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Bing or Google – Bing It On

January 30, 2013

I had a very interesting experience today. I was having breakfast at my favorite local establishment. I had the Microsoft Surface on the table and after getting off a Skype call a gentlemen sitting at the next table saw me do a quick Internet search.

“You use Bing, huh?”, he asked politely.

“Yes, yes I do. I will sometimes use other search engines depending on the device I am using”.

He seemed to be getting a bit more involved in the conversation, “I tried Bing. I just didn’t care for it. I could never find the information I needed.”

This particular person didn’t know anything about me. He knew that I had a tablet/computer on the table. He knew that I just got off a call (assuming he saw I had Skype open in the same way he noticed Bing). That’s it. I decided to take a different tact on the discussion. So, I played along for a second.

“You know, I have heard several people make the same comment about Bing”, I kind of egged him on.

“To be frank, I really just didn’t like it. I mean, what good is a search engine when it doesn’t search the things you need?”

At this point, I had him hooked. “I understand completely. I have heard many people make the same comment. But check this out.” I casually turned my Surface to him revealing Then I went on.

“I have heard the same comments, but take a look at this”, as I moved my Surface in front of him.

“Go ahead, type in any search you want. Then, select which search provides better results. Here’s the deal, people often believe Google is better, but when compared side-by-side, well, let’s just say Google doesn’t typically compare so well.”

To make a long story a little less long. He joined other Google search lovers who found out, he’d be better off if he used Bing! He was shocked at the results. He wanted to give it another try and guess what? Yep. He should be using Bing.  

“You know sir, it’s really not shocking that you really like Bing results better. The truth is, when people do side-by-side comparisons, they will pick Bing more often than Google by about 2 to 1, just like you did.”

I had never tried that before, but it really was a funny experience. I don’t know that I caused substantial enough cognitive dissonance that his search behaviors might change, but nonetheless, my guess is he won’t have quite such a harsh feeling next time the topic comes up.   



From → Technology

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