Google: Bing Still Using Our Click Data For Ranking

Sep 7, 2012 • 8:30 am | comments (24) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Bing Search

Google Bing CheatAbout a year an a half ago, Google outed Microsoft for tracking click data on Google through Internet Explorer. It was a big deal and it hurt the reputation of both Microsoft and even Google - I get into that over here.

That being said, despite this happening well over a year ago. Google says Bing is still doing it!

A Hacker News thread has Google's lead of search spam, a Google distinguished engineer, saying:

Last time I checked, it looked like Bing was still using clicks on Google search results as a signal in Bing's rankings.

Exactly when was the last time he checked, I am not sure but to say that, I suspect he meant some time within the past few months.

Are you shocked Microsoft is still doing this?

Or is it a valid search quality metric to track and use for Bing to improve their algorithms?

I guess Microsoft never said they would stop tracking clicks from Google's search results.

Forum discussion at Hacker News.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for kids cheating

Previous story: Bing It On: Is Bing Really Preferred To Google?


Dave Fowler

09/07/2012 12:46 pm

Whatever the truth or otherwise of these claims, it certainly appears that 'Bing It On' has rattled Google's cage.


09/07/2012 01:11 pm

Of course it is a valid metric. Clickstream data is a powerful tool in determining content relevance and user preference. Google most certainly uses clickstream data as well, but not to the degree that Bing's algo does. The only reason why Google was able to point out their influence in Bing's results is because the test they ran - using nonsensical words and phrases - forced Bing's algo to respond to the only 1 signal it had. Real world impacts are likely far less.

Steven Lockey

09/07/2012 01:13 pm

I don't think Google particularly care about 'Bing it on' given its blatently just a Microsoft advertising scam bearing little relation to reality. Surprised at Microsoft using underhanded tactics to try and gain any advantage it can? Not in the slightest. Its practically their MO, they have used underhanded tactics again all their competitors from the word Go.

James Dunn

09/07/2012 01:27 pm

"Or is it a valid search quality metric to track and use for Bing to improve their algorithms?" If this is the case then who is to say that Bing is actually using this for improvement? What if they are just copying Google and using spin ('Bing It On') to say that they aren't? What if, as an example using the above point, Google disappear tomorrow? - where is Bing with all its so called improvements then? We are talking about Microsoft here, not Duck, Duck Go or Blekko, a company who are well known for continuously copying other products and generally failing at it because they simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THINGS ARE DONE THE WAY THAT THEY ARE DONE! True, Google is starting to fall at this point (thanks to corporatism) but they originally did take the steps to bring search as it was today - which no one can deny!

Winson Yeung

09/07/2012 01:34 pm

Lol I'm sure this is just an counter from Google for the new bing campaign Bing it on. A surprising marketing tactic

Emma Hart

09/07/2012 03:12 pm

I think that it is a valid search metric for Bing to be doing, but an embarrassing one to be divulged. It reminds me of a story where the founder of Morrison’s Supermarkets was asked if he thought he would be more successful than Tesco. MR Morrison replied; "Who" Maybe it would be better if Bing was more like Mr Morrison.

James Dunn

09/07/2012 03:53 pm

This is what I don't like about the down vote button - you aren't telling me why I am wrong. Where is the debate?? Either that or you're Bing evangelists!!


09/07/2012 05:15 pm

So wait, are we supposed to believe Google isn't doing the same thing with Chrome? I mean, I'm sure most Chrome users are using Google, but if they *do* use another search engine, Google probably captures that click data. They'd be stupid not to.


09/07/2012 09:01 pm

I don't understand Google's objection... are they saying they somehow own their click-thru data? And cjvannette is right... Google itself uses click-thru data (and other metrics) to decide what is a "quality" site.


09/07/2012 09:48 pm

LOL Google is mad about "Bing it On". Now they are out to attack. Funny Google does the same thing and still attacks them for it.


09/07/2012 09:48 pm

I didn't vote down but I will tell you my opinion. While Bing may be using this data to some extent, they are not copying Google entirely. From my personal experience, I know that my site ranks differently in Bing than it does in Google. But there might be very few terms that I rank in both for - coincidence, I don't know...

Michael Martinez

09/07/2012 10:25 pm

This is completely childish and hypocritical. Google needs to stop using other people's data to serve their search results before they complain about Bing.


09/08/2012 01:05 am

Google uses my data everyday! Google uses everyone elses data also. Using this data to make billions. Yet they have the gall to get mad at bing?? OMG google is quickly becoming the most hypocritical company in the history of mankind.


09/08/2012 01:17 am

James Google uses your data and my data and millions of other webmasters to make billions yet gets mad when someone uses their data? You can't see the hypocrisy in this?

Webstats Art

09/08/2012 07:45 am

Long Live Steve Jobs!


09/08/2012 03:18 pm

thank you.. tired of reading all the nonsense. wanted something relevant to comment on.


09/08/2012 03:20 pm

so you're point is that google is like a remix. taking that data and doing something with it..improving it and such. Bing is like the cover band only doing their best to copy the original?


09/09/2012 01:12 am

(You mean from the word 'Start' right? Autoexec?)


09/09/2012 01:28 am

I think the big question is whether aggregated click-data is public domain info or not? We agree for Google to take and use our click-data via all that legal mumble-jumble that no one reads. If I click on link who has rights to that click-data? The company that made the brower? Or, to whom runs the website where the link was posted? The site that the link leads to? Google? Anyone who can get their hands on it? BTW, did MS tell us by using IE we agree to have our click-data taken from any website for MS' own purposes in their legal mumble jumble? Isn't these more important things to be thinking about?


09/10/2012 01:33 pm

Google is much worse than Bing when it comes to using "click data"....Google eats up your budget with fraud click. So the how come conversions are better from Bing than Google ? I see more qualified leads from Bing than Google. Yes google sends more leads but they are more spam that actual leads. Bing leads convert 85% and google leads convert only 25%. I will still be using adcenter.

Ketan Raval

09/14/2012 01:10 pm

but whats wrong about using google's click data?


10/21/2012 03:07 am

Wouldn't that only be relevant if he where still alive? *confused*


10/21/2012 03:54 am

A lot of you are making a lot of assumptions of Google. They dont really seem to care all that much. I think the message they are trying to send is that Bing can't very well claim superiority on search results when it is using it's primary competitors data(atleast in part) to achieve its results. I actually had to go searching to find an article like this. Interesting thing is that Google could easy reverse this "Bing it on" campaign and show they are not being entirely truthful. I don't think they will. I also would point out I got 5/5 to google on the "bing it on" site...when it comes to detailed search queries Google nailed the best results every time. recent development comparison: google = android platform. microsoft = windows 8...pathetic OS! I'd rather buy a mac.


10/22/2012 02:36 am


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