Bing Thinks Students Are Getting Scroogled In Search Results

    August 26, 2013

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]