Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bing steals Google search results, MS denies, Google announces it to public

Apparently, Microsoft's Bing has been stealing search results from Google lately. And now they are denying it. But then the funny part is that Google themselves wrote a blog post about it and published the news themselves.


And according to me the Google blog post looks a bit towards the 'angry' side. This sure has launched a bit of a war between the giants.

The Google guys noticed last year that Bing was displaying sort of the same results as Google for even misspelt words. So they went on and did an experiment with Bing to confirm if Microsoft was actually stealing from them.

Here's a quote:
"We created about 100 “synthetic queries”—queries that you would never expect a user to type, such as [hiybbprqag]. As a one-time experiment, for each synthetic query we inserted as Google’s top result a unique (real) webpage which had nothing to do with the query. Below is an example:

To be clear, the synthetic query had no relationship with the inserted result we chose—the query didn’t appear on the webpage, and there were no links to the webpage with that query phrase. In other words, there was absolutely no reason for any search engine to return that webpage for that synthetic query. You can think of the synthetic queries with inserted results as the search engine equivalent of marked bills in a bank.

We gave 20 of our engineers laptops with a fresh install of Microsoft Windows running Internet Explorer 8 with Bing Toolbar installed. As part of the install process, we opted in to the “Suggested Sites” feature of IE8, and we accepted the default options for the Bing Toolbar.

We asked these engineers to enter the synthetic queries into the search box on the Google home page, and click on the results, i.e., the results we inserted. We were surprised that within a couple weeks of starting this experiment, our inserted results started appearing in Bing. Below is an example: a search for [hiybbprqag] on Bing returned a page about seating at a theater in Los Angeles. As far as we know, the only connection between the query and result is Google’s result page (shown above)."
Read the whole thing at the Official Google Blog.
And here's Google's Facebook post.