Mud Flies as Microsoft, Google Exchange Words Over Bing

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 02-01-2011

Microsoft and Google executives engaged in some contentious back-and-forth during a Feb. 1 roundtable discussion at the Farsight Summit, suggesting emotions are high in the wake of Google accusing Bing of copying its Web-search results.

"Our testing has concluded that Bing is copying Google Web-search results, and Microsoft doesn't deny this," Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow, wrote in a Feb. 1 e-mail to eWEEK. "At Google, we strongly believe in innovation and are proud of our search quality. We look forward to competing with genuinely new search algorithms out there, from Bing and others' algorithms built on core innovation, and not on recycled search results copied from a competitor."

Singhal had originally been scheduled to appear at the Farsight event, which had been billed as "Bing Presents Farsight 2011: Beyond the Search Box" and set to include Microsoft Corporate Vice President Harry Shum and Blekko co-founder and CEO Rich Skrenta. Hours before the 1 p.m. EST start, however, both Microsoft and Google confirmed that Google Principal Engineer Matt Cutts would take Singhal's place.

That did nothing to dampen the microbursts of animosity during the hour-long discussion.

Cutts started off by summarizing Google's accusations, which had spread across the Web that morning, courtesy of a posting on the blog Search Engine Land. The search-engine giant had launched what the blog called a "sting operation," finding terms with no matches on Google or Bing, and then artificially driving "honey pot" pages to appear on the top of search results for those terms. When a small portion of Bing search results seemed to mirror Google's forced pages, the latter began leveling accusations.

For more, read the eWeek article: Microsoft, Google Execs Tussle Over Bing Accusations.