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Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings. Bing doesn’t deny this.
As a result of the apparent monitoring, Bing’s relevancy is potentially improving (or getting worse) on the back of Google’s own work. Google likens it to the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google’s test. [searchengineland.com...]
Guessing that Internet Explorer was somehow lifting Google data from users and sending it back to Bing, Mountain View launched its "sting operation". The company set up 100 faux search results pages for queries that most users were unlikely to try. Initially, these results were completely different from Microsoft's results for the same queries.
Mountain View engineers then ran these queries on Google's search engine using Internet Explorer, with Microsoft's Suggested Sites tool and the Bing Toolbar turned on, and they were instructed to always click on the top result. The test began in mid-December, and by the end of the month, Microsoft's results for those same queries had changed – at least a little. Changes appeared on less than 10 of Google's 100 manual queries.
I've been reading detailed posts on this whole fiasco. From the looks of it, I'd say it was a smear campaign on Google's part.
I'm curious though, are the people that are excited (albeit hesitant) that Google is attempting to purge the index of scraped content (which has been discussed here at WebmasterWorld quite often) the same people that see no wrong with Bing scrapping Google's results?