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The Ultimate Search Engine Fight: Google and Microsoft

Over the last few months, Google had not failed to notice the similarity of URLs generated by Bing for all types of queries including popular sites, unusual queries and misspelled queries alike. There suspicion that something was increasingly wrong, led Google to run an experiment to test their hypothesis. It ran a ‘Bing Sting’ operation in which they went about creating 100 synthetic queries which a user or researcher would perhaps never type for example hiybbprgag. They then created and inserted a dummy website for each query as Google’s top result which had nothing to do with the query itself:

Google moved forward by giving 20 of their engineers new laptops with a freshly installed Microsoft Windows running Internet Explorer 8 with an installed Bing Toolbar. The synthetic queries were entered on Google’s home page and they received the results that had been previously inserted by Google itself. Within a matter of a few weeks, the same results started appearing on Bing’s search results. In example, the dummy website for hiybbprqag showed right at the top of Bing’s results:

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