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The Bing Sting

c2You remember your junior high Latin teacher whom you’d talk trash about but deep down you admired and tried to emulate, even dressing like her in private, and because her office door was unlocked you were able to steal the answers to upcoming tests until one day she got suspicious, planted a test answer sheet with a fake array of answers which you subsequently grab and use on a test in order to secure proof of your dishonesty before calling you out on it in front of the whole class and when she did that you were so embarrassed that you didn’t try to deny it?Oh but you’re really going to deny having that exact memory? C’mon.

Well that is precisely and metaphorically what’s going down between Google and Bing right now. Google’s the Latin teacher, you’re Bing (no offense, just for the sake of the metaphor), your c1trash talk is the jabs you take at Google in your commercials, your admiration and emulation of the teacher is your history replete of “embracing and extending” Google’s products and services, her office is, the test answer sheet is the backend side of Google, the synthetic answer sheet is Google’s honeypot sting operation, —

Ahh damnit I just pulled up another source on this which used my high school analogy right up top, though not nearly as well so I’ll leave mine in. That was a coincidence, but it’s ironic (?) nonetheless as I’m writing about Bing lifting Google’s work. Oh well, hopefully no one rhymed Bing with sting yet. Guess I might as well bing it, shorter url than google, same results but more sizzle (aka clutter)…

c5If you want a more detailed breakdown of what Google did in order to decide for yourself how conclusive it is, and again Bing didn’t deny it but instead tried to spin it not to sound so bad, check out searchengineland. Google tipped searchengineland off last year about red flags, probable cause to turn this into a whole thing. Google’s Amit Singhal, maybe one of the very few who has access to the most coveted algorithm ever, expressed that he’s “got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm” but he draws the line at what Bing did, copying, which in this man’s book ain’t copacetic. Not Microsoft’s finest hour.

c4Though he’s not using language like “illegal” and “sue the bastards,” possibly because what Microsoft did and may still be doing might not be illegal (or worth pursuing further), but to Google it may be a point of pride to expose this. Or the timing could have something to do with some search engine event Microsoft’s got planned today in Frisco. Danny Sullivan, author to the searchengineland post, was invited both by Bing and Google to come to the event, so the plot may thicken further.

Microsoft’s Bing director had things like this to say to searchengineland: “This ‘Google experiment’ seems like a hack to confuse and manipulate” what “clickstream data” they receive from their Bing Toolbar and Suggested Sites (did you know that they use that to collect your surfing data?), as if that either made any sense let alone mitigated their actions.

Anyway, you call them dishonest sonofabitches, cockaroaches and jive turkeys or perhaps jive ass hussies all you want, but you can’t deny that Microsoft knows how to enhance Google’s Street View like it’s nobody’s business (except Google’s, technically).

Doug Simmons, via searchengineland obviously