Google targeted by Bing April Fool
Search engine service Bing took April Fools' Day as an opportunity to promote their product, with two separate jibes at market leader Google.
The first joke at Google's expense was included in an official Bing blog post, targeting the simplistic style of their rival's homepage. Michael Kroll, the principal UX manager of Bing commented that due to users finding their homepage "too engaging", Bing would be running a special test, triggered by entering a "certain telltale query". He went on to explain
"We decided to go back to basics, to the dawn of the Internet, to reimagine Bing with more of a 1997, dial-up sensibility in mind. We may see some uptick in our numbers based on this test, but the main goal here is just to learn more about how our world would look if we hadn't evolved".
The 'telltale query' mentioned by Kroll was quickly discovered to be 'Google', with users who performed this search presented with a redesigned Bing homepage, with a plain white background and a logo which used the same colours as the iconic Google brand. This page also included a link to the Bing it on challenge which took place towards the end of 2012.
Further Google jibe from Bing
Bing also had an April Fools' joke for the SEO industry, with another subtle reference to their main rival. An 'announcement' stated that it was time that users were able to not only control their work, but also their rankings. Two new tags were introduced, one which allowed users to set the exact position they wanted to rank, and the latter enabling companies to determine that they rank one position higher than their main competitor.
The attack on Google came in the accompanying statement, which stated they had introduced the tags due to a "desire to partner with websites, instead of keeping them in the dark about important data". This is thought to be a reference to the 'not provided' keywords which appear to webmasters on Google Analytics.
Despite the confidence of Bing in these statements, they clearly still have much work to do, with last month's search engine market share showing that Google is used for over 90 per cent of searches.
Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword commented: "While these jokes were done as a bit of fun on April Fools' Day, it reaffirms the determination of Bing to take on Google wherever possible. The UK market share for Bing has grown gradually over the past year, but they still have a long way to go if they are to ever challenge for leadership of the market."