Wednesday, February 2, 2011

BING: Because It Needs Google

Google and Bing have been at it for years with the latter (supposedly) poised to eat out of the former's leadership. But, never had they reached very heated temperatures until an interesting turn of events recently. A few hours' back, Google claimed Bing uses their search results! Backed by a string of evidences from an intricate sting operation (details of which are here), coupled with a PR move that stung as well, Google published on their own blog their findings of what might just be the start of an epic battle with Bing.

So, how did Google do it? They came up with a number of "synthetic queries" or queries that users would least likely use. For each synthetic query, they assigned a top search result that returned a link totally unrelated to the query. One such example would be "hiybbprqag" which, when Googled, would return (at least, during the sting operation) what appears below:

Try Googling for it now, though, and it'd return an awful lot of news and blogs fanning the coals of this war (this includes what might just be the new definition of the query, according to Stephen Colbert). But, I digress. At any rate, again, the query would return a link to the Wiltern seating chart. So, what happens when you Google (harhar!) the query on Bing?

Surprise, surprise.

Of course, Bing was not going out without a fight. A little subtlety goes a long way and it could not get any subtle, if not passive-aggressive, than this. But certainly, subtle was not going to make this exciting. But, throw in a war in Twitter and you've got something entirely worth following. Oh, how wonderful to pore over raging emotions bottled up in 140 characters or less.

Dare I ask what's happening?

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