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Google Accuses Bing Of Cheating

Google Bing CheatingAccording to Searchengineland, Google has run a recent sting operation that it claims proves Bing has been spying on Google, a claim Bing doesn’t deny.

Then, says Google, Bing uses the information it derives from its spying on Google to improve its own search product.

The spat dates back to May 2010 when Google noticed that, for unusually misspelt words, Bings results were remarkably similar to Google. It raised the interest of Google search engineers.

By October, Google had noticed a marked rise in two key competitive metrics. Bing was becoming more Google-like in its search results. Google started to wonder if perhaps Microsoft was deriving Google ranking information from its browser (Internet Explorer) or via the toolbar on the Bing search engine.

Google decided it needed a sting to prove Bing was a copycat (the results of which pretty much confirms that it is. You can see the results of the sting at Searchengineland).

Bing aren’t doing anything illegal, although some might argue it’s morally corrupt. If you have gmail, analytics, Chrome browser and other Google products, the simple fact is Google knows a great deal about you and your preferences. From that perspective, it can’t legitimately grizzle about Microsoft collecting data that it would be happy to collect for itself.

From the consumer point of view, the average user of a search engine doesn’t care whether Bing or Google copy each other… they just want to find what they are looking for.

Google is upset that its effort is being copied. I sympathise greatly with that position since it takes a lot of work to create a product that works well. But Google also breaches or facilitates the breach of other originators copyright material so its a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Until Google takes the whole concept of copyright infringement seriously in its search engine results and easily faciliates the removal from its index of copyrighted content stolen from an originators website, many people will shrug their shoulders and mutter something like “Hey Google, now you know what it feels like”.

Neither Bing nor Google have conquered the greatest search challenge yet, although the rumbles around the search community are getting louder about the level of spam (there is another good piece here) in the search results.  The search engine that cracks this problem will deliver the best quality search results for the user. Ultimately you can be sure they will take (or hold) the market leadership.

If Google keeps its focus on Bing rather than the search user, it may be a brand new search engine that really left-fields the distracted giant.

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