Bing Commercials Need to Stop

Microsoft Bing has been running a series of commercials touting itself as a "decision engine", and lamenting what "search overload has done to us". The commercials are kind of funny, but they have one real problem that I just can't get over.

First, here's one of the newer ones:

Now, the problem the guy is trying to solve is whether he should serve salsa or quacamole at his party. But the word salsa, apparently, triggers results of the latin dance, and it's all downhill from there.

This is bullshit. Google's algorithms (and let's be real, that's who Microsoft is targeting with these ads) are VERY smart, and when they see "salsa" and "guacamole" in the same search, they KNOW you aren't looking for the dance. Want proof? Here you go.

So if you're looking for information on salsa or guacamole, Google's "search overload" really isn't bad. But maybe Bing still has a point; after all, this doesn't help you DECIDE between the two. So how well does Bing's "decision engine" work? Not much better.

Two of Bing's responses actually DO have polls to address the decision between the two, so there's something to be said for the ability to help make decisions (in this case, at least). But many of the links match exactly, and there isn't a significant difference.

Now, Google uses words like "and" & "or" to help with advanced searches. We can argue all day about if it's better or worse that Google allows (and to a degree, expects) users to use these advanced search terms to fine-tune, but the fact is, they do. I happen to like it, but that's besides the point.

When you use Google's advanced search features, and search for "salsa or guacamole", with the quotes, you get these results. How many poll-like results are in the first page? Two. Same as Bing.

This isn't an argument for or against either one as a search platform. It's just to show that Bing's commercials aren't really rooted in truth. And their falsities are rather annoying.


Anonymous said...

I don't really care how effective their search is...they got in the game way too late, and isn't aesthetically pleasing at all, which probably bothers me more than it should.

Post a Comment