Google vs. Bing: The Squabble Continues

By  |  Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I’ve been watching the odd debate between Google and Bing executives over Bing’s alleged copying of Google search results wih an uneasy fascination. There’s an interesting question here about legitimate and illegitimate uses of clickstream monitoring to shape search results. But both sides have adopted pissy, confrontational tones that haven’t done much to clarify matters. (All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher thinks the whole affair may be a preview of the Larry Page era at Google.)

But Google engineer Matt Cutts has a new post up which I like: His points seem reasonable and he engages in no sniping or whining. I agree with him that Bing honcho Yusef Mehdi’s “We do not copy results from any of our competitors. Period. Full stop.” is, at best, confusing given that (A) Bing does seem to have replicated the nonsense results that Google planted as part of its sting operation; and (B) Bing representatives also seems to have defended watching IE users’ clicks on Google and mixing results based on their actions there into the gumbo of Bing’s algorithm.

At the moment, I think that Google has the edge in this tussle, mostly because it’s explained its stance more coherently and (somewhat) more politely. (Of course, reasonable people may disagree.)

If Microsoft’s stance is that it hasn’t been copying Google results (period, full stop), the best thing it could do would be to explain why that isn’t the case–in language as measured and dignified as Cutts’s. Tell us, Bingfolk: Why haven’t your actions amounted to cloning links from a competitor’s search results?


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11 Comments For This Post

  1. Robert Says:

    How did "bing" get installed on my Google page at all ? I have never knowingly invited bing to be installed on my Google Brouzer home page! I have used Computers since the 70's but I an no Geek or hacker and i dont even know if that is the real proper description of the Google Page that comes up when I access the broadband WWW. I do not use it ! I did not knowingly invite it here! Is't it illegal for anyone to install programs or Search Engine on someone elses PC without their permission or knowledge???????????

  2. Harry McCracken Says:

    Apparently, Bing gets the data from IE’s “Site Suggestions” feature and/or the Bing Toolbar–but I’m not sure if Microsoft has clarified the details.

  3. nick dafo Says:

    couldn’t agree more with you

  4. dholyer Says:

    I had sa similar problem with my Chrome, How this happens on my Chrome is adding plug ins they have setting when you configure or install, I noticed this with Fire Fox 2.0 & 3.0 so I've been watching this sly trick. And for a while Mc Affee did this trick to disable my Norton 360.

    So be wise and keep a look out for little tricks people use to make you enter their dependency thus earning them money.

    Also I entered the computing world in 1975 while in High School and educated myself from a program listing of the 1973 TTY game called Star Trek. And that was primative with it's paper typewriter version of a GUI interface.

  5. bob e Says:

    I love how Bing can gain an advantage even though a user chooses to search with the goog!

  6. tom b Says:

    Most Bing "users" are people who click through to Bing accidently from the Yahoo homepage because they have that malicious javascript there that sends you to Yahoo search (Bing) instead of Google if you aren't careful. That kind of user hijacking should be illegal.

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    Either Google or Bing, they are both useful. They should work together sometime to exchange ideas so they can enhance their capabilities.

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