Brian Russell
Brian Russell / Digital Strategy / September 10th, 2012

Bing's Pepsi Challenge Can Leave Bad Aftertaste

Bing It On Interested to see how I’d do with Bing’s version of the “Pepsi Challenge,” I clicked away. What I was left with was a bad taste in my mouth when, after completing it, Bing told me:

“Google may have won this round, but others picked Bing web search results over Google nearly 2 to 1 in blind comparison tests.”

That, to me, reads like: “Well everybody else thinks we’re better, so you should blindly hop on this bandwagon.” Are they calling me some minority who just needs to get with the program? Worse than that, do they think I’m some bandwagon hopper.
I was just clicking through your test, Bing, and you gave me results I didn’t prefer. The result speaks for itself, and to my preferences for what I’m expecting from a search.
And, last I checked, I’m the one who matters most — not these two* others to my one.
Do I hate Bing? No. My feelings toward Bing are tepid. Do I love Google? No. They’ve actually done things in the last 18 months to earn my distrust (especially through Google Places nightmares).
As a marketer, I’ll focus on wherever the people are coming from. As a user, I’ll focus on whichever gets me to where I want to go most easily.
Hilariously (at least in my circles), Google’s Matt Cutts took a jab back at Bing’s project with this tweet:

*I’ve looked at a lot of Analytics accounts, and the most Bing-leaning site I’ve ever come across was still 80% Google traffic to Bing’s 15%.