Tech News

Bing Ripping Off Google Search Results

February 2, 2011 at 8:29 am

When Bing first launched, I found some weired stuff. There were no better results than Google but there were lots of results similar to Google’s. There was no point using Bing except for video search. I couldn’t figure it all out at that point. All I did was a vague tweet that Bing might be using a similar algorithm as Google’s pagerank. Now it seems figured out.

Google claims that Bing is ripping off it’s search results through internet explorer and Bing toolbar. As an experiment, Google engineers created some pages and tested them. For example, there were no results for ‘honeypot’ on both the search engines. Google guys created a page and using internet explorer with Bing toolbar on, they searched and clicked the result they wanted. In a few weeks, the result was on top of Bing. If this is not enough to convince you, go ahead to see some weired examples. Google guys followed the same mechanism for bizzare searches like ‘mbrzxpgjys’, ‘hiybbprqag’, and ‘indoswiftjobinproduction’. Astonishigly, Bing showed the most-clicked results on Google as top results on Bing! Whoops. So what is Bing actually doing?

Turns out that Bing uses its toolbar to monitor clickstream on Google and ranks the search results accordingly.

Bing Vs Google

Bing Vs Google

Here’s what Bing has to say in reply to Google’s claim:

We use multiple signals and approaches in ranking search results. The overarching goal is to do a better job determining the intent of the search so we can provide the most relevant answer to a given query. Opt-in programs like the toolbar help us with clickstream data, one of many input signals we and other search engines use to help rank sites.

Intersting stuff. But the question is, is Google right in it’s claim? Answer is ‘Yes’ as bing has admired it in its statement above. Now a second question appears – is Bing doing it right? Isn’t it piracy?

Update: Here’s Google’s official word on this.

[SEL via Engadget]

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