Microsoft's search engine Bing has taken revenge on electronics company Kogan, removing it from its search results.
Last month Kogan imposed a 'tax' on its customers using the Microsoft browser, Internet Explorer 7 (IE7). Anyone attempting to purchase items with the browser saw a pop-up message explaining: “To help make the internet a better place, you will be charged a 6.8 per cent tax on your purchase from Kogan.com.”
It added: “This is necessary due to the amount of time required to make web pages appear correctly in IE7.”
The electronics firm urged its visitors to make use of alternative browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera, in order to avoid the charge and “make the internet a better place”.
Internet Explorer has long been associated with problems for website coders and designers. However, it appears that Microsoft has taken exception to Kogan's methods of alerting users to the issue as it has removed Kogan.com from searches on Bing and its affiliated search engine Yahoo!.
An official blog post from Kogan queried the issue: “This is very strange considering we are big Microsoft fans … We never waged war against Microsoft over IE7, we simply wanted people to upgrade their web browsers.
“Do you think this is just a glitch from Microsoft, or is there something more at play here? We are wondering the same thing, so tell us what you think in the comments section below."
It's debatable whether Kogan or Microsoft should be criticised for their actions. But the case does make one thing clear: search engines wield a lot of power over online business – it is worth keeping on their good side!