By Ed Oswald | Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 10:32 pm
For the amount of time Microsoft spends lately beating us over the heads with how much better its Bing search engine is than Google, you’d think they would be in first place already. One of its latest examples is an effort by the Redmond company to convince us all that two-thirds of Google searchers would probably switch to its search engine if given the chance.
Microsoft has taken to its YouTube page for its latest schtick. In a three-minute video, the company says it recruited a “qualitative research firm” and had fifteen participants use Bing exclusively for a week. The company was not revealed as the sponsor of the study until after these folks told the researchers whether they’d stick with Bing or go back to their old search engine.
The video says that of the fifteen, ten indicated they would stick with Bing after the study.
Here’s the video, take a look, and catch where one of these participants delivers the line that Bing is the “newly improved Google,” boy isn’t that a line that sounds too much like Microsoft’s PR:
I am always very skeptical of studies sponsored by companies that show their own products are more superior to that of their competitors. Frankly, these can be rigged to give more positive results rather easily since those participants are likely not selected through any randomized process and are targeted for a result that would be beneficial.
You better believe that if Microsoft was spending money on this, they’d want people with a better chance of giving them the result they would want. There are plenty of Google users out there that aren’t as tied to using the search engine as others.
Also, I found it amusing that the bullet points that Redmond likes to pull out when talking about Google vis-a-vis Microsoft make it out of the participants they’re interviewing. It could be coincidental, but how do we know these folks haven’t been coached in any way?
Microsoft would be better served focusing on the search engine itself rather than what has seemed to become an endless stream of Bing-is-better-than-Google PR. Consumers are not as gullible as they used to be, and can see right through a lot of this kind of stuff.