Last night, Google published this article on their official blog – Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it. Yes, Google has directly accused Microsoft of copying its search results. The post was written by none other than Amit Singhal, the guy responsible for day-to-day innovation in Google’s search algorithm.
Hooked? Read on. You’re gonna enjoy this.
So, it all started with SEO maven Danny Sullivan’s post that revealed a sting operation by Google to expose Bing’s methodologies and how it stole search results from Google to improve itself.
See the above screenshots (courtesy Search Engine Land ) ? As Danny points out, a search for the word torsoraphy is first corrected by Google and then the results are shown for the corresponding correct word. However, Bing does not attempt to spell-check it and directly shows the correct word as the first result.
Danny’s post goes on further to talk elaborately about how Google decided to confirm its suspicions that Bing was copying it. It set up a honeypot page for a word which neither of them were ranking for. Bing catches it via an Internet explorer user and starts showing the result on its SERPs.
Microsoft obviously had to respond and I first saw that on ZDNet. Later or may be earlier, the Bing team published an official response on their blog, mentioning that they use various signals including IE add-ons to update their search results.
Everyone took that Bing’s subtle acceptance of Google’s accusations. Phew!
But that was not all. As TechCrunch’s MG Seigler said in his post, things started to get ugly and it appeared that Google and Microsoft were punching each other in the face.
Here are some of the tweets I have picked up from MG’s article that show Microsoft communication head Frank Shaw and Matt Cutts (you know him, right?) engaged in an altercation in public.
You got the picture? Yes, it’s unusual, ugly and an all-out war between Google and Microsoft on the search front.
So, there’s a lot going on here. And I like everyone, I am waiting to see how this story unfolds today.