In the world of search engines, Bing is the jealous, mean girl. You remember those social climbers from high school – the ones who were so desperate to knock the other popular kids off their pedestal that they spread nasty things about them. That’s Bing.
My high school flashbacks stem from a recent post on Bing’s privacy page (with Microsoft’s stamp of approval on the bottom) that reads:
“If you are a Safari user, Google may have recently tracked you even though it promised it would not. Want to do something about it? Stop searching with Google and start searching with Bing. Better yet, make Bing your homepage and start every search with Bing.”
Not only does the “stop searching with Google and start searching with Bing” scream “Vote for me for prom queen,” but the phrase “Google may have tracked you even though it promised it would not” resembles a jealous girl who wants to cause a breakup.
Well I say, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” Bing! (Truth be told, the Bible said it first). Shouldn’t Microsoft focus a little bit more on its own reputation? Rumor is that Microsoft has been playing a little game of tax avoidance.
It’s no secret that Bing has been scheming to take Google’s place as search engine queen bee, and its recent post is just another popularity fight like Bing’s Bing it On Pepsi Challenge (Really, Bing? You decided to make your campaign sound like the popular cheerleading flick that made one too many sequels?)
Just like in high school, the search engine world divides consumers into cliques. You’re either in the popular Google clique, the wannabe Bing click, or the I-used-to-be-popular Yahoo clique that slipped down the popularity food chain. These cliques do not like to associate with each other.
In the Bing it On campaign, which blindly sets Google searches along Bing searches to determine consumer preference, Bing makes it clear that you’re either one of us or you’re one of them (a Google user). If you end up selecting Bing, the catty search engine makes you feel included and welcomes you into the clique. “Like you, other people chose Bing web search results over Google nearly 2 to 1 in blind comparison tests.” AKA: You’re with the in-crowd. In your face, Google. But if Google reigns supreme, Bing outcasts you from the clique. “Google may have won this round, but others picked Bing web search results over Google nearly 2:1 in blind comparison tests.” AKA: If you like Google more, there’s something wrong with you.
Clearly, Bing didn’t go to high school. If it did, the company would know that a queen bee’s subjects rarely abandon her because they don’t know how to function without her. Search engine users are the same way. Google’s users won’t turn the other cheek because most can’t imagine searching the web without it. So, users will take a little bit of Google’s abuse, and give up a little privacy, to stay in the clique. That’s brand loyalty.
To be honest, I myself took the Bing it On challenge, and Bing invited me to join its clique. But am I going to stab Google in the back and join Bing? As if! Like many of my fellow Google users, Google is what I know, Google is what I like, and I’m going steady with Google.
Google isn’t an angel, and it’s been known to play dirty with privacy invasions. And while Google+ is a total wannabe, Google’s overall reputation as the search engine authority will allow the company to hold onto its crown for years to come.