Bing caught stealing Google search results

February 1, 2011 by
Filed under: Computer Security 

Well it looks like Bing got caught duplicating Google search results. In May of last year Google started noticing something was up, after additional similarities they started to investigate the problem. It seemed like the Bing search results were being copies directly from Google results. 

To start the investigation Google inserted fake queries into their search system, misspelled names and fictitious names etc. They did random searches for several months and then in December Google engineers used Bing to search these queries, the results returned were identical to the Google results page for the same search terms. Further digging and investigating provided more information on the source. It was determined that users with IE8 and the Bing toolbar were being spied on. When they did searches the toolbar would record the results and send this to Bing and Microsoft who would them update page rankings on Bing search to conform with Google.

Bing seems to acknowledge this behavior too. Microsoft’s Bing search engine director stated that the Bing Toolbar pulls information from many sources to improve our results.

Our thoughts on this would be that while Bing and Microsoft admit the Bing toolbar send this information to Microsoft what else are the sending? It’s one thing to use the Bing search engine but the toolbar is tracking information even if you are not using it for the query. At this point we would recommend uninstalling the Bing toolbar until they change the way it operates.

Let us know how you feel about this…

You can get more information about how Google conducted their investigation at

http://googleblog.blogspot.com
searchengineland.com

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