Bing Tests Weird Competitor Links Under Google Search Result

    January 4, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Well, this is interesting. Bing ran a test, placing links to Facebook, Craigslist and eBay underneath its result for google.com when the user searched “google”.

Matt McGee at Search Engine Land noticed what he thought was a bug, until he received confirmation from Bing that it was actually a test (which has since ended, apparently).

Regularly, if you search “google” on Bing, the top result will look something like this:

Bing's Google Deeplinks

You’ll get Deep Links (Bing’s version of what Google calls Sitelinks) for Gmail, Images, Maps, News, Videos, Translate, Documents, and Finance. In other words, you get links to various Google services, which makes sense. You also get an actual Google search box.

In the experiment, however, users would see half of the Google deep links, and the other half would be for things like “Go to Facebook, Go to YouTube, Go to Craigslist, and Go to eBay. Well, YouTube is still a Google service, but why in the world would someone searching for “google” want any of these?

McGee has a screen cap:

Google results on Bing

Essentially, Bing was sending users to Google competitors. You may not always consider sites like Facebook Craigslist or eBay competitors to Google, but Google has a social media service, and it has a shopping service. At some level, Google competes with all of these sites.

I’m surprised they didn’t just put a “Go to Bing.com” link there, or even a “Go to Yahoo.com” link. At least you can still access Bing results from Facebook.

McGee posted a Q&A with Bing about the test. He asked how Bing would respond if a search for “bing” on Google included Sitelinks to Twitter, Amazon or Kayak. Bing’s response was, “We appreciate all customer-focused innovation.”

Something tells me Bing would throw a fit if Google did that. Perhaps it would even get another anti-Google campaign from the company. It’s been over a month since they started one.

  • http://foobar.ph foobarph

    i think Bing algorithm also includes “competitor” attributes.

    but hey, ebay and craiglist and google has something in common. they have search box. :)

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      Interestingly, no sign of any of these sites otherwise in a search for “google” on Bing.

  • DoesNotMatter

    Well, half the people who type in Google just want to go to Facebook, Craigslist, Youtube or Ebay anyway…

    I don’t see any problem, very good action from Bing.

  • Mikelmx

    Very good idea. If they can find out the competitors for different sites, this is a good, a useful service.