#google? #bing?

Bing vs Google vs …?, grab your popcorn!

I found an interesting post: “Binggate is Bullshit”

Here is the text:

Google is bullshitting.

According to the Official Google Blog Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it the story goes like this.  Google noticed a similarity between the search results returned by Google and Bing when the term “torsoraphy” was entered.  Both returned the Wikipedia page for “Tarsorrhaphy” as the top result. Google immediately decided that Microsoft was copying their search results and charged 20 of their engineers with proving it. After several weeks of effort and the creation of hard coded search results Google was able to inject 7 out of 100 fake search terms into Bing’s database.

Turns out, Wikimedia’s search function returns the same result for “torsoraphy” as Bing and Google.

It looks like both submit “torsoraphy” to wikipedia’s search API and return it’s result as the top. Bing stops there, but Google submits Wikimedia’s suggestion to it’s own database in order to return more relevant results.

Google knows how Microsoft got those “suspicious” results – directly from the Wikimedia engine just like Google appears to have done.  If that’s a sin, then they’re both equally guilty.  But in this fight Google pulled out all the stops with a twenty engineer black hat operation against Bing and breaking their prime directive by hard coding search results.

All for a PR play at Farsight 2011

And where I come from that’s bullshit.

Here we go!

First item: wikipedia!:

A wikipedia admin called Nihiltres created the article ‘Torsorophy‘ (on 2 February 2011) and made a wikipedia-redirect to another page ‘‘Tarsorrhaphy’. Maybe he wanted to fool or troll us, we don’t know his/her intentions.

But suddenly the page was deleted while writing this blog post! After digging around there were still some cached pages around the web:

The user history of the wikipedia admin had no tracks which could lead to that Torsoraphy article…
After having a chat with some wikipedia operators on IRC about that deleted article, they first told me there was never a page on wikipedia called Torsoraphy.
(ME, user1 and wikiop1 are fake names)

[22:14] <wikiop1> ME: link to the deleted page?
[22:14] <ME> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torsorophy
[22:17] <wikiop1> ME: did you mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarsorrhaphy
[22:19] <ME> http://news.ycombinator.net/item?id=2168849
[22:19] <ME> so he created this
[22:19] <ME> why is this not visible in his user history?
[22:20] <ME> wikiop1?
[22:20] <wikiop1> ME: there was never a page under the link you provided
[22:21] <ME> yes there was and user Strel corrected it
[22:21] <ME> http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Torsoraphy&diff=411569249&oldid=411505089
[22:23] <user1> blanking pages is never a correction
[22:24] <wikiop1> ME: {{fixed}}

Hey! suddenly there was actually a page! it was “suddenly” “fixed”:

So far this wikipedia story...


Now I wanted to see if there was some truth in that blog post from kludgecode about wikipedia.
So I began to test:

I changed the word: Anthophora to Antliophora

Wikipedia query: Antliophora

Bing query: Antliophora
(no wikipedia.org/.com results or suggestions)

Google query: Antliophora
(both have the same suggestion as wikipedia, and the second google query has far more wikipedia.com/.org links, giving us a good hint that they might really use wikipedia to improve results)


Next: I changed the word: Amphiesmenoptera to Ampiesmenoptera

Wikipedia query: Ampiesmenoptera

Bing query: Ampiesmenoptera
(no wikipedia.org/.com results or suggestions)

Google query: Ampiesmenoptera
(same suggestions as wikipedia and we have again wikipedia results on top…)


Next: I changed the word: nomenclature to nomenclaturo

Wikipedia query: nomenclaturo

Bing query: nomenclaturo
(suggestions from wikipedia and wikipedia links on top)

Google query: nomenclaturo
(suggestions from wikipedia and wikipedia links on top)


Next: I changed the name: Schiffermüller to Schiffermüllre

Wikipedia query: Schiffermüllre

The result page of the correct name on wikipedia:

Bing query: Schiffermüllre
(nothing found from wikipedia)

Google query: Schiffermüllre
(again suggestions from wikipedia and wikipedia links on top…!)


At 01-02-2011 (yesterday) there was this Big Think event called “Farsight 2011: Beyond the Search Box“. Isn’t this suspicious? Is it a PR stunt from google, trying to damage the competion?

What do you think?
I have my popcorn ready 😉

Update: See also: Is Google trying to redirect traffic from bing through ads“?