The challenge is designed to show that Bing results are just as good as Google's
Bing has been trying to convince people that it is better than Google for years. Now, it's trying to convince them at least that it's as good as Google. You don't have to take it's word for it, you can find out for yourself.And to make sure you're not influenced by your existing bias, it set up a "Pepsi challenge" of its own, a blind test comparing side-by-side results coming from Google and Bing.
"The Bing It On Challenge is an online tool that makes it easy for you to compare Bing and Google’s web search results. The challenge is simple – within the tool you search for five search queries of your choice and compare unbranded web search results from Bing and Google side-by-side," Microsoft explained.
"For each search result, you choose a winner, or declare it a 'draw.' After you complete your five search queries and vote for each one, we show you the final score. You can then share the Bing It On Challenge with others via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+," it said.
Users that want to take the Bing challenge are asked to do five searches and pick which search engine provides the best answer. It's actually a good idea and some people, many people, may be surprised by the results when it's done.
That said, any user that has had even a casual experience with both search engines will easily be able to tell which results come from which engine.
The color scheme is different, Google's colors are more intense, and details like sitelinks, image results, video results and so on, are displayed differently between the two.
The test could have been designed to be "blinder," by altering some of these details, without messing with the actual results. Microsoft makes no claims about the scientific rigorosity of the test. Still, the challenge is useful.
Most likely, users won't discover that Bing is surprisingly better than Google. But they may discover that it's just as good as Google. In fact, the real surprise may be just how similar, sometimes identical, are the results spewed out by the two search engines.