Google on Bing Stealing Search Results: "We'd Like For This Practice to Stop"

Illustration for article titled Google on Bing Stealing Search Results: "We'd Like For This Practice to Stop"

The catty slapping between Google and Microsoft has reached a crescendo today, with Google's Amit Singhal taking to the official Google blog to expand more on yesterday's shocking revelation that Bing is stealing their search results.

Google Fellow Singhal described how they discovered Microsoft's Bing search engine was copying their spelling corrections and top search results:

"We noticed that URLs from Google search results would later appear in Bing with increasing frequency for all kinds of queries: popular queries, rare or unusual queries and misspelled queries. Even search results that we would consider mistakes of our algorithms started showing up on Bing."


As the Search Engine Land blog reported yesterday, Google then pressed its finger on the sting operation button, fooling Bing into copying 100 "synthetic queries," as they call them.

Basically, made-up words that no-one would ever actually search for unless they had a serious case of the Fat Finger Disease.

What a surprise it must have been to then see Bing replicating these results only weeks later, despite their ranking being entirely artificial. Take it away, Singhal:

"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."


Microsoft has already stated that "we do not copy Google's results," but is that just a clever way for them to dodge the spelling-correction bullet? [Official Google Blog]

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The title of this article is highly misleading, as well as inaccurate. Bing is not "stealing" google search results. They are data mining through an OPT-IN program that google knowingly agreed to, and now google is attempting to use it for PR purposes.

Bing making use of data that was willingly provided to it is perfectly legitimate. If anything, the bad guys here are google, for a) using a program they agreed to in order to try and exploit Microsoft for PR purposes, and b) manipulating search results, which they should never, ever, under any situation, do.