Bing Cheats Google? Say It Ain’t So.

The big hubbub is all about Bing copying Google’s results. Google got wind of Bing possibly returning Google results for long tail terms, so they ranked a few gibberish/weird keyword terms to go to certain pages that had nothing to do with the keyword. One keyword was “hiybbprqag,” for instance.

They had some Googlites search for those set-up keywords and the same result pages showed up on Bing. How did this possibly happen? There was some discussion about Internet Explorer users and Bing Toolbars feeding these results back to Bing. Some have even joked that BING stands for Bing-Is-Now-Google.

For the sordid details, check out this post on Search Engine Land.

Bing’s response is that these were just some edge cases and don’t really reflect Bing’s search strategy. Bing claims it has 1,000 factors that affect a page’s place in search results, which is far above Google’s 200 factors – in the end it smacks of clumsy PR overstatement by Bing.

The big issue in discussion now is whether or not this is ‘fair’ competition by Bing. I think it’s a losing strategy and I’d like to see Bing do better and really compete so we could all get better searches. And that’s assuming you can overlook how all these companies steal/borrow/copy from each other in both method and personnel. No offense, but no one involved is the virgin in white. They’re all competing for our eyes and their advertising opportunities.