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Is imitation really the sincerest form of flattery?

Posted By Jonathan Ng On February 2, 2011 @ 1:45 pm In Tech News | Comments Disabled

If you haven’t heard yet, Google and Microsoft’s Bing are in a bit of a cold war.  Yesterday, Google posted results of a series of experiments [1] that confirm their suspicion that Bing had been “copying” their top query results.

In short, Google temporarily created about 100 “synthetic queries”.  These synthetic queries would be strings that one would never expect a user to type such as “delhipublicschool40 chdjob” or “hiybbprqag”.  Google would then insert as a top result a unique and real web page that had nothing to do with the query.  In other words, the non-nonsensical string did not appear in the page nor were there any other indications that this real world web page should have any association to the strings.

Google engineers were then given laptops with fresh installs of both Windows, Internet Explorer 8 and the Bing Toolbar.  They were then asked to query for those same strings.

Within a short time, the contrived top results that Google had placed started appearing as top results on Bing for the same queries!

Now the million dollar question…

Was this a sincere form of flattery?  A clever idea?  An indication that Bing is a cheap imitation?  All of the above?

Hit us up in the comments with what you think!

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    Article printed from Nerd Boys: http://nerdboys.com

    URL to article: http://nerdboys.com/2011/02/02/is-imitation-really-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery/

    URLs in this post:

    [1] Google posted results of a series of experiments: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/microsofts-bing-uses-google-search.html

    [2] Google accuses Bing of ‘copying’ its search results: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12343597

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