Suspecting rival Bing piggybacks off its results, Google ran a sting operation to catch Bing in the act. Google says it’s proven that Bing copies results from users’ searches and uses the info to bolster its own output.
Search Engine Land quotes a high-level Google employee:
“I’ve spent my career in pursuit of a good search engine. I’ve got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innovation, in my book.”
Microsoft’s initial response to Search Engine Land:
As you might imagine, we use multiple signals and approaches when we think about ranking, but like the rest of the players in this industry, we’re not going to go deep and detailed in how we do it. Clearly, the overarching goal is to do a better job determining the intent of the search, so we can guess at the best and most relevant answer to a given query.
Opt-in programs like the [Bing] toolbar help us with clickstream data, one of many input signals we and other search engines use to help rank sites. This “Google experiment” seems like a hack to confuse and manipulate some of these signals.
And a follow-up from Microsoft, posted by ZDNet: “We do not copy Google’s results.”
Google: Bing Is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results [Search Engine Land via Gizmodo]