the Left side.
[BingItOn - Round 1 Search Result]
To confirm, let's check Bing. You'll see the square thumbnails with chopped off pictures.
[BingItOn - Round 1 Bing Result]
Let's confirm Google now. You'll see the fixed width thumbnails, and Report images link.
[BingItOn - Round 1 Google Result]Round 2
Now, let's search for a consumer electronic device. Specifically, a Google Chromebook.
[BingItOn - Round 2]
Now let's identify Google:
Google's sponsored ads have the word "Sponsored" on it
The +1 counts are also a clear indication of Google's results
On the search result below, Google is clearly on the right. We picked the right side.
[BingItOn - Round 2 Results]
Let's look at the results from Bing. Bing's sponsored items' thumbnails are smaller than Google's, and they are square to keep up with the tile concept. Bing's results broke down the "Introducing the new Chromebook - Google" into its smaller components, which isn't indented. That makes visually parsing the content more difficult.
[BingItOn - Round 2 Bing Results]
And now Google's results. Ads are clearly marked with the word "Sponsored" and the thumbnails are bigger.
[BingItOn - Round 2 Google Results]Round 3
The Microsoft fanboys and fangirls might say we're biased. So in this round, we're searching for information on Microsoft's much-beloved operating system, Windows 8. I'm sure everyone can't wait to learn more about Windows 8.
[BingItOn Round 3 - Windows 8]
Let's examine the search results. Just by looking at the unindented breakdown on the right, you can tell right away those are Bing's results. Additionally, if you look at the thumbnails at the bottom of the right side, you'll see they are cut off and appear square. The right side is definitely Bing.
When they show links for News, pay attention to the wording. Google presents it as "News for Windows 8" while Bing presents it as "News about Windows 8." It's very subtle and you could argue both ways.
We picked the Left side.
[BingItOn Round 3 - Search Results]
Let's confirm with the results directly from Bing. The breakdown is clearly unindented. Also, it says "News about Windows 8."
[BingItOn Round 3 - Bing Search Results]
The Google search results should now be easy to identify. The most telltale sign in this screen is "News for Windows 8."
[BingItOn Round 3 - Google Search Results]Round 4
Let's do something a bit more difficult to identify, a technology instead of a consumer product. In this round we search for "Google Apps Script" which is Google's cloud scripting technology.
[BingItOn - Round 4 - Google Apps Script]
Remember previously we mentioned that although both Bing and Google can breakdown a site into its components, you can tell right away which one is Google by seeing which ones are indented. Although it's no big deal at first, you can see from this side-by-side comparison that indentation helps. Plus, Google has excerpts for each subitem, while Bing merely displays the subitem name. Lastly, similar to the +1 counts, Google displays the star ratings when they apply. Bing does not display the stars or +1 counts for Google sites.
We picked the Left side.
[BingItOn - Round 4 - Search Result]
Let's confirm on Bing's site. We see that the breakdown is both unindented and there are no excerpts.
[BingItOn - Round 4 - Bing Search Results]
On Google's site, their breakdown is more useful. They are indented, and have excerpts.
[BingItOn - Round 4 - Google Search Results]Round 5
For the last round, let's do a consumer product that is gaining mainstream awareness. For round 5, we will search for "External SSD USB" which are external USB drives with Solid State Disks at its core.
[BingItOn - Round 5 - External SSD USB]
By now, it's so easy to distinguish Google from Bing. Here are some hints:
-Sponsored is used by Google
-Bing has square thumbnails
-Google displays +1 and star ratings
-We pick the Left side.
[BingItOn - Round 5 - Search Results]
Let's look at Bing's results for the last time. When selling you goods, Bing doesn't indicate them as Sponsored, Bing's thumbnails are square, and no +1 or star ratings are displayed.
[BingItOn - Round 5 - Bing Search Results]
Here is one last look at Google's results. When they're selling devices, they indicate with the word Sponsored. Also, Google's images are not cropped to a square ratio, and Google displays +1 and star ratings.
[BingItOn - Round 5 - Google Search Results]Conclusion
[BingItOn - Score]
In summary, Google searches are more useful because:
-Google's images retain their original ratio and don't cut off pictures for the sake of making them square
-Google displays +1 and star ratings when applicable
-Google indicates ads for consumer goods with the word Sponsored
-Google's breakdown of sites is indented, and include an excerpt
-Google presents News as "News for xyz" where xyz is the search term
Go ahead, try it out. Have some fun. Throw off BingItOn's results. Show people how to beat it! Enjoy! http://modmonstr.com/2013/02/20/having-some-fun-with-bing-it-on/
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