Bing’s April Fools’ Jokes Include A Slam On Google & A New SEO Tag

bing-logo-200Bing is hopping on the April Fools’ Day joke bandwagon later than Google and even Wolfram Alpha, but it’s taking a swing at Google in one of the two gags that it just announced via separate blog posts.

Bing Basic

On its main search blog, Bing has an esoteric blog post that talks about “Bing Basic,” a feature that lets searchers experience Bing’s home page without the large, colorful and almost always beautiful, clickable photos.

The post says Bing is running a test today and, if you know “a certain telltale query,” this is what you’ll experience:

…you’ll get something a little more bland. 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.

There’s no indication what the “telltale query” is. It took me about five keywords to try “google” and … BAM.


The home page switches to look like Google’s current home page, only with a couple changes. The “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on Google’s home page is “I’m Feeling Confused,” and clicking it leads to Bing’s blog post. There are also four of those familiar Bing hover-style links, which refer to search queries like “plain white paper” and “watching paint dry.” The last hover-link leads to the Bing It On challenge page — the contest that Bing launched last September.

Obviously, it’s all a big slam on Google’s sparse aesthetics on If Bing hadn’t evolved, it would look like Google and have a “dial-up sensibility.”

So much for the light and humorous spirit of April Fool’s Day. Wow, Bing.

Bing’s SEO Tag Gag

Bing’s other April Fools’ joke aims at the funny bone. And the SEO community.

It’s an announcement of a new “SEO tag” – a piece of code that lets webmasters tell Bing where their pages should rank because “it’s time you take control of not just your SEO work, but of your rankings as well!” Hehe. Nice. Here’s what the (fake) code looks like:


The second line of code tells Bing to make sure your page ranks one spot higher than your competition.

I probably should’ve said this joke is “mostly” aimed at the funny bone, because there’s also a dig at Google in this announcement. Bing says one of the reasons for the new SEO tag is that the company has “seen the positive feedback generated by this desire to partner with websites, instead of keeping them in the dark about important data by blocking it or not sharing it.”

Bing is referring there to Google’s [not provided] keyword referrals — data that Google has only been sharing with AdWords advertisers since October 2011.

We’ll keep an eye on Bing and update this post if they launch any more April Fools’ Day jokes … at Google’s expense or not.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Features: General | Microsoft: Bing | Search & Society: April Fool's | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • SEO Services

    thats nice

  • FruitTravel

    Funny. Wonder what will be google take on this like :D

  • Travis Prebble

    Bing has it oh so right. Nobody likes clean, fast designs. I’d MUCH rather go to a page and be thrown a bunch of crap that I didn’t ask for. Remember back in the day when Avis car rental was second best? Their motto was “We try harder”. Microsoft’s motto is shaping up to be “Bing: Waaaaaaaaaaaaa”.

  • Mateus Fernandes Aze



  • John

    We’ve got a Google fanboy right here! lol

  • Chase Anderson


  • Billy

    when did Bing turn into an insecure high school girl that has to slam the competition to make herself feel better?

  • Wendy Piersall

    The inner geek in me has never appreciated an April Fools joke more than the new tags. Ever. :)

  • mybidmonster kenya

    You cannot hide a good product, try as they may, the present impression with customers is that big G is the darling of the moment. this can change anytime though!

  • Chiuey

    Bing has great sense of humor. “I’m Feeling Confused”.

  • Collin Gutierrez

    any publicity is good

  • Nathan Hubbard

    Yeah, just like everyone else.

  • Nathan Hubbard

    They’ll just have everyone use their site instead.

  • Lisa Agostoni

    Awesome. The comments on G+ were quite amusing.

  • Bob Bigellow

    I thought Microsoft’s April Fool’s Day prank was their super popular social media site Socl.

  • Joe Youngblood

    Yeah, I like Bing but this is kind of falling flat.

  • DeadCaL

    Hmm, it’s still 1st of April but the Bing ‘Google’ page doesn’t appear to work in either Firefox or IE. Oh well.

  • dorabowers

    Bentley. I agree that Victoria`s posting is great, on thursday I bought a great new GMC when I got my check for $7807 this munth an would you believe 10 grand this past-munth. it’s by-far the most-comfortable work Ive had. I actually started 8-months ago and right away was bringing home at least $84 per/hr. I follow this website, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • Aaron Baker

    What are you talking about? This article is biased, yes. Don’t get that mixed up with the actuality of the situation. It’s just an April Fools joke. They probably didn’t mean to slam anything.

  • Matt McGee

    Given the history of attacks and slams (on both sides, actually), there’s no doubt this is an intentional slam on Google. I mean, c’mon … a blog post about “dial-up sensibilities” and “what Bing would look like if we hadn’t evolved” and the only way to see what they’re talking about is to type “google” into the search box, and then you end up on a Google-lookalike? C’mon, Aaron. :-)

  • Matt McGee

    I just checked in Firefox and it’s still working for me.

  • Aaron Baker

    Perhaps, or maybe they are taking advantage of the fact that it is April Fools Day. Bing and Google are 1&2 on the search engine list; there is no reason why they can’t make fun of each other. Yes, I believe that this was intentional, but I disagree with ‘Billy’ ‘when did Bing turn into an insecure high school girl that has to slam the competition to make herself feel better?’. This is simply a joke. Nothing more. It’s funny. It’s not insecurity, it’s a sense of humor.

  • ChristopherPine

    Ah, right. So in that sense Billy was just making a joke. After all, it was april 1st at the time. Why are you so upset?

  • ChristopherPine

    I wish we would see more competition between the two. Not just bashing each other. You know, competition based on product quality.

  • Nik Steel

    Both sides took a laugh at the other’s expense. Google’s Gmail Blue joke pokes fun of Microsoft with the statement “How do we completely redesign and recreate something while keeping it exactly the same? The answer is Gmail Blue.”

  • Adrian

    You mean like Gmail blue poking fun at Windows blue

  • Adrian

    And Google’s Facebook killer Google +

  • iAudience_Marketing_Hong_Kong

    This is just great :)

    ahahah :-)

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