If you haven’t been following the Google and Bing clashes of the last week you are definitely missing out, they have been very interesting from both sides of the debate. To summarize, Google has accused Bing of copying their results and have showed many convincing tests that lead to the possibility that this may be true. For the full story read Danny Sullivan’s great recap here or you can read what Google said on their blog here.
Now while all of the evidence is pretty convincing that Bing is using Google searches to influence its own rankings I want to bring up the point of “does this even matter?” In a search game where Google is still over 70% in charge in most polls, how much of a threat does Bing using their results on extremely low volume keywords really even pose. Google will keep doing what it is doing and Bing will keep trying to catch up, but don’t they always say “imitation is the best form of flattery.”
To dive even deeper into this, imitation is widely rampant on the web with every content creator or ecommerce provider being able to name 10 websites that were created when their niche started to prove successful and copy and respin everything that they publish. Why should this be different for Google. Why should they be free of competitors using their “ranking tactics” to create a better experience for their users. Take Groupon for example, you can’t hardly open your web browser without being marketed by another daily deal company trying to get a part of the market and copying what has been proven to work by others.
Google itself claims to be against these types of clone site but they find ways to rank them over and over in their search engine, but Google’s quarrel with Bing has shown that Google doesn’t enjoy it when the shoe is on the other foot. What I am trying to get at is that if this had happened when Bing had only 5% of the market share we wouldn’t have heard a peep from Google. I’m sure there are a thousand sites using their rankings right now with no market share. But the fact that Google has employees preforming detailed tests and then goes on their record calling out Bing in their blog and twitter feeds goes to show that Google may actually be starting to fear the rise of Bing.
All of this is interesting to watch play out, and I cant wait to see how the market shares fair in the upcoming year. One thing is for sure, Google is worried about Bing, enough to publically go on the record denouncing them.
What do you guys think? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.