The Google-Bing clash is the most heated up issue today. After being tagged as a cheater by Google, Bing finally responded to Google’s allegations and takes it as a “back handed compliment”. According to Bing it was a creative tactic and such an allegation is just a spy novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers in query ranking.
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s senior VP said,
”We have some of the best minds in the world at work on search quality and relevance, and for a competitor to accuse any one of these people of such activity is just insulting”.
Bing claims that it never copied from its competitors but always learns from its customers. The company says it works by using click stream optionally provided by consumers in an anonymous fashion as one of 1,000 signals to try and determine whether a site might make sense to be in their index.
Bing clarified that it does not use a Google specific search signal, rather uses a search signal based on search activities monitored in different sites. That is, if you search for a word, be it eBay or yahoo, Bing can detect it if you are using Internet Explorer with Suggested sites or the Bing toolbar.
A number of searches can be identified. Bing then outsources the most popular pages associated with the word being searched from a number of search engines. Such a search signal does not actually belong to any specific search engine but does contain some of its searches.
For any normal query, there are signals from various engines in the clickstream but for the Google fabricated queries the only data in the clickstream was theirs, thus those specific results were displayed. The clickstream is used by Bing to improve their searches but it is not he only signal being used.
Bing will now continue to focus on innovating the product, though added a jab about the timing of Google’s honeypot discovery, saying it was directly related to some of Microsoft’s recent improvements to Bing, Mehdi said which were
“So big and noticeable that we are told Google took notice and began to worry,”