Poll: Who Looks Worse? Bing For "Cheating" or Google For Telling?

Feb 2, 2011 • 9:30 am | comments (28) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Bing Search

CHEAT 2 DIE!!1I am sure all of you have heard the news yesterday broken by Danny Sullivan: Google: Bing Is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results. If not, go read it, see Bing's response and then Google's response back. You can also see the group of headlines on this news at Techmeme.

If you are too lazy to read all of it, here is the short version...

Google noticed suspicious similarities between their search results and Bing's search results. They planted some fake results for Bing to snif out via their browser and toolbars and caught Bing taking the bait. They told Danny and the public what Bing was doing, showing all the evidence. Google called Bing a "cheap imitation" of Google. Bing denied it and said they find this as a "spy-novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers in tail query ranking" and "take it as a back-handed compliment."

Meanwhile, there are many looking at this with shock and awe. Some are mad at Bing for "cheating." Some are mad at Google for not going directly to Bing, behind the scenes. Some are calling Google childish. Some feel Google looks bad here, some feel Bing looks bad here.

So I want to know what you think. Take my poll below:

Forum discussion at Sphinn, DigitalPoint Forums, WebmasterWorld, Google Blogoscoped Forum & Google Webmaster Help.

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Barry Adams

02/02/2011 02:41 pm

Misleading poll - Bing wasn't 'cheating', that's just Google's PR spin happily swallowed and regurgitated by SEL. And it's definitely Google coming out worse here by their increasingly shrill whining about Bing's use of user click data.

Barry Schwartz

02/02/2011 02:42 pm

I put the words "cheating" in quotes for a reason.

Barry Adams

02/02/2011 02:48 pm

Yeah but not in the title of your article. ;)

Barry Schwartz

02/02/2011 02:49 pm

Sorry, updated. Was not intentional, despite what you might think.


02/02/2011 02:59 pm

Bing's results are basically what you get at google, except with the vista aero theme.


02/02/2011 02:59 pm

Bing did cheat...


02/02/2011 03:05 pm

"Some are mad at Google for not going directly to Bing, behind the scenes." Although there does not seem to be any evidence that Google did go to Microsoft "behind the scenes" I am not aware that anyone has offered any evidence that they *didn't*.

Barry Adams

02/02/2011 03:06 pm

Sure, just as Google cheats by making boatloads of money off of other people's content.


02/02/2011 03:14 pm

It's completely legitimate to track the sites that users click on, and then add them to the engine as necessary if the user agrees. So it's cheating if a user opts in with their browser, uses the Google search, and then the page they visit makes its way into Bing? Google is pathetic.


02/02/2011 03:42 pm

These links weren't visited by someone opting into bing's url tracking -- they were based on random combinations of letters in the search terms. The only way they'd show up on bing is if they were running massive numbers of google searches and scraping the results. Sounds a lot like "cheating" to me.


02/02/2011 04:51 pm

You are lying.

Rob Woods

02/02/2011 05:41 pm

I have to go against the majority here. All Bing was doing was using an available signal to increase the quality and relevance of their rankings. Does Google not use signals that some might find intrusive or "sneaky"? The bigger debate is whether copying Google actually "increases" the quality and relevance of search results...

Your Number 1 Fan

02/02/2011 05:48 pm

Hey Barry Adams, When your done washing Steve Jobs balls, tell him I said "Hi". Thank you.


02/02/2011 05:52 pm

Keep the show going! ....the info they are sharing is great!

William Vicary

02/02/2011 05:52 pm

This is wrong, Google did tests using Microsoft's IE8 and the Bing toolbar with the "send data to Microsoft" feature checked. It proves Bing monitored two URLs, one the URL the user landed on after they typed their query (ie http://www.google.com/search?q=test) and then the URL they clicked on when they were on that page, then matched up the two when including them in their search results.

William Vicary

02/02/2011 05:55 pm

Steve Jobs works for Apple, not Microsoft or Google... I do agree though, Bing cheated, checking the click throughs from a search result page and then tieing them up to a query and using that within your algorithm is cheating whichever way you look at it. It might be a signal, but a "fair" signal is Bing using website pageviews as part of their algorithm not click through data from their largest competitor.

Barry Schwartz

02/02/2011 09:58 pm

Surprised no one commenting on the picture selection on this story...

Thomas Barrell

02/02/2011 10:41 pm

Chandler always cheated...

Michael Martinez

02/02/2011 10:49 pm

Google failed to prove any statistical probability that Bing is copying their search results, but they have implied they somehow own the user's clicks and that is completely unwarranted.


02/02/2011 11:43 pm

It's all a PR stunt. If Google was threatened by Bing they would have filed a lawsuit. This is just a monkey throwing faeces around for some attention. I'm sure those engineers had better things to do other than this monkey business.


02/03/2011 03:07 am

Bing looks worse. Google is just protecting their goods, plus they ran an experiment to prove what Bing has been up to.

Barry Adams

02/03/2011 08:47 am

Hahaha, epic fail. Try again, anonymous coward.

Amit Bhawani

02/03/2011 08:57 am

Bing Sucks in my opinion!

Jim Rudnick

02/03/2011 02:08 pm

Look at Rob Youngs comments here -- http://www.searchenginejournal.com/microsoft-accuses-google-of-profiting-from-spam/27632/ :) Jim

SEO Services India

02/03/2011 05:13 pm

well Google Pretending to be innicent after many sins it did itself in its early days


02/03/2011 05:16 pm

Wow, people think Bing looks worse? Really?!?! Maybe those 20 Google engineers are still at home and they've been given new tasking to game this result too.


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Sdw TaZz

05/09/2013 04:45 am

Seems Bing is claiming Google is not doing what they ARE doing! Bing IS CHEATING & NOT ONLY by copying Googles notes that I have learned today, but more that seems No One has noticed yet. Unless I missed someone saying it.. I'll explain as short as possible.. I did the "Bing Challenge" & started out with my 1st result, but noticed something funny. One side was showing Images, but the otherside was not.... Hmmm I thought to myself? I kept original page opened & then opened up a new explorer (Tab) & searched same question directly to Google itself. Notice a simalarity in pretty much all besides the one side not having Images. So I selected the side with No Images. I did the rest of the results with the same search, but worded different to enusre I will get Images from both Google & the supposive random anonymous side of the Challenge.. Each result I clicked on was the side that had NO IMAGES. My final results came up Google. Images in search results is Visually Appealing to any searcher "it helps". So why is Bing NOT showing all like they r doing for themselvs?? Is Bing Claiming that Google does not do this? When Google DOES!!!! PS: I think a mind trick as well? When we read we read from Left to Right as like a book. Bings choices all came up on the Left Side for me. It could be attractive to the mind which may make u choose that side at not realizing it, or cause u to 2nd guess. Sincerely, Scott

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