Google and Microsoft have been engaged in a public fight ever since a Search Engine Land published a report describing an extensive operation Google conducted to prove that Bing was copying its search results. Microsoft responded by saying it doesn’t copy Google’s search results. Google countered with a response of its own.
That response was written by Google Fellow Amit Singhal, the head of Google’s search algorithm and ranking team, and he’s the man who led the “Bing Sting” that sparked the controversy. Yesterday, NBC’s Scott McGrew, Forbes‘s Kym McNicholas and I had the chance to interview Singhal on the Bing controversy on NBC Bay Area’s Press:Here
Singhal explained exactly what happened, detailing how Google first stumbled upon the issue and how it set up a “scientific experiment” to find out whether Microsoft was using Google’s search results to improve its own. Google concluded that Microsoft was using a combination of IE8 and the Bing Toolbar to record what people were searching for on Google and which results they were clicking on.
“All we want is Microsoft to stop this practice,” Singhal said during the interview.
Microsoft wanted to tell its side of the story, though, so it took the unusual step of sending a taped response to Press:Here to respond to the interview.
“I want to categorically state that Bing does not copy any search competitor. Period. Full stop,” responded Microsoft’s Stefan Weitz. “We do use clickstream data, which is data that customers across the world have opted in to send to Microsoft to improve our products.”
It’s a fascinating interview that dives not only into the Google-Bing controversy, but how Google will change with Larry Page as CEO and whether Google can stay competitive against the likes Facebook.
The video of the full interview is below, so you can come to your own conclusions.
Amit Singhal Interview: Part 1
Amit Singhal Interview: Part 2
Singhal: “All We Want Is Microsoft To Stop This Practice”
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