I’ve just noticed something odd when searching on Bing: it asks me to enter a captcha code before I can click through to my chosen search result.
Bing is currently looking to wrench some search market share from Google, but it seems this is a guaranteed method of deterring users…
It seems to be something that happens on the local listings on the results page; it doesn’t ask for a captcha when I click on paid results or the general listings.
In the example shown in the screenshot above, the result I clicked on leads to the following screen:
Bing explains that this step is meant to prevent automated searches, and has been necessary since my computer ‘has done a lot of searching lately’.
I have used Bing lately, having written this post on user reactions to Bing last week, but not excessively. Worse still, it isn’t the easiest captcha ever, and I can see a few people having problems getting it right.
Quite simply, this is absolute madness, what better way to put users off a search engine than making them jump through hoops to actually access their results?
Also, I expect the local businesses listed wouldn’t be too happy that, just as a user clicks through with the intention of contacting them, an extra obstacle is placed in their path.
Here’s a typical user reaction to this use of captcha code, not using Bing again:
(video from whatusersdo)
I can’t think of a single good reason for this use of captcha codes, anyone else have any ideas?