Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Bing on Google charge: “It’s not like we actually copy anything"

There's some buzz about Bing copying Google search results. FoxNews noted:

From December 17 to December 31, engineers inserted a “honeypot” result as the top result for specific search queries -- including, hiybbprqag, mbzrxpgiys, and indoswiftjobinproduction -- and waited to see if the same results would appear on Bing. And they did.

See also
Google accuses Microsoft of search plagiarism

As might be expected, TechDirt said "no problem." In a piece titled Google's Childish Response To Microsoft Using Google To Increase Bing Relevance , one has

For Google to attack a competitor for using open information on the web -- the same way it does -- seems like the height of hypocrisy. It's fine for Google to crawl and index whatever sites it wants in order to set up its ranking algorithms, but the second someone looks at Google's own rankings as part of their own determination, suddenly its "cheating"?

One commenter wrote on TechDirt:

Again, this was the point behind the "sting". The pages that Bing reported in its search results could only have come from Google searches, since the pages did not exist anywhere else, were not linked to from anywhere else, etc. It's not like Bing blended Google search results with umpteen other sources in these cases -- they just reported the Google results.

Furthermore, it indicates that Bing ignores robots.txt, since Google search results are marked as "disallowed". If Google wanted its search results to be indexed by other search engines, it would allow it via robots.txt.

In fact, this means that you're being a bit two-faced on this issue. For other places (AFP comes to mind), your argument has been "use robots.txt if you don't want to be indexed". Here, we have a case where somebody is using robots.txt to avoid being indexed...yet your argument now is that robots.txt can be safely ignored by the indexer. Which is it?

Also within TechDirt comments:

Mike, you keep saying that execution is more important than idea - and you're right. So why do you conflate the two here?

***Elsewhere, as to Google, following GroupOn's rejection of a Google offer, Google is seeking small businesses to participate in a test of Google Offers, a vouchers program. The SF Chronicle notes: The move, which comes in the wake of Groupon's board rejecting a reported $6 billion offer from Google, highlights the intense interest in local advertising among Internet companies. Hmmm, if you can't buy them, copy them? A page out of the Harvard Business Review: take it and make it your own?


Blogger Unknown said...

Away with you, Microsoft Shill. Google runs experiments all the time--they do not manipulate their results without, otherwise Bing wouldn't try to copy them.
If they weren't in control of what they do, they could get into legal trouble.

6:32 AM  

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