One of the biggest tech stories over the past few days is the way Bing has been copying Google’s search results. It all started with a search query that gets misspelled frequently: tarsorrhaphy. Google’s engineers noticed that Bing was bringing up the same results for the misspelled term but not bringing up the correct spelling in a “Did you mean?” way. This prompted Google to make gibberish searches and link to results that had nothing to do with the search. Sure enough, the same results rose to the top when searching for the same thing on Bing.
Google called Bing out on its actions today, but what’s behind the copying? It turns out that the Bing Bar and the suggested sites feature of Internet Explorer 8 are the most likely culprits. Both of these are ways for Bing to gather data and use it for search. Bing denies it (of course), but we’ll see what happens next.