‘Sting Operation’ by Google Catches Bing Stealing It’s Search Results

By on February 3, 2011
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Google planted fake words and misspellings in a bid to prove that Bing was copying it’s search results. They were right.


The folks over at Bing seem to have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. That is, of course, if the cookie jar is Google and the cookies in question are Google’s search results. Following some rather interesting events the engineers over at Google had a sneaking suspicion that Bing was ‘cheating’ and rather than confront them outright they decided to set up a ‘sting operation’ of sorts.

Apparently Microsoft has been monitoring what it’s users on Internet Explorer who use the Bing tool-bar are typing. Evidently many merely search ‘Google’ in the tool-bar and then go on to search on Google. Microsoft then has a glance at what the users are searching and uses it on their own search engine (Sneaky, no?).

Well Google would have none of this and their engineers coded some algorithms that manipulated the results. Something which they claim they’ve never done. They coded a whole bunch of words but one of the most telling results was what you see below.

Yeap, that is indeed ‘mbzrxpgjys’. And lo’ and behold, Bing returned the same results. This took several weeks to test but it seems that their predictions came to fruition. There are more words they tried including ‘hiybbprqag’ and ‘tarsorrhaphy’
You can see more of the results by hitting up the source link below.

A couple of things come to mind though; Google has said that they ‘can’t and don’t’ control the results and this obviously shows that they can. Plus, considering the fact that Bing is currently powering Yahoo, does this mean that Yahoo returns the same?

Source: SearchEngineLand


Checked Yahoo and it turns out, yes, the same results were returned. Interesting.


Humourist, news-junkie, bassist, petrol-head and techie. Best when caffeinated. Seasoned collector of lame puns and professional grumpy old man. Follow him on twitter: @nabilfahim

  • http://twitter.com/afahad Ahmad Fahad احمد فهد

    Good write up, and appropriate title. Sneaky of Google, but it serves Bing right to get publicly called on like that. They should be ashamed.

  • Davidlb07

    Bing is powering Yahoo???? So what’s the point of using Bing or Yahoo if they’re the same? So wrong on so many levels…..

    • http://twitter.com/ajaffarali Abbas Jaffar Ali

      Keep in mind that Yahoo! is less of a search engine and more of a service provider now- such an news, email, messenger etc.

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