You know those small rock chips you get on your car as you’re hurtling down the highway? Those tiny imperfections in your car’s auto body called “dings”. They’re the ones that are annoying but too small to invest money or time in repairing, so you simply ignore them. That’s how this blogger feels about Microsoft’s newly launched “Bing!” search engine. Bing! is nothing more than a rock chip along my travels on the information superhighway – thanks for scratching my paint.
Excited by all the internet buzz of this week, I visited Bing.com only to discover that I had been Punk’d. Featuring a boring graphic of nature at Her finest, Bing! offered me a search bar, and implored me to “Explore” five choices along the left navigation: Images, Videos, Shopping, News, Maps and Travel. At the bottom of the screen they offered me a “Popular Now” section with a few topics that are certainly not popular in my search behavior.
I admit that at this point I was thoroughly unimpressed. I’m a search marketer and we always hammer home the message that our client’s landing pages have to be compelling. We implore them: “You’ve got to grab your audience’s attention and inspire them to click through your site!” “Add graphics”, we suggest, “use video technology to demonstrate your products, give your reader dynamic web copy, and above all demonstrate the value of your brand and your product above the competition.”
I cannot be excited about a page that fails to embrace these simple marketing truths. No, Google’s homepage is not the stuff search engine marketers dream of – but they were first in line and get points for originality.
I feel let down. All the hype and I get a white-letter logo with an orange dot for the “i” and an old Windows Live page with a facelift. Oh, and the social media connectivity or integration? I suppose they ran out of time or money to add these as features since they were concentrating on adding their clairvoyant flight fare finder which will tell me to hold off buying that ticket because the price is likely to drop. If the rest of the world is interested in social media, why are you showing me pictures of the mountains and calling it brand new? Besides, I had to hunt down the video tutorial to teach me how to find and use their flight and hotel planner. You know, it’s funny, I know of five other sites that offer that same “New!” feature.
I recognize that my opinion is in direct contrast with many of you Bing! luv-ahs, but I’m afraid that embracing Bing! sets a standard that we just can’t accept. I expected more from you Microsoft – and I hope the purported $80 million you’re spending on advertising this remodel can be put towards adding on some real, usable features. On behalf of search engine marketers, informed consumers, savvy Internet explorers, persons with heartbeat, and individuals across the nation who can’t stand to be hyped up and then disappointed – Bing!, since you failed to lead, or even follow, please get out of the way. Besides, I hate chipped paint.