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Now, I'm trying to work out if this is simply inexperience or an innocent misunderstanding of how the web works or, on the other hand, an attempt to leverage Google's strong brand name as some authentication of their product?
Or, am I missing something?
The common user does not understand web technology, and probably never will. But users do know brand names. So I'd say your last guess is the right one - it's "an attempt to leverage Google's strong brand name as some authentication.
...simply inexperience or an innocent misunderstanding of how the web works...
That will NEVER catch on ... we need a "trendy name for Bing searching" thread.
My vote is for B-Dogging ... ;)
I have heard several people tell someone to "Bing it..."
Easy to say, clever, and what impressed me most was the person they were speaking to knew what they meant. Bing is catching on, and with Google's latest transgressions, the other SEs might find themselves with a bit more traffic.
Webmasters helped establish Google as the #1 search engine. I would imagine what webmasters giveth, they can also taketh away. No company is immune to change.