If Bing’s intent is to generate buzz and keep their name in the news, it seems to be working. Of course some news is better than others, but at least people are talking, which wasn’t the case a few months ago.
First, while we tried to ignore the Bing Jingle commotion in hopes that it would just go away, Bing announced a winner of the “submit a jingle to Bing” contest today, which Mashable instantly labeled “the creepiest jingle ever”. Now it’s being tweeted and retweeted all over the place. In case you were lucky enough to have missed it up until now, here’s the video:
Another story that got quite a bit of attention on Twitter this morning, from Search Engine Land, was a report that “90% of Bing’s Internet Pharmacies search ads lead to rogue sites”. From SEL:
By “rogue” they mean Internet pharmacies that fall into the categories of:
- Those that facilitate the sale of prescription drugs, including controlled substances, without requiring a valid prescription.
- Those that sell drugs from sources that are not licensed as a pharmacy in any US jurisdiction.
- Those that illegally source unregulated, unapproved prescription drugs from outside of the United States.
- Those that are otherwise deceptive or misleading.
Emil Protalinski at Ars Technica dug a little deeper into the story, noting that while Bing was singled out in the report, rogue sites were found on Google and Yahoo! searches as well:
While the study singled out Microsoft, searches on Yahoo and Google turned up paid advertisements leading to questionable drug websites as well. Search companies require pharmacy sites that pay for advertising to be verified by a company called PharmacyChecker, which unsurprisingly is a competitor of LegitScript. The company has 41,982 pharmacy sites in its database, of which only 224 are considered legitimate, 897 are awaiting a decision, and 40,861 do not meet standards.
Then on WebProNews, Chris Crum notes some problems with Bing’s indexer and nofollow rules, which Brett Young from Microsoft admits is a problem on Bing’s end. The report stems from a couple of posts on the Bing Community Webmaster forum, and Young, a Program Manager for the Bing Webmaster Center, admits “(t)his is a known issue we are working quickly to resolve.”
And one last thing, to end this post on a positive note: an email sent out to Bing cashback users today is promising big cashback savings coming soon:
The email promises “unbelievable cashback savings” to start August 10th, just in time for back to school shopping. Bing cashback is currently only available in the United States.