Is Bing Buying Adult Keywords on Google?

REDMOND, Wash.—“My kingdom for a keyword” may be the newest slogan coined by Bing’s marketing team. The tech world has been sniffing around Microsoft's new search engine for the past few days and may have uncovered a new strategy designed to cement Bing's “porn credentials,” as one observer put it in a Thursday post .

The strategy involves buying adult keywords on Google and driving the resulting traffic to Bing's video search function, which, let’s face it, is one big sex-loving tube site.

“There seems to be some agreement among the cognoscenti that Microsoft's fine search engine offers optimal results for those who are seeking the filmic freshness of the flesh. Blocking such freshness can also be a difficult maneuver,” CNET’s Chris Matyszczyk wrote on his blog Technically Incorrect.

“You see, Bing has excellent video search properties,” he continued. “And you might be astonished to hear that one of the major types of video for which humanity's needy search is video of a pornographic bent. However, TechCrunch claims to have encountered evidence that Bing has entered an entirely new realm of raunch.”

Over at TechCrunch, Michael Arrington indeed has been crunching the keys and found some rather interesting results when he googled the term “pornography.”

“In May we noticed Bing ads on Google, which seemed a little ironic to us given how seriously the two companies compete with each other,” Addington wrote. “But one thing we didn’t notice until now is that Bing is also advertising on Google for the query ‘pornography.’”

Frankly, no one seems to be particularly perturbed about the fact that Bing is looking for porn bling.

“There’s nothing wrong with being a good porn search engine, in our opinion,” Addington noted. “And why not go ahead and advertise it to the world?”

But the Redmond-based software giant is a little red-faced over the discovery, and is insisting that the intrepid folk at TechCrunch have it wrong.

A Microsoft spokesperson issued the following response: “Microsoft has not purchased the keyword ‘pornography,’ and this term has never been in our AdWords account. It is our policy on the Bing marketing team that we do not have any adult content as part of any of our keyword buys or other marketing campaigns. The keyword that seems to be triggering these results is ‘free videos.’ We are following up with Google to understand why this ad is showing up in these types of queries.”

It turns out another blogger, Aaron Goldman, also was curious about Bing’s interest in attracting porn surfers to its search offerings. He googled “Google porn searches.” Lo and behold, the first result was for Coincidence?

When tried the same search Thursday morning, the aforementioned result did not appear. Is Bing doing a little backtracking and trying to cover its tracks in the face of all these reports? Too soon to tell, but the battle for heart and soul of the porn surfer certainly seems to be heating up, at least where Bing is concerned, even if they’re still winking and nodding.

“I would never be the one to suggest that Microsoft deliberately seeks out porn business,” Matyszczyk claimed, more than a little tongue in cheek. “However, business is, indeed, business. So one wonders just how much awareness there is among Bingers of this alleged arousing serendipity.”