Bing Caught Copying Search Results From Google

Wait, Microsoft may have copied a competitor? Unpossible!

Google first suspected foul play in May 2010. By October 2010, with Bing results beginning to look uncannily like Google’s, it knew something had to be done about it — and so, in true, nerdtastic style, Google set up a sting to prove that Microsoft was actually behind the wholesale mimicry of Google’s search results.

Google injected “synthetic” results into its search engine — fake queries and results that no real user or engine would ever generate. Then, on D-Day, December 17, about 20 Google engineers were asked to run the test queries with Internet Explorer 8, Bing Bar and Suggested Sites. By December 31, some of these fake results began appearing on Bing. See the examples after the break — it’s damning.

4 Comments

  1. Last spring I was at a bar with a group of people (a few of my friends, and lots of their friends, watching the Phillies). A guy tried to start a conversation with me by asking “So have you switched to Bing yet?”
    My immediate response was “You’re joking right?”
    I actually feel a little bad about that. He tried to start a conversation with me and I made it really awkward.

  2. Maybe for some searches, I don’t know. But I’ve started using Bing more and more because I get fewer B.S. search results from peoples’ blogs and forums and more results from academic sources. Most of the Google results I get are crap because SEO optimizations are targeted at Google.

  3. Interesting concept on the number of “voices” we have. Back in the days before Google, I used a search engine called Hotbot that would query about 6-8 other search engines at once. (They’re still around, but meh, I have Google) I’ve never really gone for the Microsoft flavor of the year. They failed with the original Microsoft Network back in ’95, and it never really improved for me.

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