NEWS FLASH: Bing is literally paying people to use their search engine. I repeat: BING IS PAYING PEOPLE TO SEARCH. Like not kidding, I think it may or may not be some sort of legitimized bribery to wean people away from other search sites.
I first stumbled upon this cash cow during orientation at work. Using the company computers, the default browser is Internet Explorer and thus the default search engine is Bing. And of course due to all sorts of archaic security restrictions, Google Chrome cannot be downloaded. (I get constant reminders about how I should really switch to an updated browser by Gmail all the time…ugh)
Never the less I make the best out of a bad situation #millenialproblems and start to notice that every time I do a search there is a little medal with numbers counting in the corner. I check it out. Realize I could be turning searching for “how to raise a hedgehog” and “funny cat with bubbles” searches into some sort of profitable enterprise. Obviously I’m hooked.
So basically, you make an account and then Bing logs all your searches. You get one point for every two searches. You can do up to 15 points a day on the computer and 10 points on your mobile device. You set yourself a goal and have the opportunity to get anything from a $5 Burger King gift card to a $1 donation to something like Teach for America to an entry for a sweepstakes for airplane tickets.
You know it’s gonna be a good day when Bing has a special bonus days (weekends generally) when you can get 30 points on the computer. And sometimes they have sponsored searches that get you extra opportunities to earn credits. When you reach certain landmarks you get Silver Status and then ultimately Gold which gives you discounts when redeeming gift cards.
I’ve recently redeemed a $5 Amazon card (for 525 points) and am currently working towards a $5 Starbucks gift card (only 475 thanks to my Gold Status). If you’re determined, you get a gift card every 2-3 weeks. No bad right?
Have I sold ya yet? Sign up here.
Honestly, I think Bing has a pretty long uphill battle ahead of them because not only has “google” become synonymous with “search”, but there are legitimate differences between the quality of search between Google and Bing. Moreover, Bing Rewards has been around since 2010 but I didn’t discover its true potential until I was actually forced to use Internet Explorer. And even then, it took me two months of begrudgingly using it to finally sign up.
Nevertheless, redeeming that Amazon gift card felt good. And bribing people like me with gift cards for something that I already do daily is certainly a step in the right direction–at least towards a Starbucks coffee shop.