Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Feb 2011 22:44 UTC, submitted by LouisBarman
Google The web is already aflame with Google's accusation that Bing is stealing its search results. Google created code to manually rank certain bogus search terms, and ten created mock web pages as the top search results for these bogus terms. It turned out that Bing would list the exact same mock web pages as its top search result for these bogus terms. Google is unhappy with it, but in all honesty - since when is it wrong to copy in the computer business?
Order by: Score:
Comment by durango99
by durango99 on Tue 1st Feb 2011 23:28 UTC
durango99
Member since:
2011-02-01

I don't quite buy the argument that this example of MS using opt-in data from users searching google as a normal everyday tech copying tech.

Sure Bing competes and copies Google on the merit of using it's own system and algorithm to crawl the web and generate search. That I'd buy as normal tech copying tech. They are doing searches using their own tools.

This however is a clever way of leeching search results from your competitor. It's not copying, it's more like siphoning gas from your neighbor's car gas tank ;)

Edited 2011-02-01 23:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by durango99
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 1st Feb 2011 23:30 UTC in reply to "Comment by durango99"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

No it isn't. It's more like following your neighbour to see where he buys his gas.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Comment by durango99
by Kroc on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 10:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by durango99"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

No, it's more like running a business that tells people where the cheapest gas is, and instead of going out and finding the cheapest gas, you just follow your competitor around.

It works, but you are wholly dependent on your competitor to serve your own customers. That is no good position to be in, esp. for Bing.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by durango99
by vaette on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 11:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by durango99"
vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

On the other hand using click data as a data source for the search engine results only makes sense. Everything I have heard about this suggests that click data (with referrer and relevant form contents) from IE and the Bing Bar is exactly how this is done). The distinction is fine, but the way that works Microsoft would have to explicitly exclude click data results from google.com to avoid this problem, rather than it being a question of them explicitly mining precisely Google.

Also I find it a bit sensationalist to suggest that this is a huge problem for Bing, it is not like they base their results entirely off Google. It could be construed as bad business practice, but really, using the toolbar to mine data on the form "when a user searches for x he/she is likely to accept the url y as an answer" is not exactly stealing Googles data or algorithms, it is really mining what users are doing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by durango99
by leonalpha on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by durango99"
leonalpha Member since:
2011-02-02

No Thom, that's not how it is. It's like your neighbor spending 10 years to build a system that allows people to find where the cheapest gas. The system works exceptionally well and your neighbor charges a fee for using it.

Then you come along and ask everyone who uses your neighbor's system to tell you where the cheapest gas is. And then, you charge a fee to redistribute your neighbor's results. Do you seriously not see anything wrong with this?

Microsft, and any other company, can copy someone else's work by studying it, then creating their own. This is what Apple, Google, and everybody else in the industry does. However, that is not what Bing is doing.

Ponder the following:

On Google

- Thom: Hi Google, can you please tell me where the cheapest gas is?

- Google: Sure, hang on... [hours go by, then Google comes back... sweaty, tired, sore, short of breath] Here you go sir, I finally figured out where the cheapest gas is. It took a lot of work, but here it is. That'll be 50 bucks.


Now on Bing

- Leon: Hi Bing, can you please tell me where the cheapest gas is?

- Bing: Sure, hang on...

[Bing searches and finds nothing - Oh Crap! then sees Thom passing by...]

- Bing to Thom [whispers]: psst, Hey yo, Thom!!! Did Google just tell you where the cheapest gas is?

- Thom: Yes, it's on 123 Main Street in Thom City, Netherlands. I'm on my way there now.

- Bing: Oh cool. Aight man, peace!

Bing to Leon: Leon, the cheapest gas is on 123 Main Street in Thom City, Netherlands. That'll be 50 bucks!
--------------------------------------------------

If you believe that scenario is perfectly fine, then I have nothing else to say.

Reply Score: 2

Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

But it doesn't accurately portray how we use opt-in customer data as one of many inputs to help improve our user experience.

Probably because IE informs MS of the most hit pages on any query on any search engine, same as the Google Toolbar does.

Reply Score: 3

Duh! This is Microsoft's Modus operandi!
by cmost on Tue 1st Feb 2011 23:42 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

I can't imagine anyone is surprised by this. Microsoft always steals, oops, I mean "embraces and extends" other companies' technologies.

Reply Score: 2

Priceless
by mrhasbean on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 00:00 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

Google ... is pointing the finger for copying / stealing!? LOL! I always enjoy a belly laugh for the start of the day...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Priceless
by Tony Swash on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 11:57 UTC in reply to "Priceless"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I find myself in an extremely unusual position - feeling more sympathetic to Microsoft than to their opponent!

I was going to write about Google's appalling self satisfied hypocrisy but then I came across this by Daniel Eran Dilger who says it much better than I would have.

" - this is Google claiming to be wronged by the reuse of the information it makes publicly available. The company that says it does no evil and loves freedom of ideas and sharing free and open source software.

This is the company that made its fortune on a business model stolen from Overture, that it later paid off in an out of court settlement with Yahoo. This is the company that appropriated Sun’s Java platform and changed just enough to avoid paying Sun to use its technology in the development of Android. The same firm that then turned Android into an iPhone workalike in order to turn its partnership with Apple into a predatory research session.

This is the company that indexes blogs, newspapers, and both digital and physical books, and then makes all this information available without consent in the contexts of its ads and paid search space, and is dismissal of anyone who objects to Google’s ultra liberal sense of copyright. It generated controversy by driving trucks around the world to take photos of everything, connecting to WiFi base stations as it went to suck up random data it could use.

Google copies every original idea it can find, like a massive information sponge, sucking up business models and innovative creations and forming its own duplicates, often with little success. In the last year, its most obvious advances were copies of Twitter… and the revised layout of Bing.

Install the Google Toolbar and do a search of Bing, and Google actually directs your clickstream back for its own analysis. And really, that appears to be all Bing is doing, as it offers a similar option to record users’ behaviors and upload it back to Bing to improve its results."

Spot on.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Priceless
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 11:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Priceless"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Quoting Daniel Eril Didupdidup defeats your point. He is the biggest fraud in the tech industry - an even bigger fraud than John Gruber.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Priceless
by Tony Swash on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 15:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Priceless"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Quoting Daniel Eril Didupdidup defeats your point. He is the biggest fraud in the tech industry - an even bigger fraud than John Gruber.


Presumably when you say "fraud" what you mean is that both writers say things that you disagree with. Interesting choice of words as it implies that to hold a view different to your own is somehow illegitimate, fraudulent, perhaps even criminal.

We all have differing and sometimes strong views on many topics, let's just try to accept that to hold opposing view is legitimate and actually rather healthy.

I would like to know what you actually disagree with in the quote I posted.

Also if Google (or you) believes that information needs to be free then is there anything inherently wrong with Bing using Google information to improve it's search results?.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Priceless
by vodoomoth on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 13:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Priceless"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

It might be spot on but this is just wrong:

It generated controversy by driving trucks around the world to take photos of everything, connecting to WiFi base stations as it went to suck up random data it could use.


For that to be true, there should have been an intent to collect "random data". Uhm, I'm sure anyone with more than two neurons knows the odds of finding anything useful using that method. If I were asked, I would say extremely improbable. People with Google are smarter than me, at the very least, some people. So no, writing what he wrote is just adding more little stones on one side of the balance without respect for their color or shape.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Priceless
by Tony Swash on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Priceless"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

It might be spot on but this is just wrong:
"It generated controversy by driving trucks around the world to take photos of everything, connecting to WiFi base stations as it went to suck up random data it could use.


For that to be true, there should have been an intent to collect "random data". Uhm, I'm sure anyone with more than two neurons knows the odds of finding anything useful using that method. If I were asked, I would say extremely improbable. People with Google are smarter than me, at the very least, some people. So no, writing what he wrote is just adding more little stones on one side of the balance without respect for their color or shape.
"

So Google collected the data by accident? In Several countries? A company whose business model, sole business model, is to collect data on people's activities and use it to sell targeted advertising is collecting data by accident?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Priceless
by vodoomoth on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 16:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Priceless"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

So Google collected the data by accident? In Several countries? A company whose business model, sole business model, is to collect data on people's activities and use it to sell targeted advertising is collecting data by accident?

I am saying that I'm more inclined to believe that it was an accident than a deliberate thing. For me to see it as an intentional misdeed, I would have to see a way for them to benefit from it. I see that way when handset makers refuse to upgrade 5-month old phones like mine to Android 2.3; but I don't see that way with what we know of that specific wi-fi "incident".

Really, even with knowing Google's hunger for personal data like you've just described it, what amount of useful data can they harvest from my unencrypted wireless connections using a device that changes channels 5 times a second and that is carried in a car passing by? That's looks (to me) even more stupid than fishing for salmon in a west african countryside river where there's no salmon.

I know Google collects data about my online habits. I just don't believe they're stupid enough to try to do it in the manner that was indicated.

And I haven't read anywhere that anyone has proven Google knew what they were doing and did it purposefully. On that basis, the declaration I was contending with seems to have jumped to the conclusion that bolsters best the point being made.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Priceless
by Tony Swash on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 16:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Priceless"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"So Google collected the data by accident? In Several countries? A company whose business model, sole business model, is to collect data on people's activities and use it to sell targeted advertising is collecting data by accident?

I am saying that I'm more inclined to believe that it was an accident than a deliberate thing. For me to see it as an intentional misdeed, I would have to see a way for them to benefit from it. I see that way when handset makers refuse to upgrade 5-month old phones like mine to Android 2.3; but I don't see that way with what we know of that specific wi-fi "incident".

Really, even with knowing Google's hunger for personal data like you've just described it, what amount of useful data can they harvest from my unencrypted wireless connections using a device that changes channels 5 times a second and that is carried in a car passing by? That's looks (to me) even more stupid than fishing for salmon in a west african countryside river where there's no salmon.

I know Google collects data about my online habits. I just don't believe they're stupid enough to try to do it in the manner that was indicated.

And I haven't read anywhere that anyone has proven Google knew what they were doing and did it purposefully. On that basis, the declaration I was contending with seems to have jumped to the conclusion that bolsters best the point being made.
"

I don't think that Google did what it did because of some central or even coherent plan. Google is not that sort of company. It's problem is that it was founded on and largely operates on a principal of a letting thousands flowers bloom, of letting lots of parallel projects and teams get on with stuff and then seeing what sticks, what succeeds. Hence the way it has stumbled into, in my opinion, a dangerous (for Google) war with Apple destroying a very good and mutually beneficial alliance with Apple in the process.

I see the wifi peeking, like the H264 and WebM silliness, as being a reflection of the deep corporate culture at Google. That culture says all data belongs to them and they have to be everywhere, looking at everything and everyone. And so some team thinks it's a good idea to peek at people's wifi and if they harvest some private data in the process it doesn't really matter because as the culture says - all data belongs to Google and Google just wants to help everyone so where is the harm?

In a way that's why it's more troubling. A bad management decision can be corrected and can be learned from. Flaws in the deep corporate culture, a culture fully endorsed by the companies founders, are much harder to rectify.

Reply Score: 2

Decent PR move by Google
by Praxis on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 00:03 UTC
Praxis
Member since:
2009-09-17

What Bing does is really no surprise. It is very funny when their solution to increasing search quality of little searched for terms is 'copy what google does' Doesn't exactly inspire consumer confidence in your search engine. Which is what this move by google is about. There is nothing really illegal about what Bing does and some people would argue its not even unethical.

But google knew what is was doing bringing it up right now. You see mircosoft was hosting a search engine event today and it probably would have been a good place to talk about Bing and what they are doing in search and the future of search and all that jazz. Instead they get to spend all day defending themselves against googles copying claim. Where they have to admit they did it and then explain why it doesn't matter. And of course this becomes the story of the day on all the tech blogs instead of whatever message microsoft was hoping to get out, all the while eroding consumer confidence in Bing.

Well played google, well played, in a kinda supervillain kind of way

Reply Score: 11

RE: Decent PR move by Google
by benhonghu on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 04:48 UTC in reply to "Decent PR move by Google"
benhonghu Member since:
2008-08-24

I'd say the embarrassment to Microsoft is well deserved.

Reply Score: 2

A terrible sign for Microsoft
by ngaio on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 00:46 UTC
ngaio
Member since:
2005-10-06

This points to a serious problem for Microsoft. It seems truly desperate. If they were ever going to do something truly productive in search technologies, they simply wouldn't need to copy Google's results. But apparently they seem to think they do.

Reply Score: 5

This in interesting
by viator on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 00:54 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

Couldnt google use this to somehow poison bings search results? :O I know thats what id do if i were them (not that bings reslults are good to begin with)The problem i have with this is MS is always saying how google sucks but then they secretly use their tech lol

Reply Score: 2

RE: This in interesting
by d.marcu on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 12:50 UTC in reply to "This in interesting"
d.marcu Member since:
2009-12-27

they could poison the results, but in order to do that they'd have to f**k up the results first, that's a literally suicide

Reply Score: 1

kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

Using others peoples ideas is fine by me, but using others peoples data/source code without their consent is totally not OK.
And by using users as an intermediary MS just grabbed Googles data.(If that is even true, I have my doubts. Just grabbing the result straight from Google would explain the tests Google did way way better)

And anyways, MS actively sues other companies for patent violations where Google grants some of their really important patents (on bigtable for example)

Reply Score: 3

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

It's not Google's data, it's the user's data. The user consents when they install the Bing toolbar. MS isn't stealing anything from anybody, at least in this case.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by t3RRa
by t3RRa on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 02:41 UTC
t3RRa
Member since:
2005-11-22

Ok. It is now time to roll my search service using/copying Bing's search tech.. I might look into how I could use it but MS wouldn't mind right?

Reply Score: 4

we have alternatives Mr. Bing
by TusharG on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 03:13 UTC
TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have already stopped using Yahoo since it was using Bing's engine, now I'll stop using bing as finally it's a google result. I'll now continue to use google.com, blekko.com and duckduckgo.com

Now it's kind of clear why bing results were sounding as good as google!

Reply Score: 6

Correction:
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 05:05 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

"As a result of the apparent monitoring, Bing’s relevancy is potentially improving (or getting worse) on the back of Google’s own popularity."

Just thought I'd add that. It isn't "work" to write a simple script to organize/rank search results, and it's Google's popularity that makes it "work" the way it does. If Microsoft wants to use that, well, go ahead--I'm against companies taking users/customers data and making it some kind of trade secret to put everyone else at a disadvantage.

I might as well add that I'm no fan of Microsoft, and Google themselves have really been pissing me off lately. Google really got on my bad side when they admitted publicly that they would not hesitate to give any data collected from their users' search habits to government agencies, and further shat on their image when they recently decided to filter arbitrary words like "bittorrent" from their autocomplete results at the request of the "big media" companies.

I'm currently in the process of trying out Ixquick and DuckDuckGo, which at least least claims to care about its users privacy.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Correction:
by th3rmite on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 09:19 UTC in reply to "Correction:"
th3rmite Member since:
2006-01-08

Google really got on my bad side when they admitted publicly that they would not hesitate to give any data collected from their users' search habits to government agencies,


I feel the same way about retail shops. I can't stand the thought of committing a crime inside of Walmart and knowing that they would cooperate with the damn government in order to catch me. Don't they care about my privacy? Any company that helps the government catch criminals is just not cool in my book.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Correction:
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Correction:"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

What did Bing "steal" by using the data Google's servers have built up by monitoring their users? Does Google have to get Microsoft employees arrested to "get" their precious data back? No.

This is not theft; Bing didn't "take" anything from Google. Google still owns and maintains the servers, which continue to "learn" what people search for.

Comparing this to shoplifting is ridiculous.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Correction:
by th3rmite on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 00:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Correction:"
th3rmite Member since:
2006-01-08

I guess I used a bad comparison. I wasn't commenting on Bing using Google's data. I was commenting on your side remark about how you don't like the fact that Google would be unhesitant to assist the US Government in turning over data.

I agree with you, if the data is available for the public, then of course somebody is going to use to their advantage.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by GraphiteCube
by GraphiteCube on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 06:58 UTC
GraphiteCube
Member since:
2009-04-01

I have searched for "mbzrxpgjys" and "torsoraphy" on Bing and Google and I got different results. I wonder how come people get exactly the same results.

Results I have got:
http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/488/40937530.png

Edited 2011-02-02 07:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by GraphiteCube
by Praxis on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 07:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by GraphiteCube"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

I have searched for "mbzrxpgjys" and "torsoraphy" on Bing and Google and I got different results. I wonder how come people get exactly the same results.

Results I have got:
http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/488/40937530.png


Google removed the manually adjusted trap results already, it looks like Bing hasn't done anything yet, which makes sense. Google knew exactly what to change to revert back to normal, Bing just learned about it.

Reply Score: 3

Uhmm
by Soulbender on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 08:23 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

What's Bing?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Uhmm
by Janglin_Jack on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 09:50 UTC in reply to "Uhmm"
Janglin_Jack Member since:
2010-10-20

Google it!

Reply Score: 5

Bing - powered by Google [nt]
by qbrick on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 08:29 UTC
qbrick
Member since:
2010-04-20

[nt]

Reply Score: 2

It's not the same
by pjnlsn on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 13:17 UTC
pjnlsn
Member since:
2011-02-02

You should think of gasoline as the search results themselves. It's what both companies create, and how they compete. What Microsoft is doing is like siphoning away the gas from your neighbor's tank. What Google does is more like secretly obtaining plans for your new, more efficient, oil well you've built.

Yes, it's benefiting from your competitor's work, but you still have to know how to construct the well and run it, if you know what I mean.

Reply Score: 1

Silly question
by JeffS on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 16:51 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

"Google is unhappy with it, but in all honesty - since when is it wrong to copy in the computer business?"

Since software became patentable. And oh yeah, there is also copyright.

MS is currently suing Motrola over patents regarding Android.

So really, with all of the complaining about patents, why are you asking this question?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Silly question
by BluenoseJake on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 10:20 UTC in reply to "Silly question"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

This has nothing to do with patents.

Reply Score: 2

To quote some really bad movie...
by Neolander on Wed 2nd Feb 2011 17:12 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

"YOU'RE STEALING FROM US !!!"
--Noah Wyle, Pirates of the Silicon Valley

Yeah, it's the way science and technology work. Once a result is unveiled, it's going to be used by competitors. And so you have to keep innovating in order to avoid being crushed. Or, if you're not competitive enough anymore but have lots of money, hire an army of lawyers and litigate in bulk.

Edited 2011-02-02 17:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Hahahah
by tomcat on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 00:03 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Face it: Google is pissed that Microsoft is being very clever here, and leveraging their publicly available results to make Bing better. Google can't offer data publicly and then claim that that data is free to some and not to others. Google got itself into this box through its own business model -- and trying to shame Bing isn't going to make a bit of difference, since users aren't going to care, one way or another.

Reply Score: 1

Hmmm ... $$$
by fossil on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 01:07 UTC
fossil
Member since:
2009-05-29

If "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," what's this, infatuation? Yes, not infatuation with Google, but with money. Anything to make a buck. Anything whatsoever. If MS had scruples, would they not sell them to the highest bidder ...repeatedly? ;)

Reply Score: 1

Let them fight
by MarshellaSmith on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 05:12 UTC
MarshellaSmith
Member since:
2011-02-03

Let the big fishes fight and let us start using search engines like blekko and AAfter Search for better privacy.

Reply Score: 1

Google does this too
by Zkal on Fri 4th Feb 2011 12:59 UTC
Zkal
Member since:
2009-09-18

I'm pretty sure Google does this too and if they don't, they really need better engineers. It's just common sense that you want to see what keywords people use to reach certain sites and improve your search results from that. That's all the Bing bar does as a opt-IN and wouldn't matter if it was Google or any other site.

Reply Score: 1