We all know that there is deception all around us. Television ads are no exception. I remember watching these commercials that advertised for Bing being better than Google, and that Bing was being used twice as much as it’s competitor.
There was a study that appeared on the ”Freakonomics” blog that disputes the claim that people prefer Bing to Google, especially to the extent of a 2 to 1 ratio. Ian Ayers, a law and economics professor says that the Bing It On challenge was nothing but deceptive advertising.
Ayers says the 2:1 claim comes from a study of just 1,000 users. Using Mechanical Turk, he sought to replicate it with help from students at Yale Law School where he teaches:
Together with four Yale Law students, I set up a similar-sized experiment using Microsoft’s own BingItOn.com site to see which search engine users prefer. We found that, to the contrary of Microsoft’s claim, 53 percent of subjects preferred Google and 41 percent Bing (6 percent of results were “ties”)
… We also interjected a bit of randomness into our study to test whether the type of search term impacts the likelihood that Bing is preferred. We randomly assigned participants to search for one of three kinds of keywords: Bing’s suggested search terms, popular search terms, and self-suggested search terms . . .
According to Ayers’ study, It was found that people preferred Google most when participants “used popular search terms or selected their own search terms.” Those who used Bing-suggested queries ended up preferring both Bing AND Google almost equally.
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