The Devil Made Me Do It.
Google has pwnd Bing, Microsoft’s internet search engine, and its team and clearly demonstrated that Microsoft is using information about Google’s search engine based on data gathered through the Bing Toolbar. After looking at the results provided by Google, Bing’s search engine produced the same responses to nonsensical queries. This prompted Google to prove that Bing was watching what people searched for on Google. Essentially, Bing collected data on the sites people selected from Google’s results and then used it to improve its own search listings.
Hey, google “Is it colder in the mountains or in the wintertime?” Google’s replies “I like pictures of baby cats.”
The next day somebody would ask the same question at Bing, and it replies with the exact same answer and link.
Now, Microsoft is whining that Google did it on purpose. Of course they did, that was the point. You are busted sucker!! In fact, Google conducted an FBI sting operation, according the USA Today Story to prove it, and the sting produced evidence that it was doing this intentionally.
However, Microsoft said that Google’s sting was “rigged to manipulate Bing search results” through the use of click fraud.
Bing Director Stefan Weitz elaborated on why Microsoft believed Google is the real offender, in an exclusive interview with Technology Live.
Weitz: It was a surprise, not so much the stunt itself. I was more surprised by the fact that it isn’t intellectually honest. It’s just not true.
TL: So what was manipulated?
Weitz: What Google did was clever, I’ll give them that. They basically took a bunch of nonsensical words, like xlgr493, and then modified their own algorithm to point the search query for that particular word to a real site. So xlgr493 refers to kittycat.com.
However, a post by Arstechnica indicates that in June 2010, while attempting to patch a security whole in Internet Explorer, Microsoft “accidentally” installed the Bing Toolbar in Internet Explorer and Firefox (see screenshots below). The Bing toolbar literally allows Microsoft to monitor users searches and how they interact with Google. The reality was that Microsoft fixed a security hole with a bug which spies on its users and then when Microsoft gets caught using the information they gathered from the accidentally installed spyware and accuses Google of intellectual dishonesty. The real issue is not that Bing is using data about Google, rather that it never informed users that it was collecting their search behavior without permission or knowledge and Google has proved they are doing so.