Bing 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.
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 Google.com. 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.