Feeds

Google and Microsoft relive Joan Collins catfight

Hair pulled, eyes scratched over 'stolen search results'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

We haven't seen a catfight like this since Linda Evans and Joan Collins. Or maybe even Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Google flaming Microsoft for copying its search results was already great fun. But the two have now descended into the sort of endless slagging match typically reserved for insecure adolescents – or Register commentards.

Microsoft is quite clearly copying Google's search results – in automated fashion. Google caught Redmond in the act by loading its live search engine with 100 bogus results pages. But surely, Google's rather involved efforts to publicly shame Microsoft are rather childish – not to mention deliciously ironic. This is a company that makes multi-billions from copied content.

At first, Microsoft's response to Google's claim was relatively restrained. A brief statement sent to The Reg didn't deny the claim, and then came a blog post from Bing vice president Harry Shum that didn't deny it again. But the post did accuse Mountain View of a "spy-novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers in tail query ranking".

Then Microsoft did deny it. "We do not copy Google results," Redmond told ZDNet. So Google unloaded a blog post where it accused Microsoft of not telling the truth. "Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it," is the title. And it demanded that the copying stop.

Google and Microsoft

Google and Microsoft

Meanwhile, at a mini-conference in San Francisco, Microsoft's Harry Shum traded public barbs with Google search guru Matt Cutts. At one point, Shum referred to Google's "sting operation" as a "new source of spam and click fraud". And according to CNet, before the conference kicked off, Cutts "made the rounds...with a laptop open to four screenshots comparing the fake queries Google constructed and the results page with the same queries on Bing."

Throughout the day, Microsoft head of corporate communications Frank Shaw slung mud at Google via Twitter. When one Google supporter said Mountain View's evidence was "pretty convincing", Shaw responded with: "Google had employees log onto ms customer feedback system and send results to Microsoft"

Then came the return slap from Google's Matt Cutts: "Normal people call that 'IE8'".

And then the final hair pull from Shaw: "@mattcutts hey if this whole engineering thing doesn't work out for you, try PR -- you've got the chops for it. ;)"

You can see the full blow-by-blow here:

®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.