∞ Google: Bing copying Google's search results

Google on Tuesday accused search engine rival, Microsoft’s Bing, of copying its search engine results.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]”However you define copying, the bottom line is, these Bing results came directly from Google,” wrote Google in a blog post.

Google has details, including pictures and a timeline, but here’s the gist of what happened.

Google noticed that a misspelling of a search on Google ended up on Bing as its top search result. Suspecting something was amiss, Google set up a covert operation to trap Bing.

Google said it created about 100 “synthetic queries” — things like “hiybbprqag” — that would never show up in a normal search. Google even fed the results for that particular search.

Within a couple of weeks, the same search query on Bing brought up the faked result that Google fed it.

“At Google we strongly believe in innovation and are proud of our search quality,” wrote Google. “We’ve invested thousands of person-years into developing our search algorithms because we want our users to get the right answer every time they search, and that’s not easy. We look forward to competing with genuinely new search algorithms out there—algorithms built on core innovation, and not on recycled search results from a competitor. So to all the users out there looking for the most authentic, relevant search results, we encourage you to come directly to Google. And to those who have asked what we want out of all this, the answer is simple: we’d like for this practice to stop.”

Needless to say Microsoft denied any wrongdoing and called Google’s tactics a “spy-novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers in tail query ranking.”

“It was a creative tactic by a competitor, and we’ll take it as a back-handed compliment,” wrote Microsoft on its blog. “But it doesn’t accurately portray how we use opt-in customer data as one of many inputs to help improve our user experience.”