Microsoft’s own Bing search engine was giving prominent place to a link which explains how to pirate Office 2019. It’s a curious display of algorithmic and corporate independence,
All you had to do is search for ‘Office 2019 download’ on Bing to see information that Microsoft definitely does not approve of.
First reported by Catalin Cimpanu at ZDnet, not only did the pirate site get top billing, Bing excerpted key text and an image.
What’s happening now?
Naturally, Office Watch had to try this for ourselves. What you see depends, in part, on your location.
In the USA there are four ads, one from Microsoft itself. The search results started with two Microsoft site links followed by the pirate site. Still visible but not as obvious.
In the UK, there are two ads then a Microsoft site link. No sign of the pirate site though there’s another questionable site on page 2.
Down in Australia there are four ads (one isn’t even related to MS Office!). The top search result isn’t a Microsoft site. The fifth result is the pirate site that started all the fuss.
What does this mean?
It’s good for a laugh. One part of Microsoft promoting piracy sites while another division spends time fighting those very same sites.
It shows some independence on the part of Microsoft’s Bing division but not a lot of curation. The same search on Google displays no pirated web sites in the first few result pages. DuckDuckGo has the pirated site in #2 position.
The owners of the pirate Office 2019 site must be very happy with themselves. Hopefully they’ll reward their SEO people accordingly.
We have no time for pirated Office software. Buying MS Office as cheaply as possible, definitely, but also legally. Therefore, we’re not showing the name of the pirate web site. Anyway, you can find it on some of search sites as mentioned above.