Study: Many Searchers Choose Google Over Bing Even When Google’s Name Is On Bing’s Results

bing-google-logosIn a recent study by SurveyMonkey examining SEO assumptions, respondents were given two search result pages, one with a page header labeled “Google” and the other with a page header labeled “Bing,” and asked which page of results they preferred. Even when the page header labels were swapped, more users preferred the Google search results.

Of 641 survey respondents, 379 participants received a survey asking which of two search result pages they preferred. One page of results for the term “file taxes” included true Google results and the other page included true Bing results. The Google page was chosen by majority of the respondents.

A second survey was given to 262 participants. Using the same search term, respondents had to choose between a Google search results page and a Bing search result page. In this survey the SERP headers were swapped with Google results listed as Bing results and Bing results listed as Google results. Of the respondents who received the swapped search result pages, a larger percentage of respondents still chose Google results, even though they were actually Bing search results. Survey Monkey SEO Assumptions Google or Bing

Not only did the survey find that users are biased toward Google, but they are influenced by a site’s brand as well. In a separate question, participants who received the first survey were asked to rate the believability of an article on CNN.com, while participants who received the second survey were asked to rate the believability of an article on a generic website, InternetNews.com. Respondents were more likely to rate the CNN.com article as believable.

Survey Monkey SEO Assumptions Question 2

Another key finding of the survey revealed that the No. 1 reason users would block a website from future searches if given the option was if the website contained too many ads.

The study, conducted using SurveyMonkey’s Audience tool, asked participants a number of questions based on general SEO assumptions. The audience was a random selection of males and females, age 18 to 60 from across the country with annual household incomes ranging from $25,000 to $150,000+ and varying education levels.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Web Search | Microsoft: Bing | Microsoft: Bing SEO | Search Engines | SEO: Domain Names & URLs | Stats: Popularity | Stats: Search Behavior | Top News

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About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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  • keaner

    The “study” has the same flaw as all of them …. 641 survey respondents….out of almost 7 billion people

  • GMR Website Maintenance

    Interesting Article! It is very true that Google is the most preferred search. I personally track all my results in Google.

  • http://www.facebook.com/henry.dupilo.7 Henry Dupilo

    Get a free iphone 5 with $1000 Visa Gift Card!.read more-here,…freei5.tk…CHECK-IT

  • meliorist

    This report is very annoying. Didn’t the study publish any statistics? How are we supposed to interpret this unless we know how much difference swapping the label made to how people perceived the results? Is the Google branding effect small or large? No clue is given.

  • http://www.facebook.com/StraightOG Jake Taylor

    You only need ~420 respondents in a sample to achieve accurate measurements of significance assuming the sample is representative, actually.

  • Pat Grady

    Ging it on!

  • keaner

    “assuming the sample is representative” right and it isnt. Joe I know sample sizes very well, and I can tell you with out a doubt if you scale that survey up to 10,000 people you WILL seee a totally different result. Phone surveys are the perfect example.

  • Jonathan Wachob

    I’d like to see a break down of the survey according to income (lower class, middle class, and upper class) and education (no degree, undergraduate degree, graduate degree). Understanding the difference selections and level of education/income are very important when deciding on a targeted SEO strategy.

  • Jonathan Wachob

    Also understanding the field of work! Is there a trend present regarding occupations?

  • Lemuel Cushing

    No, the second test shows that people chose the Google results based only on the label, because the results themselves were Bing results under a Google banner. The confusion comes from the reverse ordering of the graph, in which the second test is on top.

  • Lemuel Cushing

    No, the whole point is that, based on countless experiments and calculations, it has been consistently shown that the margin of error between the sample results and the population as a whole, be it whatever, is small enough to produce informative results.

    Now, one might argue that SurveyMonkey’s Audience tool has some problems of self-selection bias, and I sure they are well aware of that, as it’s their job to be, and try their best to eliminate it’s influence on the conclusions. It’s still open to critisism, but give the experts some credits, man, chances are, you aren’t some beacon of truth that is able to somehow see what all the statisticians missed.

    Regarding the telephone surveys, which have another set of methodological problems (like every quantitative social research), they most certainly don’t show that SAMPLES ARE WRONG and that one must COUNT EVERYONE in order to be reliable.

  • AdsKaro seo

    Brand does matters. Never heard about someone saying “just bing it”. SEO Company Bangalore

  • http://www.facebook.com/simone.berkower Simone Berkower

    This article is very badly mistitled. It should be more like “Study: Many Searchers Choose Bing Results Over Google’s When Google’s Name Is On Bing’s Results.” “Google” results are the results provided by the search engine themselves, not the brand, so to say users chose “Google” when they really chose Bing results with a Google brand on top is downright misleading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bryan-Wilson/895105552 Bryan Wilson

    Totally agree. This was confusing. This study DEFENDS Microsoft’s claim that more people prefer the results from Bing than from Google.

  • Gurjit Singh Khehra

    Oh, Its Good to know that Users loves Google. Well, its not just natural, it is because Google delivered something to users and fulfilled their needs. So many times, when i hears some update about Bing’s Search, I personally tries it and every time Bing disappoints me with very bad unrelated results. You can see very poorly optimized sites with very poor content are ranking well on Bing. I think the Usage Share that Bing got is only because of their Windows and IE because they set Bing as default Search Engine there. Otherwise i don’t think that someone on this Earth gonna use their Service.

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