back to article Microsoft boots fake fix-it search ads

Microsoft has laid out new rules for its Bing search engine designed to crack down on tech support scams. Redmond said that it will no longer allow advertisers to pitch their third-party support and repair products as "official" or branded tech support. Under the new rules, Bing search ads will have to present themselves …

  1. Pliny the Whiner

    A classic case of Driving While Blonde

    That's so cute. Microsoft believes that actual people use Bing.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: A classic case of Driving While Blonde

      "Microsoft believes that actual people use Bing."

      But you have to admit, the type that's clueless enough to use Bing because "it came with the computer" are the type that'd fall for these scams.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A classic case of Driving While Blonde

        Maybe they use Bing because it's not Google? Would you prefer they use Yahoo? Not everyone knows what duckduckgo is and when it's listed beside ebay, twitter and amazon there is nothing to hint at it being a general search as opposed to some specialist weird hobby thing.

        When people do things you don't approve of it's never safe to assume you know why. Or that they are stupid.

        1. Innocent-Bystander*

          Re: A classic case of Driving While Blonde

          Would you prefer they use Yahoo?

          Yahoo is powered by Bing.

          Gotta hand it to them though: Bing is good for two things. Image search and their daily desktop backgrounds.

          1. zen1

            Re: A classic case of Driving While Blonde

            But doesn't Bing still get a lot of reference from Google?

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: A classic case of Driving While Blonde

      They do. Their number 1 search term is "Google".

    3. Chemical Bob

      Re: Microsoft believes that actual people use Bing.

      My daughter tried Bing once. This is her entirely non-technical review:

      "I see you're searching for tacos, here is an interactive map of Poland. Pleezluvmeee..."

      BTW, my daughter is blonde too. Except when she dyes her hair green.

    4. Medixstiff

      Re: A classic case of Driving While Blonde

      I always remember a seminar years ago where the speaker asked people to go to Bing.com and there were a heap of gasps as if to say WTF is this moron doing, then he started typing in Google.

  2. energystar
    Linux

    That's well used AI.

    Congratulating Microsoft on the effort. And wishing them success at this arduous WORK.

  3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    ...may not promote...for products/services that the advertisers do not directly own

    Ok, so an MVP gets called to sort out a problem with someone's Microsoft software. According to that statement he/she is not allowed to do that.

    (I had to shorten the title)

  4. David Webb

    Useful

    My niece (using google) went to book her theory test, clicked the top result (on her android) and what do you know, wasn't the DVLA but a "if you fail, we'll pay for a reset*********", yeah, the ones where if you fail by 1 point they rebook the test for free.

    It's only blind luck she failed the test by 1 point.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Useful

      Wait? So you look up "DVLA" in the phone book, call David Victor Liam Alfred and when he scams you, blame the phone book?

      I know scams on Google are bad. Google (and other search engines) do a lot of work to fix it. But I cannot understand people who are so trusting not to look at where they are on the internet. I know some people will buy anything from a man in a van in the street. Which is not their fault, they were scammed, but please have a little bit of thought in how and what you do. :/

      1. Medixstiff

        Re: Useful

        "But I cannot understand people who are so trusting not to look at where they are on the internet"

        What I can't get over is last year 6 Australian's were taken for over $1 million each in love scams.

        How can people with that much money be so dumb, when every year, the ATO and other departments harp on about love scams etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Useful

          Obviously, I need to move to Australia? I'd scam for half that! ;)

  5. bex

    the internet, can't live with it .........

    Search engines have become a minefield of crap links, you want a driver, it's there somewhere but you will have to trawl through a myriad "driver update solutions" disguised as what you want to find the proper file.

    1. Grunchy

      Re: the internet, can't live with it .........

      That's Google for you. 1x10^6 scam links for whatever your interest is.

    2. Mikel

      Re: the internet, can't live with it .........

      Have become?

  6. Mike Lewis

    Fake might be better

    I've used Microsoft tech support. I'll take my chances with the other ones.

  7. psyvenrix

    About damn time

    Now we just need that other search engine to do the same.

  8. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Presumably they only care about this type of scamming when it affects MS products.

    No chance of a blanket scam-ban then?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No chance of a blanket scam-ban then?

      Of course not - why get in the way of profit?

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Walled Garden under construction or?

    MS wanting to bludgeon all the competition to death so that only they can deliver support for their stuff. Then they'll introduce a charging fee

    For only $9.99/month we will give you support for Skype.

    For an extra $9.99/month we will give you Bing support.

    etc

    etc

    Sure, some of those search results might have been scams but I'm sure that a few were real businesses who were relying un their SEO page ranking to get work. They will be mightilly peed off at this.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Can we all just get along?"

    1. Chika
      Trollface

      Odd. That A/c sounded like Tara Strong...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. David Pollard

    When they have sorted this out, perhaps they could turn their attention to the persistent gentleman who telephones at intervals from the Indian Microsoft Support department to tell me that my computer has downloaded all sorts of malware.

    1. KA1AXY

      I just ask him why Microsoft is calling about my Linux machine.

      1. OchaiThenoo

        I do the same, after wasting a couple of hours of his time.

  12. Mr Dogshit
    Facepalm

    I don't know why people are so fucking stupid

    Fail your driving test, want to book another. It says on the back off the bloody bit of paper they give you to go to www.gov.uk. No, let's not do that - let's just type "book driving test online" into Google, because Google is good, Google is God, Google is never infallible. Click on the top "result", which obviously isn't a result but just an ad. Book your driving test via some shit scam site and then be surprised when you get ripped off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't know why people are so fucking stupid

      You're assuming the test wsas for a motor vehicle. Maybe it was the ECDL.

      Also failing by 1 point is not blind luck. Driving test centres work (unofficially) to quotas. Too many passes prompts an investigation apparently.

      Never take your test on a Friday either boys and girls.

      Source: I know a driving examiner. Also I failed on two consequetive Fridays with loads of points against me. Resat on the following Monday passed with only one minor mark, drove exactly the same. Same test centre each time. I also know most of the marks against me were bullshit as I'd racked up 2 years solid road experience with a moped (with CBT pass). I know a moped isnt a car but you have to be a lot more alert on a bike than in a car and your hazard perception needs to be spot on. Otherwise death awaits you...

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: I don't know why people are so fucking stupid

        All of those points aer valid, but none of them have anything to do with blindly clicking links on the internet.

        I think we need internet training like we do food training. We grow up knowing not to eat everything that can fit in out mouths, how to check it's safe, and how to check it's from a good place or is what it says it is.

        Why can we not do the same with the internet instead of clicking every link? Same seems to go for those poor people getting poisoned by tabs in clubs. Really? You trust these people to make something your going to put in your mouth that you have no idea except a promise is not going to kill you?

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: I don't know why people are so fucking stupid

      A lot of idiot marketers advertise using "Search for X" as the way to find more/order the widget.

      So it seems likely that people who would buy such things will just search.

      On top of that, all three popular browsers will search if you make a typo.

      Almost all the non-technical people I know just Google for the website they want. Even Facebook.

      I've seen people Google for Google...

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: I've seen people Google for Google..

        You are not wrong. Dangerous behaviour in my view. Trouble is that the URL field is being sidelined, on the belief that it is complicated to use because text needs to be typed correctly. Then there are helper DNS tools that substitute what they think you meant, rather than what you typed. Bookmarks are arguably the best way to visit previously visited sites, but there are plenty of pitfalls there - e.g., websites redesigned without any thought for visitors who have bookmarked prior incarnations of the site - a great way to engender customer loyalty - not!

      2. Vic

        Re: I don't know why people are so fucking stupid

        A lot of idiot marketers advertise using "Search for X"

        A lot of them use "Search X". That really annoys me...

        Prepositions really aren't that expensive any more.

        Vic.

    3. KA1AXY

      Re: I don't know why people are so fucking stupid

      Clever. Using the correct website is the first part of the test.

  13. BurnT'offering

    Also banned

    Results for 'shit' in response to searches for 'Sherlock'

  14. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Also, web sites don't help

    Since I first used the interwebs,donkeys' years ago the beancounters and marketing idiots have made things rather more complicated to use. Too often now an apparent link on a site's web page will take users to the part of a site that the Droids want you to see, rather than the one you wanted to go to. Whereas Google/Bing et al will often take you to the bit of the site you actually need. To put that another way, if you navigate to Acme Widgets' web pages to find an updated Widget driver you could spend ages going from page to page desperately trying to find the sodding Widget driver, because the front page doesn't have a "downloads" link and the Support link on the front page takes you to a page of FAQs, one of which might say something along the lines of "Where do I find updated Drivers" which will take you to a link that says "Find your product" which will take you to a link that says "Support" that takes you back to the FAQs, etc. ad infinitum.

    If you do a Google/Bing search you'll have a reasonable chance of seeing a link that says something like www.acme-widget.com/support/devices/downloads/drivers.

    Unfortunately, you might also find yourself at a site URL www.acme.widgets.ru/scam-me-rotten/download-a-virus

    1. ChrisBedford

      Re: Also, web sites don't help

      "the front page doesn't have a "downloads" link and the Support link on the front page takes you to a page of FAQs, one of which might say something along the lines of "Where do I find updated Drivers" which will take you to a link that says "Find your product" which will take you to a link that says "Support" that takes you back to the FAQs"

      Oh thank God I thought it was just me. There have been times I have wanted to scream with frustration at websites like this. Sometimes in desperation I just click links at random and find the download I am looking for under a totally unlikely heading like "troubleshooting" or worse.

      More than once I have ended up throwing away the widget in question and buying one from a competitor.

  15. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    I googled for "avg support" on bing and one of the first few results was for "guruaid", a well known scammer. I'm pretty sure it was a natural search result and not an ad. So the whole effort is a bit of a waste of time.

  16. VulcanV5
    Pint

    Kudos to Microsoft!

    Well done, Microsoft. It's about time that a company of its size and integrity took on the scumbag outfits that target the vulnerable.

    I've even heard of people winding up with an entire Operating System which they didn't want but were conned into believing they should install "important updates" to address "issues" which, of course, didn't exist.

    The sooner these scumbags are put out of business, the better!

  17. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Stupidity is running rampant.

    Banks send out emails with links in them asking you to click the link,

    Then they say never to click on links in email that suspiciously seem to come from them.

    Dohh..

    And they do it over and over, never seemingly realising how stupid they are.

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