So, it’s Wildcard Friday here at Exclusive Concepts. I wanted to take a break from blogging about SEO copywriting and bring you the latest (as of Thursday afternoon) on the little feud going on between Google and Bing. Unless you’ve been hiding under the 70+ inches of snow we’ve gotten this winter, you’ve probably heard that Google set out to do a little sting when they started noticing Bing copying its search results. A Bing Sting if you will.
In short, Google claims that Bing started watching what users searched for in Google and the websites browsers selected from these search results, then used that information to improve its own search algorithm. How did Google prove this? Google created code that allowed a page to rank manually for a certain word. Since these nonsense words or misspellings didn’t make any sense, (hiybbprqag and indoswiftjobinproduction, anyone?) they normally would produce little or no search results in Bing or Google. However, with Google manually manipulating this, a specific page would show up at the top of their results when this exact term was searched. After a few weeks, Google engineers noticed that both Google and Bing were showing the exact same top results for these odd words. Hmmmm…
To be fair, not very many of the terms Google booby trapped worked, but a few was all it took for Google to call Bing out. Most SEO’ers know that each search engine has its own set of signals that determine how its algorithm ranks certain pages. So is this fair? Is it okay for Bing to take into account how Google ranks certain pages and use that in its own search algorithm?
There are so many ways to argue this one and many sides to both Google’s and Bing’s stories. As a copywriter I hate hate HATE it when my content gets copied, but I always try to take it as a compliment because imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery even if it is just plain wrong. I’ll also admit that there truly is nothing new under the sun, and many times writers look to other writers for inspiration. Here lies the gray area between right and wrong, and people will have to decide for themselves as this story continues to unfold.
However, after doing some research here and there and mostly getting my news from cable television, I think that Stephen Colbert, via the Colbert Report, said it best when he concluded that “Hiybbprqag is a word meaning ‘You got served.’”