Bing Thinks Students Are Getting Scroogled In Search Results

    August 26, 2013
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

A new school year has just started, and students everywhere will soon be using Google to search for everything from history to math. Bing wants in on that student search action, and it’s not afraid to do a little mudslinging to promote its new Bing for Schools initiative.

If you couldn’t already guess, we’ve been blessed with another Scroogled ad today that compares a student’s search experience across both Google and Bing. The key difference – students using Bing for Schools don’t see ads and that’s it. Well, there’s a rewards program in Bing to give away $900 million worth of unsold Surface RT tablets to schools; but the search experience is largely the same.

Wait, so what’s the big idea with seeing ads in search results? In the below video, Bing argues that students will pick up on how to refinance a loan or get cheaper auto insurance instead of learning about ancient Mesopotamia. I would argue that the former is more important, especially in our education system that doesn’t equip children with the knowledge necessary to survive in the real world, but this is neither the time or the place for that discussion. In short, ads are bad for the learning experience, or so says Bing.

To test this theory, let’s do a quick search on Google and Bing for Mesopotamia to see what happens. Searching for Mesopotamia on Google brings up the usual Knowledge Graph information alongside a number of relevant links pointing to the history of the region at Web sites belonging to The British Museum and the University of Chicago.

Bing Thinks Students Are Getting Scroogled In Search Results

As for Bing, I’m pretty sure a student’s report on Mesopotamia won’t include facts about Mesopotamia Township, Ohio.

Bing Thinks Students Are Getting Scroogled In Search Results

To be fair, Bing does include some relevant links and some excellent related searches on the side. I’m just baffled that a search for Mesopotamia on Bing would find an Amish town in Ohio more relevant than links to The British Museum, the Ancient History Encyclopedia or the Wikipedia entry on the history of Mesopotamia.

Oh, and Bing’s argument that ads impact the learning experience? It doesn’t hold water in the case of this search, and probably many others, because advertiers aren’t buying ad words related to ancient civilizations. In fact, a link to the promotional Web site of the Mesopotamia Township is more of an ad than anything in Google’s search results.

[Image: Bing/Bing Video] [h/t: TechCrunch]
  • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

    I hope students aren’t binging Ben Affleck images.

  • Helen C

    I subscribe to Google alerts for the word Mesopotamia. That is how I came across this article. I would guess that half of the links it sends me are for the town in Ohio or the album by the B-52s. Google has this wonderful option to send only relevant links or all links. Ummm…. how does it know which ones are relevant to me? It doesn’t so I have to choose ‘all links’ every time. Google is no better than Bing. (Try setting an alert for Ubaid, one of the earliest cultures there. You quickly learn that Ubaid Mughal is a VERY prolific journalist.)

  • Raj

    Ads are annoying you will agree. For a student it is a big distraction. I use Adblock all the time still some slip through. You want a clear google home page and next page filled up with ads. You cant have it both ways all the nay say-ers for bing’s initiative. Think about it.

  • http://www.movietimess.com Alice

    it is automatically increase as student from all over the world using internet, even in small countries….

  • http://www.inetseo.co.uk Andy

    Bing is Latin for “Sour Grapes”… probably.

  • Mick

    Bing would be more credible if they used real-world examples for their mudslinging campaigns instead of completely made up over-exaggerations.

  • Piccolo

    Bing is a very basic search engine, which looks like an older version of google.

  • sam

    As we are doing random searches, I did one too. I searched ‘Higgs Boson’ on both engines.

    This is what I got out of Bing

    This, from Google.

    Being a student, the Bing one is far more useful for me. With references, related people, searches & a small explanation of what it is. This is the exact reason why I switched to Bing. Bing images is far better than Google images, there were instances where Google actually copied off from Bing images ! Then the video search, this is a proper video search engine covering a lot of sites, not just YouTube.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      That’s fascinating. I’m legitimately perplexed as to why Google doesn’t have a Knowledge Graph entry for HIggs Boson. That being said, Microsoft should have used your example in its ad instead of Mesopotamia.

    • Raj

      Great example. Agree Bing is better.

  • http://e-marketingpartner.com Bob

    The top result in both is Wikipedia, why not skip the search engines for schools and just use it?