Why Bing is the ugly sibling of search


I have worked in paid Search for around 4 years now and have worked on multiple platforms: Yahoo! (when there was one), AdWords, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, YouTube etc. But I have to say that the most irritating platform of all is Bing Ads (formerly the Microsoft adCentre). I use Bing for clients and I’m Bing accredited. That doesn’t stop me from loathing the awful set up, the lack-of-logic interface and sloth-speed Editor.

So here are my top three pet hates about Bing.


1. System Glitches

Whilst working in a client account a couple of weeks ago, I clicked on an option and was presented with a German menu. The rest of the account was fine – it was just this one menu that was affected.

I pointed this out to Bing on Twitter (being one of those irritating people who does such things) and received the following response:

Weirdly they didn’t have a section on foreign menus. It’s just as well Google has a translation tool!

Uploading AdWords campaigns to Bing is always a 5 day job. Export them to Excel to upload, use Bing Editor, sprinkle fairy dust on them and make a wish – it doesn’t matter because it will still refuse to work for the next few days anyway.

Options in the Bing interface also systematically disappear. All of the account access options evaporated out of our account and Bing’s support response essentially consisted of calling it a ‘conundrum’ and saying ‘hmmmmm…’ for a while.

2. Difficult processes (billing)

The billing interface requires the user to input their card details and then ‘Set’ the account to the card. That’s handy, because I put my card details in accounts all the time when I have no intention of using them for this purpose. If a card is added to an account, just use it! Why the extra step?

After you’ve worked that one out, you have to top up your account if you’re pre-paying. Once you’ve put a load of your hard earned cash into this second rate interface, you are not shown a confirmation until you receive an email. Mine arrived around 15 minutes later. Plenty of time for an advertiser to keep trying to enter £500 (apparently to no avail), thus unwittingly emptying their bank account into Bing.

We spotted in our Bing account a week or two ago that one of our campaigns had spent double its £5 allocated daily budget in under 8 hours. I rang Bing and asked them about this and was told that this was due to the fact that we received two clicks at exactly the same time so the system hadn’t caught up with the fact that we had no budget left. I asked if there was any way to counter this and was told quite simply, ‘no’. Wonderful.

3. Poor marketing & Image

When on earth would anyone get the opportunity to use the phrase ‘Bing and decide’ in context? Decide what?

Google was started by a couple of entrepreneurs with the original slogan “don’t be evil”. What a lovely pure sentiment. Microsoft, being the huge corporation that it is, somehow doesn’t inspire the same feelings of creativity and loyalty. (Oh, and before you start thinking about the whole Google tax thing, don’t pretend you wouldn’t want to pay half the amount of income tax if it was legal!)

Google have cultivated a very specific image. They are known for their quirky interview questions, amazing offices and excellent working environment. Their employees have allotments on the roof and hammocks around the office. I remember visiting their old offices just outside London Victoria station and seeing employees cooking themselves full English breakfasts in a beautiful open plan kitchen.

Google Offices – Central St Giles

It’s a shame because Bing does yield decent traffic and the clicks are much cheaper than on AdWords. It’s just not user friendly to set up. There are too many problems and inconsistencies for it to be the ‘main’ platform that advertisers/agencies use.
Sort it out Bing.


Got any other Bing bugbears? Comment below to add them to the list!