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Google & Bing

By 5 February 2011 One Comment

I have no independent opinion on the current dispute about whether Bing uses Google results to improve its own, but for a sober extended discussion of the issue, go to SearchEngineLand, which ends by seeing both sides:

Perhaps we’ll get some detente going forward. But I’ll close with one last observation. PR is not leading this dispute. It’s following behind. This dispute is happening because real engineers at Google felt there was a deep injustice going on — as reflected in the quote from Google’s Amit Singhal in my original article. I’ve known Singhal for years. I’ve never seen him speak like this before. It’s not because Google PR told him to. It’s because he’s fundamentally bothered by what he’s seen — as are members of his team.

This dispute is also happening because real engineers at Bing feel there’s a deep injustice going on — as reflected in the quote from Harry Shum above. Bing’s worked incredibly hard to build a search engine that’s worthy of respect. Now here’s Google suggesting that Bing has simply cheated its way to relevancy. It’s not not a game for Shum. Microsoft PR didn’t plant a story of him talking to his son. In fact, he originally told me it and specifically said it wasn’t for publication. He was just sharing something personal.

But I also do appreciate the artistry of a really good rant, such as:  Why is Google so hysterically hypocritical about Bing using its public data?

Excerpt:

[T]his is Google claiming to be wronged by the reuse of the information it makes publicly available. The company that says it does no evil and loves freedom of ideas and sharing free and open source software.

This is the company that made its fortune on a business model stolen from Overture, that it later paid off in an out of court settlement with Yahoo. This is the company that appropriated Sun’s Java platform and changed just enough to avoid paying Sun to use its technology in the development of Android. The same firm that then turned Android into an iPhone workalike in order to turn its partnership with Apple into a predatory research session.

This is the company that indexes blogs, newspapers, and both digital and physical books, and then makes all this information available without consent in the contexts of its ads and paid search space, and is dismissive of anyone who objects to Google’s ultra liberal sense of copyright. It generated controversy by driving trucks around the world to take photos of everything, connecting to WiFi base stations as it went to suck up random data it could use.

Google copies every original idea it can find, like a massive information sponge, sucking up business models and innovative creations and forming its own duplicates, often with little success.

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