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Bing Is Cheating, Copying Google Search Results

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the everyone-gets-a-c-plus dept.

Google 693

An anonymous reader writes "Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google's results, then uses that information to improve Bing's own search listings. Bing doesn't deny this."

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Cheating? (4, Insightful)

jdelisle (582839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069458)

And why is that cheating? Sounds like simple observance in an effort to get improve results.

Re:Cheating? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069490)

"Simple observance in an effort to get improve results."

If I said that to my teacher when caught cheating, I doubt it would have had much sway.

Re:Cheating? (1, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069548)

I tried to use this excuse when I watched over the admin's shoulder while he was typing his password so I could perform simple admin duties. I tried to argue that I was using simple observance to improve results, but for some reason he didn't buy it either!

Re:Cheating? (1)

jdelisle (582839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069670)

According to your analogy, you are implying that Microsoft did something illegal. If Microsoft's actions are illegal, then I agree with you. However, I don't see any mention of law breaking.

Re:Cheating? (2)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069764)

The action probably violates Google's TOS, so it might be actionable. (IANAL, TINLA, etc.)

Re:Cheating? (0)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069890)

"The action probably violates Google's TOS, so it might be actionable"

Hmm...I dunno about you, but I've never seen or agreed to any Terms Of Service from Google when visiting their main search page. I'd think it would be touch to enforce any terms that aren't even presented to you before using their public service.

At worst...you might get on *Double Secret Probation*...but I can't imagine you'd be in any more trouble than that legally.

Re:Cheating? (1)

qw(name) (718245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070034)

Did you have to sign/read/agree to/ the TOS before you were allowed to perform a web search? Neither did I or anyone else. It's not even presented as an option.

Re:Cheating? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069820)

Well, like with anything 'web' related, I'm a huge proponent of the C.A.S.E. method. (Copy And Steal Everything).

Take what others do..learn from it..use it, and hopefully improve on it.

Just because someone made money on it first, doesn't mean you can't make money off it too...and don't have to bother with all the R&E on the *new* original idea.

Re:Cheating? (2)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069970)

I'm pretty sure that what they did was at least a violation of Google's TOS. RTFA.

What they did:

Take a search which results in 0 results on both Google and Bing: the manufactured nonsense-word "hiybbprqag".

Then activate a feature they'd secretly built in to Google: a single, hand-picked page is artificially returned as the single and only search result for that term.

A few days/weeks/months later - oh look [bing.com] , there it is showing up on Bing. (In case you're wondering, it's The Wiltern seating chart and tickets to The Wiltern. Google no longer lists it as a result, rather Google has tons of other pages that have now cropped up mentioning that word. No surprise.)

It's basically the same as catching a cheater by writing wrong answers on the sheet you suspect they're copying answers from.

Re:Cheating? (3, Insightful)

yincrash (854885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069494)

It's like a student cheating on his homework by copying the smart kid. It will only work as long as the smart kid sticks around.

Re:Cheating? (1)

rogueippacket (1977626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069770)

And the smart kid isn't always right. After nearly a decade in power, the limitations of Google search are starting to show at the seams.

Re:Cheating? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070070)

Wouldn't that make Microsoft even stupider for copying Google's search results?

Re:Cheating? (5, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069550)

It only improves the results for as long as Google is better than Bing. Basically, Microsoft trusts Google more than it trusts its own product.

Never Understood (4, Informative)

Phoenixlol (1549649) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069646)

why people ever said Bing returned more relevant results. Maybe it's just because I've been using Google forever that I now know what to type in to get the results I want, but running the same searches over at Bing has_never_gotten me as relevant results.

Re:Cheating? (1, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070026)

It only improves the results for as long as Google is better than Bing. Basically, Microsoft trusts Google more than it trusts its own product.

That's not true. It makes perfect sense for a search engine to look for things like this to help it decide what is relevant and what isn't. The only thing "unique" about this particular situation is that it's another search engine instead of some random site that they're mining. Google also looks at the links people click on in their results. It isn't exactly a stretch to assume that every search engine would also want to know which links people are clicking on other search engines. Regardless of which search engine they're looking at, it's useful to know that when a user searches for a certain term, they click certain links. It makes those links more relevant to that term. The only thing you can argue about is whether or not it's "proper" for a search engine to use that data from another search engine. I don't see the problem, it makes all of their results more relevant. That's not really a bad thing.

Can you guarantee that the Google toolbar doesn't collect similar information if you go to Yahoo or Bing and do a search there?

Re:Cheating? (0)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070042)

It does not imply Google is better. (although google may be in fact better, copying them does not imply that). It implies that google is the Leader (no One disputes that) and MS finds value in making their results match Google. People are comfortable when they find "x is the same as y" so they will be more willing to UsE either.

Re:Cheating? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069634)

And why is that cheating? Sounds like simple observance in an effort to get improve results.

I don't think that it is cheating.

It is slimy, though. Intercepting your customers interactions with a 3rd party for your own benefit is slimy, even if they do click on an "agreement" that they don't read or understand.

If you want this kind of information, you should pay people for it or make it specifically opt-in. Neilson would be the closest example from the pre-dot-com world.

Re:Cheating? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069720)

Depends if they're necessarily grabbing the google result, or the fact that people searched for a term, and paired it with what they clicked on. To me that's a legitimate algorithm, (heck, it could be an exercise in machine learning).

Does the trick work with any search engine, or just google? For example if the engine was bing, but they honepotted something equally random, then trained it with a few dozen clicks then they're just learning based on what people click on, and that it happens to learn from google as well as anyone else isn't really a shock.

Re:Cheating? (4, Interesting)

mibe (1778804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069744)

It's cheating because instead of generating good search results, they look at someone else's search results and output those. It's not theft, it's not illegal, but it is kind of a shitty thing to do. Or, here's how the guy interviewed in TFA said it (pretty well if you ask me):

“It’s cheating to me because we work incredibly hard and have done so for years but they just get there based on our hard work,” said Singhal. “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.”

Terrible. (3, Funny)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069504)

They should really reinvent the wheel. Copying Google's wheel isn't fair! ...

Re:Terrible. (2)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069552)

How many IE users realize that their Google searches/results are being sent to Microsoft for analysis? Not that Google doesn't analyze their own searches/results...but....WTF?

Re:Terrible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069760)

How many IE users realize that their Google searches/results are being sent to Microsoft for analysis? Not that Google doesn't analyze their own searches/results...but....WTF?

When you install Bing Toolbar, it is spelled out that Microsoft will use data collected on your search results to improve the Bing search engine. If users aren't aware when they sign off on the Ts and Cs, then shame on them.

Re:Terrible. (1)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070066)

Does it clearly state that it collects -all- search results; including results for other search providers?

If it does not; then it is a classic wonks 'lie by omission'; done because they know that normal people (eg. excepting the deeply paranoid and /. trolls) would assume that they looked at their own results and kept their filthy thieving hands out of data not specific to their specific product (bing).

There is probably a good car analogy in this but I cant think of it..

Re:Terrible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069784)

How many IE users care?

Not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069932)

This is the definition of 'innovation' at Microsoft. Why is anyone surprised?

Since they grab the results and use the exact same algorithm that Google does as part of their results, could they be said to be in patent violation?

Re:Terrible. (1)

undecim (1237470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070118)

They are profiting from Google's wheel, and taking from their profits, when Google is the one that puts and continues to put effort into improving their search results. In fact, Microsoft specifically started Bing to compete with Google, and on top of that, MS is using Google's work to do it.

Not that suprising. (4, Interesting)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069508)

I don't expect any mod points for this post... but I'll just say that I'm not surprised by this. Since the launch of Bing, I've kind of questioned how MSFT could have come up with a 'superior' search engine so quickly. Their second (at least) attempt since 2000.....

Re:Not that suprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069622)

This reminds me of Climategate - much ado about nothing, but enemies of AGW (or Microsoft) will pretend it's some huge deal.

Microsoft has piles of money and hires the best Ph.Ds money can buy, why would you wonder how they can come up with a 'superior' search engine?

Re:Not that suprising. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069736)

A molehill doesn't have to be a huge thing to indicate that there are moles around. And, this Bing thing doesn't have to be a big thing either. It only proves that Microsoft resorts to unethical measures at the earliest opportunity. Phht. Thieves are thieves - it's not a big thing at all. In fact, thieves are mostly petty, and common.

Re:Not that suprising. (0)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069918)

Right. And it's not a big thing either when a thief tries to resell stolen wares.

But nevertheless it does warrant being called out, so the world can see the thief for what he is.

Re:Not that suprising. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069776)

But climate gate WAS something. Science consists of observable phenomena, and a theories on what that would mean, and experiments that test that theory with more observable phenomena. When the gatekeepers of climate change are shown to actively punish and censor those who do not agree with their findings, control what journals can publish, stone wall others from being able to have the data (related to observable phenomena) to be able to duplicate what they have found. Then even going beyond this and destroying that data and sticking with "you will just have to believe us." Then that is not science.

Science can stand up to scrutiny. What was done there was not science.

At the very least BING should say "BING powered by Microsoft AND Google"

Oblig Car Analogy (2, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069524)

Is it cheating if Toyota watches what type of car styles Ford drivers prefer and then makes more cars of that style?

If this information is publicly available, then its not cheating. Its tailoring your service to better serve the customers of a competitor. Isn't that usually how you draw customers to you from a competitor?

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069574)

More like Toyota watches what type of car styles Ford drivers prefer, buys Ford cars, rebrands them and offers them to customers.

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069666)

No, it is exactly what GP said. Bing seems to be "pushing up" results of searches that people click on. Yeah, the can be results of google, yahoo, bing or whatever, does it matter? Obviously they can run the algorithm more effectively on their own results, as they always have the data on what people clicked after a search, but why shouldn't they include such data from competitor queries when they can?

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069668)

Parent is right. It's not even reengineering or code copying/borrowing/stealing. MSFT is rebranding Google's results. Probably dropping google results into a MSFT database - wholesale - and spitting them back out to the user.

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069730)

It didn't say it simply bought the product and rebranded it. They used the information to improve their own. That would be more like buying a Ford, looking at it, and incorporating good ideas into your own.

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069586)

Is it cheating if Bill Gates buys a Ford Pinto, slaps a "Microsoft Binto" label on it, and sells it as his own?

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069722)

Is it cheating if Bill Gates buys a Ford Pinto, slaps a "Microsoft Binto" label on it, and sells it as his own?

... Yes.

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (4, Insightful)

Socguy (933973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069604)

No, but it is cheating if you lash your Toyota to the Ford then claim better fuel economy.

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (1)

an1 (1965656) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069742)

But disassembling toyota parts and making your own car is cheating! Thats what is happening!!! Mimicking the competition!

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069822)

You really didn't RTFA, did you? Google set up FALSE, or FAKE results, and Bing copied them right onto their own search pages. Bing wasn't just watching Google - they outright stole Google's faked data. In the car analogy, Toyota would have watched to see what Ford was building, but Ford would have caught on, and set up a parking lot full of plywood cars without motors. Toyota then stole the fake cars, rebranded them as Toyota, and sold them on the market. Geeez. Microsoft fanbois will go to extremes to justify anything and everything that Microsoft does.

I'm impressed with google's restraint (2)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070052)

I'd send 'em all directly to goatse.
unless that's what they were searching for

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069834)

So, for those who didn't RTFA, what Bing is doing is automatically importing Google search results into their own engine. If Toyota watches what Ford does successfully, does that too, and Ford go away, Toyotas improvements stick around. That's learning. With what Bing is doing, if Google goes away so does their technique - which is why it's cheating.

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069880)

Your analogy would hold water if Bing was copying the style of the results page (layout, colors, etc).

In this case, a better analogy would be if Ford bought key Toyota parts, put them in Ford vehicles, and then bragged about the superiority of Ford cars and trucks.

Re:Oblig Car Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069978)

Your analogy might work if it covered Microsoft employees banged away at Google's web site doing searches and checking out what it came back with. I'm sure they do this, and Google probably does likewise with Bing, etc. This is what we expect. Competitors check out each others' products, take them for a spin.

TFA reveals that Microsoft is using Internet Explorer to retrieve the queries to Google from a large population of users, including many searches that a research team would probably not have thought of because of typos or just plain weirdness. This is more like if the editor of the New York Post had a spy in the printing press at the Daily News and found out what stories their competitor had cooked up for the following day. That's not supposed to be public information.

This is the way Microsoft "innovates". It is absolutely their standard operating procedure going back 30 years.

Could be used for great PR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069534)

Google: The search so powerful it shapes other search engines!

The decision engine (4, Funny)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069538)

It just made the decision to copy from Google.

/. News Network (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069546)

Today's top story is that companies are plagiarizing things they find on the internet. Not only will they steal your recipe and sell it, they will reverse-engineer your search algorithms in an attempt to more effectively take over the market.

Next on the news, Egypt gets a reminder of what the Streisand effect is, and why you don't want to be the focus of it. Also cats.

YOU PUT MY HAND UPON YOUR ALGORITHM (2)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069558)

I DIP YOU DIP WE DIP

(into someone else's IP)

Re:YOU PUT MY HAND UPON YOUR ALGORITHM (1)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069928)

I.. DRINK.. YOUR.. ALGORITHM!

Yahoo (5, Funny)

Reorix (1184073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069560)

Yahoo -> Bing -> Google

Looks like Yahoo gets the 3-day-old-bagel of search results.

Re:Yahoo (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070014)

That's why I still use Ask Jeeves.

i am shocked.. (1)

cpankonien (964575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069580)

really...microsoft copying something, instead of actually coming up with something new? i am shocked! it's so unlike them!

Slashdot is cheating, copying Hackers News (0)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069582)

Readers has run a sting operation that it says proves Slashdot has been watching what people read for on Hackers News, the stories they select from Hackers News page, then uses that information to improve Slashdots's own story listings"

I mean, if it is not a dupe its probably from Hackers News or worse, Digg

Re:Slashdot is cheating, copying Hackers News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069602)

Actually, I'd say a good 70% of Slashdot stories are on Ars Technica, Engadget or Drudge Report first. The other 30% probably come from other sites I don't visit.

homework analogies aside (3, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069592)

It seems like this is publicly available information. Were there any stipulations, even if informal, on how that information could be used?

Re:homework analogies aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069708)

Not really the point.

It's brilliant PR for Google and a nightmare for MS, even if there's nothing litigable in it.

Re:homework analogies aside (5, Insightful)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069710)

It seems like this is publicly available information. Were there any stipulations, even if informal, on how that information could be used?

Nobody's saying this is illegal (... yet?). Rather, it significantly reduces Bing's legitimacy as an innovative search technology and as a competitor to Google. In literature, using someone else's work requires a citation. For all ethical purposes, Bing should be labelled "powered by Google".

Re:homework analogies aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069844)

Significantly reduces Bing's legitimacy? Quite the contrary. It shows that their search bar is doing exactly what it is intended to do, track its users and see what content they find the most useful. If they enter a search term in any search engine, including Bing, it surely is getting tracked and then automatically updated in Bing's system. This shows that they have a great (and functioning) mechanism for tracking relevance among their users.

Re:homework analogies aside (2)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069974)

Significantly reduces Bing's legitimacy? Quite the contrary. It shows that their search bar is doing exactly what it is intended to do, track its users and see what content they find the most useful. If they enter a search term in any search engine, including Bing, it surely is getting tracked and then automatically updated in Bing's system. This shows that they have a great (and functioning) mechanism for tracking relevance among their users.

Quote the whole phrase. If Bing uses Google, it's less legitimate as an innovative search provider. Obviously, using (and improving upon) someone else's technology doesn't reduce the usefulness of your own technology. It just makes you a fork.

Re:homework analogies aside (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069846)

There are also many other types of situations where it a citation is not ethically required or even permitted.
Citation is not permitted in this case, because it would violate Google's trademark.

Re:homework analogies aside (1)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069910)

There are also many other types of situations where it a citation is not ethically required or even permitted. Citation is not permitted in this case, because it would violate Google's trademark.

Saying "we use Google" doesn't violate Google's trademark at all. Saying "we are Google", on the other hand, does. Big difference.

Re:homework analogies aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069952)

All the stipulations in the Google study show that Bing's not simply "Powered by Google". If they were simply copying directly, that would have been just as simple to check and Google would have released THAT as its story. Given their results and methodology, the Bing Bar's search analysis could just be associating visited pages with recently typed text or something like that, which would be totally Google-agnostic .

Re:homework analogies aside (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069960)

Wow, Slashdot moderators are deleting my thoughtful pro-Microsoft comments... that is less surprising than Microsoft copying Google's search results.

Re:homework analogies aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069966)

This isn't literature, it's business. It's called benchmarking. When my company is entering a new market or operating in one of their existing markets, we do as much research as possible on our competitors to tailor our products and pricing to be more competitive than they are. Sometimes we do it by requesting estimates from our competitors, especially if they price through a blind portal like a website or catalog. They do the same to us. If I was in the Search Engine business, I would absolutely do what MS is doing. Google is the big daddy on Search Engines, so to beat them you have to be at least as good as them, then get better. So you set up an algorithm that runs tons of searches on Google (very cheap technical research, a programmer to write the algorithm and set up the database, some hardware to run the thing, then let it run automatically and have an analyst to parse the results), and start tailoring your own engine to at least meet those searches and then find a way to get even better ones. Google by it's nature is free to use and returns that information, so in no way would this ever be illegal. If you're entering the Search Engine business and you're not trying to at least benchmark to Google's hits, why even bother trying?

Re:homework analogies aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35070100)

+1
Bing has to convince the public that it is _better_ than google. Copying results makes them look like a follower.

Re:homework analogies aside (4, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069812)

Like much of what Microsoft does, it's not technically 'wrong', but it certainly is pretty darned sleazy and underhanded.

And like most people who defend Microsoft, you concentrate on what's 'wrong', not whether something is sleazy or underhanded. I don't like companies that do sleazy and underhanded things. If they do it to their competition, they'll do it to me if they think it'll make a buck.

Re:homework analogies aside (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070064)

How so?

I don't see anything sleazy or underhanded about using publicly-available information to improve your product.

Besides, it's not as if Google hasn't completely ripped-off Bing's image search... mud slings both ways.

Re:homework analogies aside (1, Insightful)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069842)

It would be completely acceptable if the information were publicly available.But what Bing Toolbar (allegedly) does is, when you visit google, it saves your search keyword and the results and sends them to Bing servers. And when someone else searches for similar keywords on Bing, it display these results. This in my opinion is not acceptable.

Re:homework analogies aside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35070082)

It seems like this is publicly available information. Were there any stipulations, even if informal, on how that information could be used?

Please RTFA. The information is not public. Microsoft watches the clicks of IE8 and bing toolbar users. Clicks on google search results pages are used to generate bing results. Unless Microsoft is making the clicks of their users publicly available, only microsoft has this information.

Microsoft = Chinese competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069610)

Tech firms have their own Chinese-style competitor right here in the USA! It all goes back to the personality of Bill Gates.

RTFA (4, Insightful)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069612)

From the article it seems that MS is tracking which google (and I assume any other search engine, including Bing) search results people are clicking, and then trying to promote these in their results.
It does sound like something very logical to do to improve search results, doesn't it?

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069680)

Completely logical. People are just sipping on the ol' Microsoft Hatorade.

Re:RTFA (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069904)

Incompetence is the last resort of the violent? Oh - your logic? If it were that simple, maybe. But, how do you explain the fake results that made it into Bing searches? I mean - simply watching Google might be alright, but stealing Google's data - be it real or fake - is not alright.

So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35070036)

.....use firefox?

No news here (1)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069620)

How's this any different from the typical Microsoft behavior?

Close the loop? (5, Interesting)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069636)

Now what happens if Google, to improve its search results, starts copying Bing as well? Is this feedback interconnection stable, or will it merely result in spurious noise being amplified, which commentators will misidentify as vast social movements?

Re:Close the loop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069852)

If they copy Bing, then Google's quality drops to Bing's level. I have a feeling that google engineers are that stupid. So, not to worry.

Re:Close the loop? (5, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069866)

It will become self aware, and set in motions events that end up with humans being used as batteries in vast farms.

Re:Close the loop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069954)

This has already occurred. It is part of the new coversheet for your TPS reports. You are using the new coversheets aren't you?

Re:Close the loop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35070062)

This scenario confuses me. Does that make Google evil then, or does that just make Microsoft that much MORE evil?

Re:Close the loop? (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070046)

Then the internet really WILL become nothing but cat pictures and porn!

Lawsuits! (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069658)

The lawyers would just love this.

Not much of a story here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069660)

I mean, seriously?

and this is new for M$? (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069694)

and this is new for M$?

they did the same thing with dos and windows.

Look at this, what (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069698)

Stefan Weitz, director of Microsoft’s Bing search engine:

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.

So this "opt-in" program can track all of your clicks and record it for whatever. This is nothing like the Google privacy violation at all, they "opted-in" to this search toolbar so all privacy violations about seeing everything you click on are now your problem.

It's a tacit admission of inferiority (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069774)

Whether it's "cheating" or not is simply a matter of how one defines the word. But undeniably, it is a tacit admission that Bing is not as good at ranking results as Google, and needs Google's help to rank results effectively.

What are google's ToS? (1)

TexasTroy (1701144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069790)

If the google expressly prohibits the use of its services for commercial purposes without some sort of license, or their results are copyrighted, or some other such legal mechanism is in place, Microsoft could/should find themselves on the other end of yet another lawsuit.

For all those who say this isn't cheating... (0)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069798)

...this is cheating, plain and simple, for one reason.

Microsoft spins Bing as "their" search engine. Their "answer" to Google. If they are indeed going to spin it this way, then build and use your own damn database.

Hey Ballmer, where's your chair? I think I need to throw it back at you.

Re:For all those who say this isn't cheating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35069920)

They do have their own damned database. This data that they're gathering is just one of many datapoints in that database.

Sting? Cheating? (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069802)

Sounds like someone's getting a bit over-excited here.

Since when is improving a product cheating, and does Google really need a "sting" to figure out that Microsoft is trying to (shock! horror!) keeping an eye on Google using the results to improve Bing?

It seems that Google's complaint (not "complain" you illiterate mofos) is that Bing is just tweaking results instead of investing time/money making those results come out of an algorithm, but I'd be very surprised if Google themselves don't have a zillion special rules in addition to their magical page rank.

Mountweazels (5, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069828)

Dictionary makers deliberately introduce "mountweazels", fake words designed to catch people violating their copyrights. Map makers use "copyright traps", fake streets.

Sounds like Google did this on a one-time basis, but it seems to me that they could make it permanent. If nothing else, finding the mountweazels could be fun.

They already have a few jokes interspersed, like "anagram" and "french military victories". I wonder if Bing shows unexpected results for those.

Makes sense (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069838)

I've noticed in a lot of these Google vs. Bing articles, someone would give an example search to demonstrate Google's better search ability. Then someone would reply to the post later saying, "Well Bing can find it now, and it hasn't even been that long."

Maybe Google could deny Microsoft's servers access to their website. Or maybe get real clever and set up an algorithm that sends MS servers bogus information when they inquire to make their search results completely irrelevant.

Re:Makes sense (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070094)

I hate replying to myself but upon reading the article, I was wrong: they're not using their servers to search Google, they're piggybacking off of data Internet Explorer stores. I still think Google could figure out an algorithm to exploit this and send bunk information (wouldn't it be funny if Bing returned pornography results for practically anything searched?), it would just be a little more complicated. Fortunately, they have the software engineers to do it.

Or, Google could just ban IE, but that's pretty risky. When IE users visit Google they could be met with a page that says, "We're sorry, we are no longer compatible with Internet Explorer because it returns our search results to Microsoft, effectively slowing down your computer in the same manner as malware. Please try Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Opera."

It'd be a hell of a way to run IE into the ground, but they'd risk losing some customers to Bing or Yahoo. I think it would work. If IE wasn't copying Google's search results, then they couldn't ban IE without making it an anti-trust issue. But now they have a legitimate reason to ban it. I say do it, go for the jugular.

Imitation... (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069886)

...is the sincerest form of flattery

Is anyone really surprised by this? Microsoft has been "borrowing" and "copying" since it's first iteration of Windows.

Reminds me of an old radio station bumper (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35069892)

"ATTENTION ALL OTHER RADIO STATIONS! ... Ha! Caught ya listening! Z-105!"

(Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. ftfy.)

.

The 1600 Club (2)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070048)

Copying other people's work is a fine old Microsoft tradition.

I'd just like to know who Bill G sat next to when he took the SAT :)

Nice (1)

bgspence (155914) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070096)

I think i'll build my own search engine, Bingle, to merge the results from them both and be the best search engine of all.

google instant vs duckduckgo (5, Interesting)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070104)

People are not leaving Google because other search engines are getting better.

Rather, people are leaving because Google is getting worse and has lost focus of search simplicity.

Google instant drove me out.

If start typing and several pages fly by per second, this increases the garbage to information ratio, is inefficient, and disruptive. Often, the result is a blank page.

I switched to duckduckgo, as it simple, and the results are good.

Occasionally, I will use !g in the duckduckgo search to access google, but I try to avoid it.

Google should stop worrying about Bing, and look within.

TFA image (1)

igloonaut (1376833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35070128)

If you haven't read the linked article, the image they used is worth the click if you're familiar with the source. I lol'd anyway.
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