Microsoft is squaring up to Google with its new campaign entitled “Bing it On”, a comparison challenge that allows users to pitch the two heavyweight search engines against each other in a side-by-side stand off.
The ‘Bing it On Challenge’ prompts users to enter neutral search terms, producing unbranded results pages from both Google and Bing. The user can then compare and choose which search engine produced the most favourable results, or call it a draw.
The overall winner is decided after a best-of-five face-off.
Microsoft, taking umbrage against many people’s automatic habit of “googling”, is hoping the direct comparison test might show Internet users that “Lets Bing it” might have a better ring to it after all.
Senior director of Bing, Stefan Weitz, told CNET news the goal of the campaign was “to get users to take a look again at Bing.
“We want them to see Google’s magic secret search sauce isn’t really so magic.”
Microsoft claim that users prefer Bing search results 2 to 1 over Google’s, after commissioning a recent study involving 1000 people. Bing bosses hope that the campaign will encourage people to re-think their search defaults.
The tech giant, currently holding 28 per cent of the U.S search share, is launching the Bing it On Challenge in a flurry of publicity, promoting the campaign on nationwide American television stations as well as across the internet in the form of online ads and the twitter hashtag ‘bingiton’.
Competitions will also be held, with prizes such as an Xbox 360, a Microsoft Surface and a Windows Phone up potentially for grabs for twitter users who share a designated Bing It On tweet.
The challenge is risky for Bing, who will no doubt report a short term surge in its user numbers, but if Google is victorious in the transparent side-by-side challenge, then Microsoft may have just put its search head on a very public chopping block.
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