Microsoft is today defend allegations that they plagiarised Google’s own search results in an effort to boost their struggling Bing search engine which like their Internet Explorer browser is struggling to attract new consumer use.Google said that they ran a “sting operation” that resulted in Microsoft being caught out copying Google’s search results.
In an effort to confirm their suspicions Google planted manually ranked pages on selected subjects using misspelt words to see if Bing picked up their randomly inserted results.
Within hours of the exercise being initiated Google got a hit.
According to Google executives, Microsoft’s Bing search engine returning accurate results for misspelled search terms.
One example given was the word ‘torsoraphy’, which Google corrected to read as ‘tarsorrhaphy’.
The same search on Bing returned results for ‘tarsorrhaphy’ .
In defence of the claims Stefan Weitz, director of Bing, told SearchEngineLand: “As you might imagine, we use multiple signals and approaches when we think about ranking, but like the rest of the industry we have our own methodology”.
“Opt-in programs like the [Bing] toolbar help us with clickstream data, one of many input signals we and other search engines use to help rank sites. This “Google experiment” seems like a hack to confuse and manipulate some of these signals.”
Amit Singhal, at Google said: “I’ve got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innovation, in my book.”