If you are at all involved in web marketing or follow a single online technology source then you have heard a million comments and discussions about the sting Google used to prove Bing is copying some of its search results: here is the original press release from Google with their evidence. (Just here to vote? Vote here)
The following quote summarizes the Google opinion on how Microsoft did it and the result:
As we see it, this experiment confirms our suspicion that Bing is using some combination of:
- Internet Explorer 8, which can send data to Microsoft via its Suggested Sites feature
- the Bing Toolbar, which can send data via Microsoft’s Customer Experience Improvement Program
or possibly some other means to send data to Bing on what people search for on Google and the Google search results they click. Those results from Google are then more likely to show up on Bing. Put another way, some Bing results increasingly look like an incomplete, stale version of Google results—a cheap imitation.
What came of this very public wedgy from Google was, inevitably, a shit storm of enjoyable proportions between the two competitors. Here are some of the highlights along with some of my own thoughts on the matter:
We do not copy results from any of our competitors. Period. Full stop. We have some of the best minds in the world at work on search quality and relevance, and for a competitor to accuse any one of these people of such activity is just insulting.
We do look at anonymous click stream data as one of more than a thousand inputs into our ranking algorithm. We learn from our customers as they traverse the web, a common practice in helping to improve a wide array of online services. We have been clear about this for a couple of years (see Directions on Microsoft report, June 15, 2009).
Not only does Bing deny the allegations but Google’s hypocritical stance allows Bing’s Yusef Mehdi (SVP of Online Services) to take a righteous stab at Google and draw blood: Read more…