What on earth are Google thinking? (re: Bing-gate)


By now you’ve no doubt smelled the shitstorm surrounding Google’s allegation that Bing are ‘cheating’ and copying Google’s search results. If not, in brief, Google spotted that Bing sometimes includes results that seemed to be copied from Google, so Google set up a honeypot – they made some made up words like [hiybbprqag or juegosdeben1ogrande] cause Google’s SERPs to link to random unrelated sites. A few weeks later, around 8% of those sites showed up on Bing for those queries.

In what is being dubbed by many as “BingGate”, Google then leaked a great story onto searchengineland.com who ran with the headline Google: Bing is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results. This on the very same day that the Farsight 2011 event was held – a discussion about the future of search between Matt Cutts (Head of Webspam at Google), Harry Shum (Bing Corporate Vice President) and Rich Skrenta (CEO of Blekko) – great timing Google. Classy.

When I read about the story on hackernews, I pretty much immediately saw what was going on – Bing are using click data from everywhere to improve their results. Now I’m no MS evangelist. I run OSX, had gmail when it was still 6 invites per user, yada yada. (heck I run adsense and analytics on my blog. I love Google, which is why I’m massively disappointed to see this kind of behaviour from them!)

Here’s a ridiculously simplified version of how search engines used to work: If Page A contains the word ‘candy’ then it’s about candy. This is very simple to game. Google came up with the following innovation, which they call PageRank: If Page A links to Page B with the phrase “candy”, that’s a good indicator that Page B is about candy. Especially if Page A is a trusted site (i.e. with a lot of links to it). Today, many ‘signals’ are used to rank pages. Google recently started using information about how fast a site is as a signal.

Bing have added click information as a signal. So if you’re on Page A and you click on the candy link to Page B, that’s more important than a link that says “automobile” which links to Page C. On Google’s PageRank model, Page B would be as much about candy as Page C is about automobiles. But with Bing’s click signal, they can tell that Page B is more relevant to candy than Page C is relevant to automobile. Same number of inbound links, but different number of user clicks. Taken in aggregate across all users of the Bing toolbar, I imagine this will turn out to be a very useful signal.

Google is a big website. Lots of people click on it. So it makes some sense that Google’s influence on the click-data can be measured. And if Google were to construct an artificial test where they’re the only signal – like they did with the ‘synthetic queries’ – then it stands to reason that Bing would appear to ‘copy’ Google’s data. Because only Google have data on those queries. They’re made up.

That’s the situation as I perceive it, as I perceived it within an hour of reading about it. Let’s revisit Google’s actions. They hit the red button big-time. Searchengineland blogpost, mattcutts’s twitter, conference hijack and now an official Google blogpost.

At first I thought there could be three possible explanations to Google’s handling of this situation:

1) They genuinely thought that Bing were maliciously copying their results, and didn’t stop to think of another (imho more obvious) explanation; that Bing just collect all kinds of click data, including *but not limited to* clicks on Google.

2) They thought it would be a massive PR win, and who cares about the truth.

3) They can’t control what their own people say about them in public.

Any  one of those is bad. 1) is bad because I don’t even work in search and I could spot the real situation. So did many people on hackernews, techcrunch, pretty much anywhere you read about this story. Google are pretty dumb if they didn’t spot this – which seems unlikely. But if true is worrying.

2) is bad because, damn that’s an evil marketing tactic.

3) is bad because it’s worrying if you can let one of your top public-facing engineers go to the media with the kind of story that promotes the headlines we’ve seen without any kind of internal oversight.

Option one I just refuse to believe. Google are not dumb. Perhaps they got carried away with their own epic tale of how they caught Microsoft red-handed. Perhaps. Option two is a shocking tactic and *really* doesn’t seem like the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from Google. Option three is looking less likely. Matt’s not a maverick, and Google just echoed the story on the official blog.

So option four. Matt did pump the Bing-gate story up without Google’s consent, and now they’ve no option but to take responsibility to avoid seeming like they’ve lost control. Sounds a bit Soviet to me. Indicative of insecurity? It’s no secret that Bing has been taking market share from Google at astonishing pace. What’s going on Google?

Update: great discussion about this post on hackernews. Thanks for the positive comments guys, much appreciated.

I’ve replied to some common criticisms in my followup post: What are Google thinking – part 2.


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  1. #1 by saucetin on February 1, 2011 - 5:10 pm

    I love the way that this sentence should have been written: They genuinely didn’t think that Bing might not have been maliciously copying their results.

    I hate your version of it :(

    • #2 by Howard Yeend on February 1, 2011 - 5:14 pm

      don’t follow – how should I have worded it?

      • #3 by Jeremy on February 1, 2011 - 5:24 pm

        I don’t think it’s bad, but maybe you could avoid the double negative?

        They genuinely think that Bing might be maliciously copying their results.

        I like your read of the situation.

        • #4 by Satheesh on February 2, 2011 - 7:18 pm

          Search itself is copying from all over internet. Its funny that Google raised this … any body can access any page in the public domain … google is in public domain and so bing accessing it. What’s wrong. If you call Bing as copyCat then what should we call Google as?

  2. #5 by Wolter on February 1, 2011 - 5:32 pm

    The click indicator seems to be extremely vulnerable to gaming.

    All you’d have to do is get people to click the link (by whatever nefarious means you can think of) and you’ll gain massive relevance according to Bing.

    Another observation more relevant to the point at hand: Who clicks on links labeled “hiybbprqag”? Enough people to pull in 8% of google’s fake words to Bing?

    • #6 by Howard Yeend on February 1, 2011 - 5:36 pm

      massive relevance on long-tail search terms. Remind you of googlebombing at all?

  3. #7 by CoolJJ on February 1, 2011 - 5:44 pm

    Okay, educate me. How is bing tracking what is clicked on while doing a google search?

    • #8 by Howard Yeend on February 1, 2011 - 5:59 pm

      Bing toolbar.

      • #9 by Ankit on February 1, 2011 - 7:53 pm

        Oh really….LOL.

  4. #10 by Jonathan on February 1, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    So are you saying that all of the guys over at Google have the Bing toolbar installed so that Bing could record their click data? That doesn’t seem likely, but I don’t know anyone who works at Google. It also doesn’t seem likely that a bunch of bing toolbar users, with no knowledge of these keywords, went out and searched “juegosdeben1ogrande” and then clicked on a site about dookie rope chains.

    • #11 by Howard Yeend on February 1, 2011 - 6:01 pm

      Did you read Google’s spy novel post? They explicitly, deliberately installed Bing Toolbar and made those clicks to try to catch Bing out. No control test was used as far as I can see. Then Google ran around screaming “cheater”.

      • #12 by Br.Bill on February 1, 2011 - 6:12 pm

        You don’t have to use a control test if the chances of this happening without the honeypot are 0%.

        • #13 by Howard Yeend on February 1, 2011 - 7:00 pm

          You do if you want to claim that Bing are copying Google. Otherwise all you can claim is that Bing are using click data from everywhere. To narrow it specifically to Google, you need a non-Google control. Microsoft have pretty much openly said “Yes, we track clicks, but not just from Google”.

  5. #14 by mark on February 1, 2011 - 6:06 pm

    “They genuinely didn’t think that Bing might not have been maliciously copying their results.”

    Sorry, but is there a better way to say this? I’ve read it four times now, and I’m not sure I follow.

    • #15 by Howard Yeend on February 1, 2011 - 6:17 pm

      Sorry, years of programming has trained my mind to deal nicely with double negatives! edited to:

      They genuinely thought that Bing were maliciously copying their results, and didn’t stop to think of another (imho more obvious) explanation; that Bing just collect all kinds of click data, including *but not limited to* clicks on Google.

  6. #16 by Luke on February 1, 2011 - 6:33 pm

    What I don’t get is that there were no links “hiybbprqag” to that web page. My understanding is that they were programatically inserted in the search results, and all the Googlers did is search for that term and then click the first result.

    That isn’t click stream tracking, thats Google search result click tracking.

    • #17 by Howard Yeend on February 1, 2011 - 6:36 pm

      The Googlers had bing toolbar installed when they clicked. That’s clickstream tracking sure, but nothing about it says “It was targeted specifically at scraping Google’s results”.

      • #18 by Bleak on February 1, 2011 - 7:34 pm

        At the very least, when it does this the Bing toolbar knows that it is parsing Google search engine results, and selectively extracts the search term from either the page or the URL. This isn’t a matter of generic click tracking, this is click tracking specifically targeted at Google results.

      • #19 by Jeff Higgins on February 1, 2011 - 9:02 pm

        So, are you suggesting that if I make a webpage with a link that says “elephantfeetandmonkeyhandsonababy” and point my link to a website about gardening, that that keyword will be automatically indexed by Bing? Someone should try that – but I doubt it will work.

        If that is really the approach Bing was taking it would be open to rampant abuse. They have to have a way of ranking the value of click-throughs. I think we all know that Bing was only doing this for things clicked by Google search results.

        They would be working off of the assumption that Google’s own algorithms and spam filters would ensure quality results to scrape in the first place.

        • #20 by Howard Yeend on February 2, 2011 - 6:14 am

          “if I make a webpage with a link that says “elephantfeetandmonkeyhandsonababy” and point my link to a website about gardening, that that keyword will be automatically indexed by Bing?”

          Yes, that’s exactly how it works. Search for googlebomb to find out more.

      • #21 by Kendall on February 3, 2011 - 10:11 am

        Actually, it says exactly that it was targeted specifically at Google. The only time the word “hyperopeere” (or whatever it was) appeared, was when the user entered it in the Google search field. The resulting link that appeared was “Freds Jolly Tea Time Page” (or whatever) and had no relation to that word, at all. So that means the Bing Bar had to EITHER know to pull a value from a google search field, OR it had to scan the google search results for the “search results for hyperopeere” string. Either way it was specifically parsing a google page in a way it would not for any other page.

        • #22 by Rohit on February 4, 2011 - 4:42 am

          And exactly thats what might be wrong. Bing will show the same behaviour even if it had been some other page (may be with some sort of credibility). Infact, even same behaviour might be reflected by google, because thats what search engines do to make themselves better, thats how they are able to server even obscure search terms, because they have seen those terms and what user did with those elsewhere. in this case, Bin saw tht user typed “blah” and saw that user wanted to go to site X after that. When lot many other users did exactly that, it thought that might be relevant. And since those users were the only users in the whole world to provide that input, it reflected in the search.

    • #23 by Aaron on February 1, 2011 - 8:18 pm

      A Google search result page for hiybbprqag contains the term many times… in its title, in the URL, in other text on the page. That’s plenty enough. (It would be if Google’s own PageRank encountered a unique term page and a destination page, never mind a number of user clicks suggesting one descends from the other.) I am sure Bing’s algorithm doesn’t include the first (Google) page, then only the second.

      • #24 by Luke on February 2, 2011 - 12:28 am

        In their blog post, Google say the pages that ranked first for these terms (hiybbprqag etc), had nothing to do with that term – that the rankings were programmatically inserted specifically to catch Bing.

        “The Googlers had bing toolbar installed when they clicked. That’s clickstream tracking sure, but nothing about it says “It was targeted specifically at scraping Google’s results”.”

        The difference is that there were no links to the page or no content on the page that contained the term “hiybbprqag”. The only place that term appeared was in the Google search box.

        “This isn’t a matter of generic click tracking, this is click tracking specifically targeted at Google results.”

        Exactly

        • #25 by Amit on February 2, 2011 - 1:56 am

          Agree completely. Exactly the thought that came to my mind when Howard mentioned how Bing works. If you are specifically following what people google and what they click, you are using the Google’s search Algorithm.

          • #26 by Howard Yeend on February 2, 2011 - 6:15 am

            yes, but if you’re just tracking associations between all URLs and the pages people click while on those URLs, then you’re not specifically using Google, that’s just a side-effect.

  7. #27 by Daniel @ SpiderOak on February 1, 2011 - 6:35 pm

    Fantastic that someone with a 90% market share stoops to running around the schoolyard like a little girl whining and crying about ‘they stole our data’..

    Jezus, what were they thinking?

    • #28 by Mike on February 1, 2011 - 7:39 pm

      Google has 70% market share in search. Microsoft has 90% desktop market share. Think you’re confused about which company is the big monopoly. Which one got theirs illegally?

      If someone has something you want, it is still wrong to steal it.

      • #29 by ET on February 1, 2011 - 8:44 pm

        Since Microsoft did NOT obtain their monopoly illegally you must be implying that Google got theirs illegally and hiding behind a motto of doing no evil.

        M$FT were found trying to extend their monopoly into middleware, and definitely not for somehow getting their monopoly illegally. Judges specifically disclaimed any findings about getting the monopoly illegally.

    • #30 by Jeff Higgins on February 1, 2011 - 9:03 pm

      Do you honestly believe that Bing’s aggregation of Google’s algorithmic results actually helps consumers? Wouldn’t you prefer that Bing develop its own way to find and index relevant content, if for nothing less than to break the search monopoly you made reference to?

    • #31 by Nikhil on February 1, 2011 - 9:24 pm

  8. #32 by jon on February 1, 2011 - 6:50 pm

    that’s not pagerank. read the paper: http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html

    pagerank has nothing to do with the content on the page, just the links.

    BUT, this is more likely what bing is doing:
    http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/ryenw/papers/WhiteSIGIR2010a.pdf
    “Search trails” that start with a search and end on a “good” document.

    • #33 by Howard Yeend on February 3, 2011 - 6:42 am

      Yes, technically pagerank as defined in the ‘anatomy’ paper is just a way of ranking documents based on their authority. It’s not such a leap to go from that to counting the link text as a signal. We *know* that Google does indeed do that – how else could googlebombing have happened. It’s related to PageRank. Strongly. Enough that I didn’t want to get bogged down in in-depth technical discussions like this. Not an important point.

  9. #34 by nik on February 1, 2011 - 6:57 pm

    You have a point there.

    So in essence:
    Google has proven merely that the Bing toolbar tracks the web pages users are viewing (the contents) and the links users are clicking on from this web page. IMO that’s bad enough.

    But, they have not proven that Bing treats google.com differently from any other page. For that they should have seeded 100 random web pages from different domains with artificial words, and have these pages contain a link which the user with Bing toolbar installed then clicks. I bet that it would yield the same result as the Google test, e.g. those fake words would get matched to the linked web pages.

  10. #35 by Thursty on February 1, 2011 - 6:58 pm

    If you’re looking for valid click metrics based on legitimate websites, wouldn’t it be wise to not include the search results of other search engines?

    The results would be skewed due to the fact that google (and other engine) search results are particularly organic.

    Secondly, they’d be further skewed when taken as a co-factor to page-rank type metrics as just about 85% of all websites have some sort of link that loosely relates back to google.

    I understand the practice as you think it’s intended, but if what you’re saying is true, then the implementation is just plain poor.

  11. #36 by Luigi Montanez on February 1, 2011 - 7:06 pm

    The “Bing is cheating, copying us” headline is indeed sensationalist.

    However, I do think that Google has a valid point: Bing should not be using clickstream data from Google searches as a signal. The core offering of Google search is getting used by its competitor, without any citation.

    It’s like if Reporter B used Reporter A’s news article to report on the same story without citing Reporter A’s work. Or if Researcher B used Researcher A’s findings in an academic paper without proper citation.

  12. #37 by ubo on February 1, 2011 - 8:11 pm

    I’m sorry, but MS has enough smart people working for it that they would have purposefully excluded other search engines in their mining.

    Why? Because look at this clusterfuck already. It is only going to get worse, and it’s downright scummy to not exclude known search engines from your gathering, precisely because this will happen.

  13. #38 by Elly on February 1, 2011 - 8:20 pm

    BING on the competition, eh. :)

  14. #39 by Drew Wilson on February 1, 2011 - 8:24 pm

    A few things:

    1) I think you’re misunderstanding how PageRank works. Each link to a page is treated as a vote for that page’s importance. The label of the link isn’t used to figure out what the site is about. So if I link to an automobile site with a link titled “candy” no search engine will start showing the automobile site when people search for “candy”. Instead, the # links to a given site contribute to making that site appear higher in the search results.

    2) As Bleak mentioned above, there’s nothing on the Google results page to connect any of those pages to the search terms. Bing would have to have specialized parsing code to connect google searches to google results – it’s not treating google.com like any other page on the internet.

    In this case, Bing apparently has no idea why the page it is showing in its results should be associated with the search terms that were entered – instead, it’s listing the results entirely because it saw that Google thought they were related, and people clicked on them.

    Aside from the “bing is cheating” aspect, it’s bad for consumers to have Bing augment its search results in this way – it means that flaws in Google’s algorithms (spam detection, etc) will impact Bing’s results as well.

    • #40 by Howard Yeend on February 2, 2011 - 1:15 am

      1) If your picture of PageRank were true, Googlebombing would have been impossible. PageRank is a method of measuring webpage weight by number of backlinks, yes, but it also facilitates the use of anchor text as a signal. Everyone does this.

      2) “there’s nothing on the Google results page to connect any of those pages to the search terms.” Yes there is, the URL of the SERP.

  15. #41 by Jeff Higgins on February 1, 2011 - 8:55 pm

    Someone above suggested that Google create some sort of control – that would be possible if there were more than 2 major search engines. But there aren’t.

    The fact that Bing would rank hip hop jewelry as a random 26 letter/number combination without providing any context or associated results is proof positive that they are algorithmically aggregating Google results for new content.

    This allows Bing to fast track its own indexing speed, because if Google indexes something it doesn’t know, it simply copies that entry directly, then it can build around that entry naturally, as if it never stole the tip from Google in the first place.

    This is also very bad for consumers because it means that Bing’s results are now more like Google’s than not. There was a time when there were about 10 search engines, so users and web masters alike could hope for more traffic because of the algorithmic differences between the platforms – now it’s just Google and Bing (and small startups without much traffic). If Bing is just copying Google, then it’s basically just Google and Google lite.

    That’s not good for anyone.

  16. #42 by Jeff Higgins on February 1, 2011 - 8:56 pm

    Oh, and a word to the author:

    Google isn’t plural. It’s an entity in and of itself. The title should say “What on earth IS Google doing”.

  17. #44 by SC on February 1, 2011 - 9:09 pm

    I landed to this article as some reader on another site posted it. I thought I could find an alternative answer to why Microsoft is not cheated in the “experiment” Google put out.

    No, there is no alternative explanation. Disappointed.

    I thought the paragraph on how search engine works would give me a more scientific and logical answer, but there is nothing that follows.

    All I found is how the article down played the Google as “just a website” and user would click on it. Since Bing captures users clicks and transform it to a signal, there goes the search results.

    I think the Google engineers should have used a GUID string as the test, so that no one ever could claim that someone else “happens” to search for the same thing and click on the search results.

  18. #45 by pluc on February 1, 2011 - 11:34 pm

    It’s okay for MS to parse user input through it’s toolbar, fine. However, it’s not okay for Microsoft (or anyone) to use that toolbar to figure out what response any given server sends in reply to any kind of requests – unless it’s part of a documented feature. You’re only seeing the part where Microsoft is grabbing user input and not the part where Microsoft is grabbing Google data. That’s how they’re returning the correct, google-provided result(s) for an erroneous query that, without Google, Microsoft would not have.

  19. #46 by Jonas B. on February 1, 2011 - 11:37 pm

    Your statement is false. Microsoft is_not_ doing click tracking here!

    Nowhere does the link to “western credit union” contain “xyxasdihfsaiufiq” (or whatever the actual terms were).

    Microsoft is parsing the web pages you surf, identifying that this is indeed a Google search result page you are on. Then it extracts what terms you searched for and what the search results are.

    Very, very, very, far from click tracking!

    • #47 by Howard Yeend on February 2, 2011 - 1:17 am

      or it could just be extracting words from the URL you’re on and using that to build a relationship between those words and the page you then click on. Simpler than the “Bing is copying Google explanation”. Thus preferable.

      • #48 by alephnaut on February 2, 2011 - 2:12 pm

        Yeah but not nearly as sensational. Why should Bing use, say, the query string “unless it’s a query string from google”? Who really cares? It’s a pretty slick innovation on the “Intelligence is as intelligence does” concept that PageRank belongs to as well. Except the intelligence signal isn’t limited to hrefs in a web page – it includes context (e.g., the query string of the source) as well the actually click-through.

        It might even be harder to game in the sense that it’s harder to actively execute click-throughs than it is to setup a bunch of bogus websites loaded with links to a page you want to boost.

        For terms that a lot of people are searching for then clicking on, this issue wouldn’t be a problem but, as you point out, these are long tail (unique if you will) searches…

  20. #49 by Mike on February 1, 2011 - 11:40 pm

    I just checked the Bing toolbar web page. It doesn’t mention how it is used to collect your interactions with various web sites like Google to improve Bing search results.

    Heck, what does the Bing toolbar do when someone accesses their Chase bank account? If you then type “How much does X have in her checking account at Chase”, will Bing display the correct answer?

  21. #50 by Brian on February 2, 2011 - 3:35 am

    Even if they were “click tracking” , how does it make it “not” copying from Google, In essence what is happening here is Google provides you a search result, and Bing then learns to provide the same result based on the same search term. Its still cheating in its pure term. Its like saying that every previous year a term paper has the answers ABBACDA , so you then give those exact answers on this term paper to get it correct. It doesn’t make it right to do this just because you can copy a “pattern”. If Microsoft wants Bing to be a better search engine than Google, maybe they should be independently doing their own work and not learning the results from Google via the Bing bar.

    • #51 by Tommy on February 2, 2011 - 5:06 am

      No, this is analogous to the following. A student has been studying ALL physics textbooks in order to learn to answer questions in a future physics exam. Unknown to her, among those textbooks there is one written by another competing student, who deliberately put in wrong answer to a specific question not covered by any other textbooks. During the exam, the aforementioned question appeared and the first student gave the wrong answer exactly as shown in the planted textbook. Now is the first student copying the second student? Or is the second student an insidious douchebag?

      • #52 by James Hart on February 2, 2011 - 10:16 am

        Not sure that analogy is quite right – the honeypot was how Google claim to have proven that Microsoft is cheating on ALL the exam questions, not just the honeypot question.

        I think, from Google’s point of view, they see it as not so much that they published a physics textbook that Microsoft copied from, as that Microsoft sneaked in and copied form their private Physics notes, so they snuck a couple of fake lies into their notes to catch MS out.

        From MS’s point of view, the trouble is that Google’s private Physics notes aren’t really private. In fact, Google leave them on the shelf in the library next to all the physics books (it has a note labelled ‘robots.txt’ on it that says ‘HANDS OFF, MICROSOFT’, so Microsoft never actually looks at it itself).

        But it so happens that one of Microsoft’s research techniques is to shoulder-surf people who look at physics books. So when people take down that google notebook and look at it, Microsoft can’t help but see what they’re looking up. And when a couple of google engineers popped in and looked up the fake pages, Microsoft glanced at them too and made a faithful copy in their own physics notes. Oops.

        And the thing is, Microsoft only shoulder-surfs people who agree to let them, in exchange for easy access to their physics notes…

        So, everyone’s good, right?

        • #53 by Tommy on February 2, 2011 - 8:14 pm

          Yes, but Google cannot (and won’t be able to) prove that Bing is using Google’s notes as the ONLY signal.
          Click data belongs to the user. For example, if Google put up a honeypot that has 4 results in the page, and their employees only click the last result, then Bing’s result will only contain the last result as the top result for the query, not the other three. That result is the users’ choice, not Google’s. Therefore, the users have the right to send this info to Bing and Bing has the right to use it for ranking. I don’t see anything wrong with it.
          If, Bing shows all 4 results as Google does, then Bing is copying. I don’t think that’s the case. Claiming it that way only shows how insidious Google is to fool the public in this PR stunt.

  22. #54 by Alex on February 2, 2011 - 3:36 am

    And how does this situation affect the average user?!

    The clash of between these two titans can only help them make better products for us. Nothing wrong with that!

    • #55 by Brian on February 2, 2011 - 4:02 am

      Actually No, it doesnt make a better Bing. It makes Bing give the results Google does. I had hoped that Bing would become better but this seems typical of the Microsoft way, copy the horse that’s already out of the gates.

  23. #56 by Chad on February 2, 2011 - 12:24 pm

    All this speculation that the Bing toolbar is a vector for click tracking makes me wonder why someone hasn’t established a direct proof rather than speculate. Set up a clean PC. Install the Bing toolbar and Wireshark. Let Wireshark log any/all traffic the PC generates whenever a link is clicked.

    The toolbar is or is not reporting clicks. It should be easy to prove which is the case.

    • #57 by Tommy on February 2, 2011 - 8:04 pm

      The tool bar is collecting clicks. Microsoft doesn’t deny that. And users have explicitly agreed for the toolbar to send collected info (including click data) to MS.

  24. #58 by Sanjeev on February 2, 2011 - 3:03 pm

    Display ads in Gmail, indistinguishable sponsored videos in YouTube, and this kind of PR stunts that is precisely why I recently moved from Gmail to Hotmail. All the best Google, your days are counted.

  25. #59 by Vaibhav Kaushal on February 3, 2011 - 5:19 am

    All Microsoft can do is to copy. Whether it be Apple, Google or Oracle. But it cannot do anything new. And now they started copying. how on earth can anyone who knows their history can say that ‘Microsoft has improved… they dont copy!” ?

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