Google Inc. claimed last week that rival Microsoft’s search engine Bing stole their search results. A report surfaced last Tuesday, February 1, when Google claimed they ran a trap operation to test if Bing had in fact stolen their results. And of course, what happened? The mouse got caught! Google changed their search algorithms to display fictitious website in their search results for bogus words such as “hiybbprqag” and “mbzrxpgjys”. When they used Bing to search for these scrambled words that would have made Noah Webster have a heart attack, the same exact search results populated on Bing and they did Google.
Anyone could imagine the look on the Google search team’s face when they noticed the results. Because of this, Amit Singhal, a member of the Google search engine algorithm team labeled Bing “cheaters”. A Microsoft spokesman quickly responded in an online Blog that this was “nonsense” and Bing “does not copy Google search results”.
This is not the first time Google’s ears perked up over this. In October 2010, Google claimed there was a significant overlap in the top 10 search results of random search terms as there was in Bing. This early onset of actions gave Google some months to test their hypothesis and it looks like they stated their conclusion very clear last week.
Bing’s response to these accusations is that they use many opt-in programs including the Bing toolbar, which helps them “clickstream data” which is a common tool used to rank websites.
More reports should surface in the coming weeks. These allegations and the he-said she-said chatter almost seems like the two heavyweight boxers performing their typical stare-down contest when they are weighed in weeks before the match. It seems like right now we’re all just waiting for the fellow in the tuxedo to come into the ring and announce who’s in which corner.