Up until this point nobody has been entirely sure if Bing is simply re-purposing Google’s data, or directly copying it.
Well. Now we know.
In a recent Search Engine Land article called Google: Bing Is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results, Amit Singhal (one of my favorite Google Search Advocates because of his heroic attempt to champion audio-to text conversion and indexing technology) blows the whistle on Bing’s thieving ways.
Suspicious of their rival, Google engineers set up random results on their site for a series of unlikely search terms, such as “hiybbprqag.” (Google arranged for the nonsense word to point to a Los Angeles theater seating plan on its search engine.)
Search retrieval programmer and natural language processing architect Sue Bell of Theme Zoom started a rant on Theme Zoom Buzz with the following comments:
There are a couple of interesting things in the searchengineland article. The dissidence that is created in this article, and the tendency to find Microsoft “guilty” I find particularly humorous. It was not that long ago that Apple was complaining about Google grabbing data from their iphone users when they used google maps. We all tend to look at data that is being passed right in front of us, and for MS (Bing) to grab and use the data from their toolbar, suggested sites or even through their browser is all laid out in their TOS. Use ANYBODY’s application an you are opening yourself up to their being able to view and use your data.
My advice is to “spread the wealth” – don’t use “everything google”; a google browser, os, chat, email, etc. And don’t do that with MS either. Use a little here and a little there, so no one company gets a complete profile. If you are going to be on-line, that is as close as you can get to preserving your “privacy”. And be careful who you share data with – good data hygiene is key.
Beyond that, assume they are using what you give them, and know that they may unwittingly share that data further. This should cause you to think VERY carefully about where and how you do things such as store passwords or share banking information. For those to whom idea this comes as a surprise, you might want to check out a book which is now quite old in online terms, Google Hacking. This book talks about how to see what kind of personal data you might have out there on the internet, with the idea that you can work toward getting that cleaned up and/or change the data that may have already been compromised.
There seems to be a lot going on right now in terms of the disruptive non-feed technologies of social media (like Facebook) colliding with the open-feed user-curated integration like Google search and Buzz. (More on this later)
This may sound confusing at first but here is a snippet of a conversation that Sue and I recently had on the topic:
Russell: Google Buzz and other user-curated open systems that are index-able by the search engines are really about intelligent conversations, not poking your friends. Join an intelligent conversation with intelligent people, get followed and cultivate high-level relationships. It is really about authority building and intelligence cultivation at the same time.
What a lot of people do not really understand (Except maybe Chris Lang and a couple others) is that you should build your authority niche empire from Google Buzz and Google Reader “OUT”, not from Twitter and Facebook “IN”. Lot of people really missing this concept of open versus closed platforms. Confusing social behavior for business information curation and cultivation.
Sue: “Poke” heh heh
Russell Wright: Facebook is the outer ring of your long term sustainable content empire. Nothing more.
Sue Bell: Yup
That is because Facebook is a closed system. Any platform online that is closed gets “Fed” to. (Feed threading). But it does not do any feeding.
Things that feed are in the middle.
Which, aside from blogs, is almost ALL Google at this point! Feedburner, buzz, alerts, etc.
Now that we know the Bing stealing data, and Yahoo uses Bing, it becomes more obvious, that there is still only ONE.
With Larry taking over command of Google again, look out. He is smarter than I thought – people who know him say he is a true visionary. And he admits to my vision of everything being connected – Google being the “third-half” of your brain, and knowing more about you than you know about yourself, because the AI can connect dots and databases can remember things you have forgotten (hence the old, but still VERY humorous image on my latest blog post – not for those easily offended )
Russell Wright: Fascinating! Interesting.
** Final point and comment by Russell
What I am trying to hint at here is that there will never be a free lunch on Facebook for online promoters and business owners, because it is a closed system. If you recall, Google Friend Connect stormed out of the meetings with Facebook in the early years, because they understood the security issues and the difference of philosophy that drove the two companies. There fore, Google indexing and results will become even MORE important to building FREE traffic for your business- or at the very least sustainable long term authority indexing for topics which you have created intelligent and interesting conversations and interest, as well as followers.
Facebook does not care about how much information and connectedness you have created around a topic or theme. They are a closed system. They are not syndicated. Spiders will not follow . . . EVER. The best you can hope for is somebody “sharing” your micro-thought on their own wall, with your link so that you appear within the internal Facebook search engine. Otherwise the only way you will appear in the Facebook search engine (still in beta essentially) is to have your link or content appear in Bing.
But Bing is Stealing all of their data from Google still. Comical.
I suggest you follow me on Buzz and keep a healthy balance when approaching the Facebook Black Hole. Approach Facebook with a “Get In and Get Out” approach of any marketer.
Russell Wright and the Theme Zoom Team