Microsoft Exec Admits Bing Uses Google Search Data

Dennis Faas's picture

Google claims that Microsoft (via the Bing search engine) has been copying search results and presenting them as their own. The accusation comes after Google hosted a "sting" operation that caught Microsoft in the act of "borrowing" Google-hosted data.

The covert plan saw the implementation of 100 obscure queries (that served as decoys) within Google search algorithms. For example, Google named one particular code "mbzrygiys" and linked it to smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIM). Interestingly enough, this same code (and a few others) appeared in Bing search results, proving that the Microsoft search engine "recycles" queries from the competition. (Source:

Google Engineers Suspicious

The decision to catch Microsoft stealing search data came after Google engineers became suspicious of the fact that Bing results mirrored their own a little too closely. The decoys were then launched sometime in December.

Microsoft wasted little time in defending their search practices, dismissing the set-up as nothing more than a "spy-novelesque stunt". The company also pointed out that of the 100 decoy queries Google had established, only 9 were duplicated by Bing.

Microsoft Admits Some Poaching

One Microsoft executive did admit that Bing (on occasion) uses data from Google searches in the Internet Explorer 8 browser to improve their results, but also emphasized that all data is voluntarily supplied by users. In other words, Microsoft only uses borrowed data to improve Bing's search quality.

When asked about practice, Microsoft did not seem willing to change their current strategy. In a written statement, the company pledged to "continue to look for a number of ways to improve our search experience. Using customer input will continue to be one of those (ways)." (Source:

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