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back to article Google to Microsoft: You're stealing our search results!

Google has accused Microsoft of copying its search results, after running a "sting operation" that indicates Redmond's Internet Explorer software is tracking what searchers find on Google and using this data to tweak results on Bing. Microsoft indicates this is indeed happening – but on a small scale. Google first made the …

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Anonymous Coward

Innovation

"But copying is not innovation, in my book.”

That depends predominantly on your legal budget, doesn't it?

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Other possible circumstances

For example, if your company logo is fruit-based, and you're well in with the journalistic media at large...

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Alert

But Copying is Innovating

I mean, thats what Microsoft has been calling copying for about 2 decades now!

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Pint

As the old students' maxim has it...

... if you copy from three sources, that's *research*!

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@Greg J Preece

Apple have paid for all the technology they've acquired but do we really have to drag them into it? They don't even run a search engine.

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Troll

@ThomH

<<< Maybe I should have used this icon.

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Gates Halo

Sire

Make that 3 decades (plus)

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Who was snooping on whom?

So lets get this straight Google was snooping on Bing's search results when they noticed that Bing was snooping on Google's search results.

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Thumb Down

Er, no.

I think google were comparing their product with the opposition's.

In business, you tend to do this, so you can try and keep ahead of the opposition. (and ideally, make more money than them)

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Anonymous Coward

@ Michael B

Not really, Google were keeping abreast of the marketplace and noticed something "suspicious" that they wanted to check out.

It is like supermarkets using mystery shoppers to check out the competition mixed with the old Victorian naturalist habit of "making shit up" in their tales of far away places to check if others were just copying their work.

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Happy

"Google were keeping abreast of the marketplace"

Ah, so I was "keeping abreast" of my neighbour's habit of subathing in the nude...when the coppers were called and found me in the tree at the end of my garden, using a pair of binoculars?!

Dammit! I knew there was a better phrase than simply "spying"!

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Grenade

Ha!

Oh please.

Even on the first day years ago google was out and running in the wild live it then was still getting better search results than any search engine made or supported by microsoft.

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lets get this straight

> So lets get this straight Google was snooping on Bing's search results when they noticed that Bing was snooping on Google's search results.

No, Google noticed that certain results returned by Bing was a too close match to Google results. To verify this they created search queries and this verified that the Bing toolbar was spying on endusers.

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Pirate

burp

* burp *

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Grenade

The REAL story...

Is that MS is quietly feeding user data back to Redmond without authorisation from inside MSIE.

If other packages do this, it's called "spyware" and gets LEO interested.

Apart from tweaking Bing results, what ELSE are they doing with the search terms and results?

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LEO?

Low Earth Orbit?

Low Emissions Optimum?

Long-term Ecosystem Observatory?

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Well

They R in ur Computer, stealing ur Pornz.

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FAIL

Yes it does

if you install the bing toolbar and opt in to sending data back

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The REAL story

They stole that from Google Chrome.

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Joke

No...

Lyons Electonic Office - of course!

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New spelling standards

Local Educashun Othority

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Anonymous Coward

Must be.

A relative who works for MS tells me it is a disciplinary offence.for MS employees to use Google at work. How else can they pilfer Google results? They either ignore the dominant competitor, sack themselves or spy on users. Let's take a wild guess...

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Headmaster

eh?

Do any of these people actually speak a known language?

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Coat

"On a small scale"

Well that's pretty much the whole of Bing then.

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WTF?

Actually, the reral story.....

....is that Google have now publically admitted to manually adjusting their search results, this is something they have claimed for years they not only didn't do, but *couldn't* do..........

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FAIL

Read the article, not just the headline

If you read the original article which has all the background info, and not just the El Reg summary, you'll see that google had to explicitly add in code to do this, and they're about to remove it.

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Anonymous Coward

I see the next Google ad

Google - cause even BING knows whats best

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Android fashioned after WHAT now?

"Android, you might argue, was fashioned after a certain Apple handset"

That's a rater, erm, "interesting" assertion, care to elaborate? Android is a Linux distro which, according to Google, had been in development for quite a while before the iPhone came out. Given the timeframe, I would say that either Google can be trusted on that, or they work very fast indeed. And it's not like Android and iOS have much in common either. You could even argue that some of the features that iOS gained with subsequent version were actually "fashioned after" Android features that the original iOS lacked and that the users wanted.

Now the design of the first (HTC-made) handset on which Android was shipped might have been following the trend, set by the iPhone *among others*.

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Paris Hilton

i beg to differ

elaborate on *among others*. iPhone was released middle of 2007, first android came end of 2008. Only programming the basis of a phone OS doesn't make the OS, no user cares really about what's under the UI as long as it work properly. Nokia had the best basis in its Symbian and that didn't help. I'm pretty sure that Google worked very hard in between 2007 and 2008 to replicate the good parts of iOS.

While checking your inciting answer I came across

http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/05/20/google.io.keynote.says.jobs.vision.is.draconian/. It's funny it seems that the future looks mostly monochromatic given the surge in android phones on the market. it's good for the competition. And makes the iPhone more special again- after all not everybody is driving Mercedes.

Paris, because she knows she can aks google-God to check the verity of her answer

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@ElReg!comments!Pierre

It's not just according to Google — they acquired Android (the company, working on the OS) in 2005. That would seem to establish that work was in progress before the iPhone came out.

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Stop

Stop it.

They're all just phones. It's down to personal choice: iPhone users like the interface on their phone, I like the fact that I can watch iPlayer and DiVX's on my Galaxy S and my friend likes his Nokia because it's tough as hell, cost £10 and has a torch on top.

As for "And makes the iPhone more special again- after all not everybody is driving Mercedes.", that statement says way more about you than it does the iPhone.

Now, can we leave the phone talk please?

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Anonymous Coward

@Pierre

Remember that Google had someone sat on the Apple board of directors during the whole time that the iPhone was being developed. During this time, Google also bought the Android company.

Is this ethical? Make up your own minds...

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WTF?

What i'm struggleing to understand

Is how software (Android) can be fashioned after hardware (a certain apple handset).

Can anyone please enlighten me?

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@ElReg!comments!Pierre - think a little, please

"[Android] had been in development for quite a while before the iPhone came out"

are you trying to say the iphone development started *just* before it came out??

It was in development about 4 years before it came out, at least.

and everyone know what the early Android interface looked like. (pre june 2007)

anyway, back on topic... google were looking at bing to see if they should be copying what they are doing and found out that bing was already at it. imitation/flattery

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The quote I found most interesting:

"The PageRank feature [on the Google toolbar] sends back URLs, but we’ve never used those URLs or data to put any results on Google’s results page. We do not do that, and we will not do that".

Well then what is it using this data for?

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Alert

A wild guess...

... if it's not for fine-tuning search then it's for fine-tuning AdWords.

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Anonymous Coward

what is it using this data for

Presumably to compile statistics of interest to marketers, rather than to directly influence search results.

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Its collecting it because it can

However - they come over all ethical with their

"We do not do that, and we will not do that"

Well of course not - where's the money in that.

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Flame

Re: It gets harder to SEO sites...

Good. I hope Google end up making it fucking impossible. Then maybe search results will return relevant sites instead of those whose owners paid crooks like you to fiddle search results to get them to the top.

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WTF?

"a brilliantly elegant core search formula...

"...that yields the most useful result almost every single time"

Err, which search engine is this, then?

It certainly isn't Google when so many searches seem to have been "gamed" to the top...

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Re: It gets harder to SEO sites...

Couldn't agree more.

It's all the SEO wankers that flood Google with their crap price comparison and associated shopping bollocks that makes it harder and harder to find anything useful.

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Anonymous Coward

@woodgar

"It's all the SEO wankers that flood Google with their crap price comparison and associated shopping bollocks that makes it harder and harder to find anything useful."

That type of worthless crap was extremely annoying, definitely, but it seems to have come down quite a bit (though it's far from disappeared) since around the middle of last year- I'd guess around the point that Google rolled out their "Caffeine" update.

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SEO is never legit

SEO by definition is gaming the system and cheating to get the page you want to the top of searches.

If you mean you advise clients on how to construct *useful* web pages that get to the top on their own merit without playing keyword games (and similar), good for you. I wouldn't call that SEO.

If, on the other hand, you do any gaming of keywords or content specifically to increase page visibility (especially for searches the page does not directly relate to), you are part of the problem.

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Re:I hope Google end up making it fucking impossible

I take it that, by the same token, you object to companies like WHSmith, M&S & Tesco occupying prime retail locations, just because they can afford it and have made the effort to procure them.

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Innovation...

The people, process, and technology which bring new companies to life... then leaves shortly after to be replaced by R&D... Rip Off and Duplicate.

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