The war with Google is one that will never end it seems. Recently Microsoft has given updates to both its “Bing it On” campaign for search, and its “Scroogled” campaign for webmail.
New “Bing it On” Challenge Indicates 52% Prefer Bing
Starting first with the Bing it On news, Microsoft has now conducted a new study that differs a bit from the original format used. During the original “Bing it On” campaign, it was determined that in blind comparison tests consumers preferred Bing 2-to-1.
Last time, Bing allowed its testers to type out any search string they wanted. This got Microsoft thinking, apparently. The were afraid that this might cause folks to search for really weird things, instead of doing their normal search patterns.
With that in mind, the Bing team now has a list of five search queries to type in and if the tester didn’t like any of the search queries, they could refresh and choose new ones. Additionally, Bing choose terms that were from Google’s own top search queries for 2012.
The study took 1000 people picked by an independent company and was based on pure web results, so no Facebook support or Google’s knowledge graph added in. The result? As the blog Bing states:
Even taking away some of our most innovative features and with the handicap of using Google’s top search queries, Bing still comes out on top, with 52 (percent) of people preferring Bing’s results over Google’s, 36 (percent) preferring Google’s, and 12 (percent) choosing Bing and Google equally (for those that favor discarding ties, that’s 60 (percent) Bing, 40 (percent) Google when people had a clear preference). For the especially geeky, all those numbers are +/- 3 (percent) at a 95 (percent) confidence level.
In other words Bing is actually a true competitor for Google, even if you don’t personally use them. I’ve been using Bing more and more recently, and I’m liking what I see, though in some ways I’ll admit I still prefer Google’s results overall.
Alright moving on to their more aggressive anti-Google campaign, let’s take a look at their new updates to Scroogle.
Scroogle Campaign Updated
Apparently the Scroogle campaign is now focusing on how a study commissioned by Microsoft reveals that 70% of consumers “don’t know that major email providers routinely engage in the practice of reading through personal email to sell ads”. Microsoft also indicates that 88% disapprove of such a practice.
To accompany their press release, Microsoft has now put up a new website, scroogled.com, where they are encouraging people to sign a petition to ask Google to stop violating policy by reading emails to generate ads. The campaign is looking for around 25,000 signatures, and is obviously hoping these folks will consider switching to Outlook.com.
Interestingly enough, Outlook.com does scan subject lines and monitor web searches to tailor advertisements– something that they don’t readily advertise at the Scroogled website. Instead, they are focusing on how Google scans the entire contents of your messages (sent and received) to sell ads.
Well I’m perfectly find and understanding of the “Bing in On” campaign, I’m sort of getting sick of the Scroogled campaign. These kinds of strong-armed anti-Google tactics really haven’t helped Microsoft all that much so far, and have even somewhat backfired in the past.
What do you think of either of these two campaigns, effective ways to go after Google or not? Share your thoughts below.