Microsoft is launching a TV ad campaign this week to attempt to persuade web users to make the switch from Google to Bing. 

After seeing the Bing ad, which attacks the ‘information overload’ of Google’s results, presumably a few Google users will be persuaded to give Bing a try, but will they be impressed enough to stick with it?


Judging by some user testing I’ve seen, it will take a lot more from Bing to get users to make the switch… 

I’ve been provided with some videos of user testing by which show habitual Google users trying out Bing for the first time.  

Testers were asked to repeat the last Google search they did on Bing and after this to look for three digital camera retailers. At the end of the test they were asked what, if anything, would make them switch from using Google to Bing.

Tester 1 (Female, 55+)

This user preferred Bing to Google because she could filter out US search results. She had been using Google search via the browser toolbar and has therefore not noticed this option before. 

Tester 2 – (Male, 35 – 54)

This user was impressed with the Bing property search results, finding them more relevant, but still would keep Google as their primary search engine. 

Another two users tested Bing as well, and while they thought some features of Bing were preferable to Google, such as the maps and the video and image search functions, neither were convinced enough to switch to Google.  

Interesting, one tester wouldn’t consider switching to Bing anyway because they already use so many Google services like Gmail, Google Docs and Calendars, which shows how effectively Google has tied users into its search engine with a range of features beyond just search. 

The search market in the UK could certainly do with some competition and more choice for consumers, and there are some compelling reasons why Google may need to worry about Bing; Microsoft has deep enough pockets to raise awareness, and Bing isn’t a bad search engine by any means. 

However, as these user tests suggest, it may still struggle to attract more users as, while it is a decent search engine, it isn’t different enough, or obviously better than Google, which would it would have to be to convince people to make the switch.