Google Calls Out Bing for Stealing its Search Results

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Google Calls Out Bing for Stealing its Search Results

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The search engine giant set up a sting operation to see if its suspicions were right, and Microsoft was copying its results.

Bing has become more reliable of late, but Google claims that that's because Microsoft is using Google's information and calling it its own. Amit Singhal, who works on Google's search algorithm, says that Microsoft is using Internet Explorer to mine data from people using Google, and then using that data to improve Bing.

Google's suspicions were first raised when it started to notice that Bing would often return the same top result that Google would, even in the case of an obscure, misspelled search terms. Bing didn't seem to be correcting the spelling, and yet somehow it was getting to the same place. More alarm bells started to ring when Google started to see an increase in the amount of overlap between the top ten results each search engine would return, as well as the frequency in which Bing brought up the same top result as Google.

Google began to suspect that Microsoft was using its Internet Explorer browser to gather information. In order to test out its suspicions, Google put together a trap. It artificially associated nonsense words with legitimate search results, and then asked engineers to try searching for the nonsense words at home using IE. If those words then started to provide the same results on Bing, Google would know that Microsoft was using its data. Of the 100 "honey pot" words, between seven and nine - depending on when Google checked - brought up the same results on Bing. Google isn't sure why the rest of them didn't work, but even just seven was enough to convince it that there was something untoward going on.

Singhal was hesitant to say that Microsoft had broken any laws, but did say that he felt that Microsoft was cheating. "We work incredibly hard and have done so for years," he said. "I don't know how else to call it but plain and simple cheating. Another analogy is that it's like running a marathon and carrying someone else on your back who jumps off just before the finish line."

Microsoft hasn't directly denied Google's claims, just commenting that it drew data from a variety of sources, as all search engines did. Microsoft said that the experiment seemed like an effort by Google to try and confuse the data and make Bing less effective.

Source: Search Engine Land

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wait whhhhaaaaa?? 7-9% of the search results came out the same? Even if Bing wasn't copying google (not saying they are or not) you would think the results would be higher.

squid5580:
wait whhhhaaaaa?? 7-9% of the search results came out the same? Even if Bing wasn't copying google (not saying they are or not) you would think the results would be higher.

The words chosen were very vague to my understanding. Most of them were just random gibberish (Or at least the ones I saw) that Google linked with pages that had nothing to do with it.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/microsofts-bing-uses-google-search.html

This article covers it a bit better.

Although its not news to me that Microsoft may be using untoward buisness practices, I actually have to rally with them on this given how Googles 'trap' turned out, 7-9% is just not valid enough.

EDIT: looked up the Google blog via maddawgs link above, and it seems Google may have a point. The entries used were abolute gibberish that not even keyboard mashing could produce.

It's MS, what did you expect?

On a related subject, did you know that IE uses Firefox engine? If you're using IE and enter this link to see its user agent says Mozilla Firefox.

http://whatsmyuseragent.com/

(A user agent is a string that devices and software have to diferentiate ones from others)

maddawg IAJI:

squid5580:
wait whhhhaaaaa?? 7-9% of the search results came out the same? Even if Bing wasn't copying google (not saying they are or not) you would think the results would be higher.

The words chosen were very vague to my understanding. Most of them were just random gibberish (Or at least the ones I saw) that Google linked with pages that had nothing to do with it.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/microsofts-bing-uses-google-search.html

This article covers it a bit better.

Oh no I understood that part. But Google and Bing and every other search engine have to look for key letter combinations. So 7-9% can be called coincidental. If they were hitting 50% or more I could understand them being concerned but it looks right now google is just crying because it has some competition (it's ok google I still love you).

I would also like to point out those pics could have been very easily faked. Otherwise there should have been some of Bing getting different results as well. The whole blog is very biased.

Shrug. I remember when Google was up and coming they talked about looking at the code for Lycos and Web Crawler "and it was a mess, we could do better". But they still used those engines as a building block. Now that they're the neighborhood alpha male and a new dog is nipping at their heels they're crying foul. I can understand their frustration, but it's also annoying to see them acting like this. 7-9% Is in any case a highly suspect result to flatly say "MS is stealing our results" as it seems Bing is still doing a lot of it's own work, this just seems like an attempt to publicly undermine their competition.

gigastar:
Although its not news to me that Microsoft may be using untoward buisness practices, I actually have to rally with them on this given how Googles 'trap' turned out, 7-9% is just not valid enough.

Are you serious?

We're talking about gibberish-words (some with numbers) such as "juegosdeben1ogrande" returning a single item in each search engine. First, the artificial result made by Google, and second, the exact same unrelated result for the exact same gibberish search-term.

What are those, coincidences?

Edit: Saw your edit, nevermind.

Logan Westbrook:
Microsoft said that the experiment seemed like an effort by Google to try and confuse the data and make Bing less effective.

That's only if they are stealing their results. That's like your neighbours complaining to you that you put a password on your Wi-Fi because they can't use it any more.

gigastar:
Although its not news to me that Microsoft may be using untoward buisness practices, I actually have to rally with them on this given how Googles 'trap' turned out, 7-9% is just not valid enough.

you should have a look at the link maddawg posted.

also 7-9% is a lot larger than you think when put in context

Ghengis John:
Shrug. I remember when Google was up and coming they talked about looking at the code for Lycos and Web Crawler "and it was a mess, we could do better". But they still used those engines as a building block. Now that they're the neighborhood alpha male and a new dog is nipping at their heels they're crying foul. I can understand their frustration, but it's also annoying to see them acting like this.

How is upstart Google comparable to giant monolithic corpo-beast Microsoft?

Rezfon:

gigastar:
Although its not news to me that Microsoft may be using untoward buisness practices, I actually have to rally with them on this given how Googles 'trap' turned out, 7-9% is just not valid enough.

you should have a look at the link maddawg posted.

also 7-9% is a lot larger than you think when put in context

I did look at the link and I edited my post about 5 mins before you posted this.

Neptunus Hirt:

Ghengis John:
Shrug. I remember when Google was up and coming they talked about looking at the code for Lycos and Web Crawler "and it was a mess, we could do better". But they still used those engines as a building block. Now that they're the neighborhood alpha male and a new dog is nipping at their heels they're crying foul. I can understand their frustration, but it's also annoying to see them acting like this.

How is upstart Google comparable to giant monolithic corpo-beast Microsoft?

Did I fall asleep and wake up 10 years ago? Upstart Google lolz

Neptunus Hirt:

Ghengis John:
Shrug. I remember when Google was up and coming they talked about looking at the code for Lycos and Web Crawler "and it was a mess, we could do better". But they still used those engines as a building block. Now that they're the neighborhood alpha male and a new dog is nipping at their heels they're crying foul. I can understand their frustration, but it's also annoying to see them acting like this.

How is upstart Google comparable to giant monolithic corpo-beast Microsoft?

In the field of search engines, Microsoft is the upstart are they not? As for Google they are no longer upstarts in any capacity. They are now a mega-beast themselves, dipping their toes into the waters of web browsers with chrome and operating systems with Android, honeycomb and Chromium. As well as manufacturing their own tablets now and notebooks and they have a music distribution service to boot. It seems to me you have a bit of animosity towards the "giant monolithic corpo beast". You need to re-evaluate your David and Goliath position.

squid5580:

Neptunus Hirt:

Ghengis John:
Shrug. I remember when Google was up and coming they talked about looking at the code for Lycos and Web Crawler "and it was a mess, we could do better". But they still used those engines as a building block. Now that they're the neighborhood alpha male and a new dog is nipping at their heels they're crying foul. I can understand their frustration, but it's also annoying to see them acting like this.

How is upstart Google comparable to giant monolithic corpo-beast Microsoft?

Did I fall asleep and wake up 10 years ago? Upstart Google lolz

Did I fall asleep and wake up 10 years ago? 9-year-old reading comprehension lolz

Read the post I quoted. I'll give you a hint: "I remember when Google was up and coming"

If two students took a test and 7-9% of their answers were similar, could you accuse one of the students of cheating?

Also, were there any search results exclusive to Google (that were not advertisements) that appeared in Bing?

squid5580:

Neptunus Hirt:

Ghengis John:
Shrug. I remember when Google was up and coming they talked about looking at the code for Lycos and Web Crawler "and it was a mess, we could do better". But they still used those engines as a building block. Now that they're the neighborhood alpha male and a new dog is nipping at their heels they're crying foul. I can understand their frustration, but it's also annoying to see them acting like this.

How is upstart Google comparable to giant monolithic corpo-beast Microsoft?

Did I fall asleep and wake up 10 years ago? Upstart Google lolz

I think the point being made is that when Google was using rough base code from other search engines, they were an upstart. Meanwhile, Microsoft's already huge.

Cain_Zeros:

squid5580:

Neptunus Hirt:

How is upstart Google comparable to giant monolithic corpo-beast Microsoft?

Did I fall asleep and wake up 10 years ago? Upstart Google lolz

I think the point being made is that when Google was using rough base code from other search engines, they were an upstart. Meanwhile, Microsoft's already huge.

So it's okay for little guys to cheat, but not big guys? And if Google were to one day kill Microsoft (as MS seems to see a credible threat that has been growing non-stop) would it be okay that they used unscrupulous means to attain that achievement while Microsoft was not allowed to do the same to defend itself? For that matter, why was Google using Bing in the first place? Aren't they conducting their own corporate espionage here?

Ghengis John:

In the field of search engines, Microsoft is the upstart are they not? As for Google they are no longer upstarts in any capacity. They are now a mega-beast themselves, dipping their toes into the waters of web browsers with chrome and operating systems with Android, honeycomb and Chromium. As well as manufacturing their own tablets now and notebooks and they have a music distribution service to boot. It seems to me you have a bit of animosity towards the "giant monolithic corpo beast". You need to re-evaluate your David and Goliath position.

Bing may be from, what, 2009 or something?, but they've had their own search engine going since 2004.


Not to mention their tremendous resources as compared to when Google was starting out.

I'm not comparing google-now with microsoft-now, nor am I comparing google-then with google-now. I'm using your original post as basis for my comparison, which is of google-then and microsoft-now. My phrase "giant monolithic corpo beast" is fitting, in my opinion, and served only to emphasize that you were talking about "upstart google" and Microsoft as a company today.

All clear?

Michael O'Hair:
If two students took a test and 7-9% of their answers were similar, could you accuse one of the students of cheating?

Also, were there any search results exclusive to Google (that were not advertisements) that appeared in Bing?

We went through this already. Read the first few posts and you shall attain enlightenment.

Introducing Microsoft (Powered by Google). I wonder if the next edition of Windows will be powered by Android 3.1 instead of NT 7.0...

With the recent Google incidents, I am slowly but surely switching over to Bing. If it becomes more reliable, with whatever needs, I will be a happy camper.

Ghengis John:

Cain_Zeros:

squid5580:

Did I fall asleep and wake up 10 years ago? Upstart Google lolz

I think the point being made is that when Google was using rough base code from other search engines, they were an upstart. Meanwhile, Microsoft's already huge.

So it's okay for little guys to cheat, but not big guys? And if Google were to one day kill Microsoft (as MS seems to see a credible threat that has been growing non-stop) would it be okay that they used unscrupulous means to attain that achievement while Microsoft was not allowed to do the same to defend itself? For that matter, why was Google using Bing in the first place? Aren't they conducting their own corporate espionage here?

Now, no, it wouldn't be ok for Google to use unscrupulous means to do anything, let alone drive Microsoft out of business. Although somehow I doubt Google's going to completely destroy Microsoft. They might be able to push them out of the search engine competition, but that's about it. And big guys shouldn't need to cheat, where as little guys, especially in anything technology-related, don't even know if they'll exist in six months, so as long as it's legal, yeah, little guys can "cheat".

Neptunus Hirt:

Ghengis John:
Shrug. I remember when Google was up and coming they talked about looking at the code for Lycos and Web Crawler "and it was a mess, we could do better". But they still used those engines as a building block. Now that they're the neighborhood alpha male and a new dog is nipping at their heels they're crying foul. I can understand their frustration, but it's also annoying to see them acting like this.

How is upstart Google comparable to giant monolithic corpo-beast Microsoft?

Neptunus Hirt:

Ghengis John:
Shrug. I remember when Google was up and coming they talked about looking at the code for Lycos and Web Crawler "and it was a mess, we could do better". But they still used those engines as a building block. Now that they're the neighborhood alpha male and a new dog is nipping at their heels they're crying foul. I can understand their frustration, but it's also annoying to see them acting like this.

How is upstart Google comparable to giant monolithic corpo-beast Microsoft?

Everyone likes to think they're rooting for the underdog.

People use Bing? Really?

That silly Microsoft. Always copying the cooler kids.

JonnWood:

Neptunus Hirt:

Ghengis John:
Shrug. I remember when Google was up and coming they talked about looking at the code for Lycos and Web Crawler "and it was a mess, we could do better". But they still used those engines as a building block. Now that they're the neighborhood alpha male and a new dog is nipping at their heels they're crying foul. I can understand their frustration, but it's also annoying to see them acting like this.

How is upstart Google comparable to giant monolithic corpo-beast Microsoft?

Everyone likes to think they're rooting for the underdog.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm not rooting for anyone. It was a simple question that I asked to try to make sense of Gengis John's post.

If you think that my question indicated that I was so incredibly naive as to think that Google is some kind of underdog - well, I think there's a pretty high horse that you need to be stepping off some time soon.

Of all the things you could call out Microsoft on, we get 7-9% search similarity?
Seriously Google. All you're doing is giving Bing free press.

HankMan:
Of all the things you could call out Microsoft on, we get 7-9% search similarity in searches?
Seriously Google. All you're doing is giving Bing free press.

Might want to check out the link maddawg posted. It's not just actual word similarities. They're complete gibberish words that were inserted by Google to be synthetic queries IE Google purposefully made up words like hiybbprqag and delhipublicschool40 chdjob and juegosdeben1ogrande to get only a single url that has no relation whatsoever to what the gibberish word was. This means that they should only appear when searched by GOOGLE, but no. They appeared in Bing, too.

Its a lot more in-depth than the 7-9% search similarities. Think of it as cheating off your neighbor during a test. But, your neighbor knows you're cheating off him. So he puts in wrong answers on purpose. Not just merely wrong answers, but complete gibberish, all to prove you are cheating. And that is how they know Microsoft is cheating.

squid5580:
wait whhhhaaaaa?? 7-9% of the search results came out the same? Even if Bing wasn't copying google (not saying they are or not) you would think the results would be higher.

but in the sting operation they used completely random gibberish.

If google decided to return an article about Stem Cell Research for the search terms "Balloon Honey Awesome Rhinocats" and that happened on Bing too, there is no fucking way that is a coincidence, even at ONE percent.

Who the hell even uses Bing?

Neither of them accomplish anything. Let them kill eachother and hope something more useful replaces them

squid5580:
wait whhhhaaaaa?? 7-9% of the search results came out the same? Even if Bing wasn't copying google (not saying they are or not) you would think the results would be higher.

There's pretty much no chance that they're not copying google. These weren't things that could happen by chance. We're talking about forcing associations between words that don't exist and sites that have nothing to do with the nonexistent words. If even a single one went through, it would mean that something fishy was going on.

As for why it's not 100%, it might be that they're not collecting data from everyone using IE, that they're implementing it somewhat randomly to help keep it covert, that whatever they're using to send out the information was blocked for some of the engineers, that whatever is recording the results happened to be down, or that any number of other issues are to blame.

Michael O'Hair:
If two students took a test and 7-9% of their answers were similar, could you accuse one of the students of cheating?

Also, were there any search results exclusive to Google (that were not advertisements) that appeared in Bing?

If both students answered the same random gibberish 7% of the time, YES I sure as hell would.

If the question was "what was Newton's second law" and 2 students both wrote:

"Lasercats in space puts the lotion on the skin"

I sure as hell would know one copied (or collaborated) with the other.

These aren't normal search terms, Google made them up specially to be completely random bullshit that would never be found on a different search engine because it makes no sense.

Google:

image

Bing:

image

Can anyone honestly believe they aren't copying Google? Google linked that gibberish to that site for the sole reason of seeing if Bing would steal it, why would Bing have that same link for that result if they weren't stealing?

I bet this is somehow illegal, I hope they get nailed.

image

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