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[UPDATES BELOW INCLUDING NEW RESULTS.] When you’re not working, you have a lot of time on your hands, as I do now. So I decided to take the Bing Google Challenge. This is an online side-by-side comparison test that Bing is offering to get us to think of them more often – when googling.

For those of you with actual jobs, you may never even have heard of the “Bing It On” Bing Google Challenge until now. But I assure you that it exists, and that I took it.

Here’s how the Challenge works: Bing lets you enter your own search queries (it also provides samples you might use), and then lets you see the search engine results from both Bing and Google, right next to each other, without telling you which is which. All you have to do is select which search engine results you like best.

My Bing Google Challenge results?

(See end of article for update including my surprise winner, Dogpile.)

After coming up with what I thought were some pretty good test search questions, based on things that I care about, I picked Google’s results 3 times out of 5. But honestly, it wasn’t all that clear to me each time which was the actual “winner”.

Funny thing is that I’m not someone who uses Google as my primary search engine anyway, although I do use it at times. I mostly use something called Dogpile, which is a metasearch (multiple search) engine that, according to its website, returns “the best results from leading search engines including Google, Yahoo!, and Yandex…”

I also recently tried a new search engine that I’d been hearing about called DuckDuckGo, with mixed results. But it claims to protect your privacy, which is a tempting thing.

And after all this, what am I using? I keep going back to Dogpile. Just a creature of habit, I guess. Which is one of the reasons getting people to switch to a new search engine is so hard. Thus Bing came up with the Bing Google Challenge, and I’m guessing some people walked away from it with a new search engine they will at least use more often now.

As for me, while I can’t say I’ll be googling – or binging – all that differently than before, I will say that after the test, I am more likely now to try more than one search engine for a single query. And sometimes the site I use is indeed Bing. So I guess, they did win – at least a little.

Would love to hear your thoughts, search engine preferences, and any of your own side-by-side comparison results!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: One thing I just realized as I have been furiously googling and binging and dogpiling for 3″ cabinet pulls (handles) is that Dogpile result links open in a new window, at least in my Firefox browser. The others open in the same window, and I have to keep going back through all the pages I viewed to find my search results again. A royal pain in the butt.

Plus, I like the way Dogpile conveniently shows my recent searches to the left, and offers some other suggestions there. Very user friendly in structure. Only thing it doesn’t have is the spiffy images, which I can easily forgo for most searches. Oh…and every now and then, if the search terms are too restricted, it returns almost nothing, and I still have to go to Google or Bing.

But, minor inconveniences noted, and even apart from my being a creature of habit, for me Dogpile wins the Bing Google Challenge hands down!

YET ANOTHER UPDATE (3/16/2014):  So it’s been a while, and both Dogpile and Google have changed the way they work just a bit. While it still annoys me that Google results open in the same window, I now use Google most of the time.

Not sure whether it was a pod taking me over or just frustration with some of Dogpile’s changes (on more esoteric searches, I often got no results, not even suggestions), but I now feel that Google has better results.

Bing also does well and may be as good or better on some searches, but I honestly forget to even try it most of the time. Still, on an important search, I will give all three plus DuckDuckGo.com (it’s pretty good) a chance to get me something more than any one delivers.