Google Catches Bing Copying Its Results
It theorizes that it's spying on users with IE, Bing toolbar
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 1, 2011 12:42 PM CST
In this photo made Jan. 7, 2010, attendees look at the Bing display at the Microsoft exhibit at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – Google is furious. The search giant says it’s caught Bing red-handed stealing its search results—or, at least, mining data from its results to use to adjust Bing's own ranking algorithm. It suspects Bing is using Internet Explorer and/or the Bing toolbar to monitor users’ Google queries and results. Microsoft doesn’t deny it either, according to Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land. Asked for comment, Bing’s director said the toolbar was “one of many inputs” the site uses.

Google tested its suspicions with a “sting” operation, in which it artificially linked ridiculous search terms (like “mbzrxpgys”) to unrelated sites (like RIM’s homepage), then searched for them on Internet Explorer with the Bing bar enabled. Within two weeks, Bing started showing the same results for those terms. Furious, Google sent the results to Sullivan. “It’s cheating,” the Google Fellow who oversees the search algorithm tells him. “It’s like running a marathon and carrying someone else on your back.” Click to see more examples from Google's "sting."

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
Feb 2, 2011 11:07 AM CST
Microsoft thinks it's ok to reverse engineer Google tech and have that little bit of text in their legal agreement about reverse engineering. I wonder how will Microsoft feel if Google decides to poke around Windows kernel.
Feb 2, 2011 6:45 AM CST
How hilarious!! The irony of Google accusing others of "riding on someone else's back"!! That's all Google has ever done! --- Man, have Larry and Sergey succumbed to greed or WHAT?! DO That Evil, Larry & Sergey! Get into bed with Murdoch; Lobby in Washington! All that stuff you were against: Now you're knee-deep in it.
Feb 1, 2011 8:37 PM CST
bing sting stung the bung