Microsoft responds to claims that “Bing It On” results have been faked

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Yesterday we wrote about a professor at Yale who conducted his own “Bing It On” experiment. Professor Ian Ayres wrote about his surprising results on Freakanomics, and he wasn’t kind to Microsoft. In his test he found that nearly 60% of people preferred Google to Bing, but yet Microsoft claims people prefer Bing over Google by “2:1.” Something isn’t lining up.

Today Microsoft has released a response to this independent study. Matt Wallaert from the Bing team responded to Ayres’ claim that 1,000 people is not enough to have an accurate study (which happens to be the same amount he used at Yale).

It isn’t conducted in a controlled environment, people are free to try and game it one way or another, and it has Bing branding all over it. So we simply don’t track their results, because the tracking itself would be incredibly unethical. And we aren’t basing the claim on the results of a wildly uncontrolled website, because that would also be incredibly unethical (and entirely unscientific).

Wallaert also clarifies that Microsoft has moved away from the “2:1” slogan and changed it to “People prefer Bing over Google for the web’s top searches.” Basically they are saying that when put into a blind test with the top search terms (Justin Beiber, Wrecking Ball, etc) they prefer Bing. Simple as that. They don’t release the data because of privacy.

Who do you believe?


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