Bing vs. Google

Emily Creech - June 16, 2009

Now that Bing has arrived, hopefully you’ve at least checked it out. Bing certainly has a visual appeal, providing beautiful background images and tidbits of interesting information as you move your mouse around the landscape.


After all of the hype around MSN’s new search engine, I wanted to share with you some of the information that has been circulating as a result of an eye tracking study comparing Google and Bing. The full study can be found here, but below are a few of the main points.

  • Google and Bing do not differ in terms of the amount of time searchers spend looking at the organic results.   In this particular study, participants looked at the organic search results an average of 7 seconds.
  • The attention given to sponsored links located above the organic results is high for both Google and Bing. More than 90% of participants looked in that area during each search.   Sponsored links on the right, however, attracted more attention on Bing (about 42% of participants per search) than they did on Google (about 25% of participants per search).
  • Another difference between the two is the related searches feature. Bing offers their related searches on the left, while Google’s are below the organic search results near the bottom of the page. As a result of the location, Bing’s related searches had greater visibility than Google’s related searches.   Bing’s attracted the attention of 31% of participants per search. Google’s attracted the attention of only 5% of participants per search.

One question that I have been asked frequently is – will Bing affect search engine optimization (SEO)?   My thought is that it’s highly unlikely. Although Google, Yahoo, and Bing’s search results vary, Google is still likely to remain on top.   Google has an incredibly strong brand and searchers seem to be at least fairly happy with the results that are provided.   Google’s strong brand and searcher’s satisfaction with the results (for the most part) will likely keep other competitors at bay for a while. After all, people Google things. Will we soon Bing things?  

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