Attention! Bing Search API pricing skyrockets by up to 1000%

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 17, 2023
Updated • Feb 20, 2023

Microsoft announced a pricing update for the companies Bing Search API recently that increases the price by up to 1000% for some transactions.

Organizations and developers may use the Bing Search API in their products to pull data from Bing Search. Search engines like DuckDuckgo use data provided by Bing, among other sources, when users search.

Microsoft notes that Bing Search APIs will increase in price from May 1, 2023 on in all markets. Customers who use the API will be charged the new price from that day going forward. The company explains that the "new pricing model reflects more accurately the technology investments Bing continues to make to improve Search".

Microsoft invested US$10 billion in OpenAI recently, and has started to integrate AI products created by the company, such as ChatGPT, into Microsoft products. Microsoft Bing Search is one of the first, but Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Office will follow later this year.

Bing Search API Price explodes

Microsoft lists various instances, transactions, features, and the current and new price. The only instance without a price change is the free instance. It is limited to 1000 transactions per month, and that remains across all major Bing features. These features include Bing News and Image search, Web search, but also autosuggest and spell check.

A transaction is a successful Bing Search API call.

The price of all other API instances increases significantly from May 2023 onward. Instance S1's price, for example, increases from $7 per 1000 transactions to $25 per 1000 transactions. This is not the largest increase, however. Instance S2's price jumps from $3 for 1000 transactions to $15, and the price for Bing Statistics Add-in transactions jumps from $1 per 1000 transactions to $10 per 1000 transactions.

Bing API pricing with large language models, which ChatGPT falls under, starts at $28 per 1000 transactions for less than 1 million requests per day, and jumps to $200 per 1000 transactions for over 1 million requests per day.

Are search engines like DuckDuckGo impacted?

It is unclear right now if third-party search engines like DuckDuckGo are impacted directly by the change. Large organizations may have custom agreements with Microsoft to utilize search APIs.

The change impacts all developers and organizations who query Microsoft Bing Search APIs in their products and do not have custom agreements with the company. It remains to be seen how these will react to the pricing changes.

Since the change is significant, some may not be able to support the change. Having to pay three, four or even five times for API calls in May 2023 may certainly be a dealbreaker for many.  One option that these companies and developers have is to switch to another search API. It is far from ideal, considering that search results may change when a different search API is used.

Closing Words

Only a few search engines rely on their own databases and crawlers. Brave Search, as an example, uses its own search technology, which makes it independent of Bing or Google, the major API providers. Other search engines, including DuckDuckgo, Startpage, Neeva and others rely on these APIs.

Now You: what is your take on this?

Microsoft increases Bing Search API pricing by up to 1000%
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Microsoft increases Bing Search API pricing by up to 1000%
Microsoft announced a pricing update for the companies Bing Search API recently that increases the price by up to 1000% for some transactions.
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  1. Roebie said on September 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

    “the not so perfect search utility in XP”
    At least it worked. Both Vista and Seven take far too much time indexing and searching on networked drives.
    A search for all files with a certain string in the filename takes 3 times longer on Seven (and 4 times longer on Vista) than on XP.
    The indexing service takes too much memory too.
    I’ll stick to Copernic Desktop Search for now!

  2. Kari said on September 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    What a crap! My customers don’t find their documents with windows search function, even if it is almost in right front of you. Microsoft’s policy is to keep everything messy and protected, and the most stupidiest thing is to show different name for the folder than what it actually is.

    Is it too much to ask, if the search function would work like in XP? Yes it is…
    Good luck with Windows Search, third party software rules in this case… too.

  3. Fuddler said on October 18, 2012 at 6:13 am

    The term negation function doesn’t work.

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