Microsoft is trumpeting it as a success, gleefully saying that more users have chosen Bing over Google. That may be true, but there is a reason why that may be so: the Bing challenge does not actually show what shows up on the respective search engines. Put another way, if you search "bananas" on the Bing challenge, Microsoft changes the results for both Google and Bing. If you then go to bing.com or google.com and search the same term again, your results will be different.
In researching this, the results were often only slightly different, but they were always different for both search engines. Always. And at times, the first result (or more) were radically different. Whether this is intentional by Microsoft can only be speculated upon, and I will not do that here. What I will do, however, is show you what happened when I took the Bing challenge.
The Bing challenge is short: you search five terms, then it shows you which engine you prefered. Mine were: phil ochs, albert pujols stats, gravy, opera, valentine's day, in that order. I had never searched any of those terms before on either Google or Bing, so neither search engine would have been able to tailor their results to my preferences. The most blatantly different results were under "opera," so that is the one I will be showing first.
Here was the result for "opera" with the Bing challenge (tough to see? Click on the image for better quality):
So yes, the Bing Challenge is fixed. Or, at the very least, something is quite amiss with their so called "challenge."
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