Most of the world looks at corporations as unfeeling, sometimes mechanical organizations that act in the interests of shareholders and (we hope) the general public. What we don’t expect is that these corporations will start throwing insults and accusations at one another like aggravated adolescents. However, that’s precisely what’s happening. Google, convinced that Bing has been cheating by using their top SERP (and actually showing some pretty significant evidence along those lines) called the Microsoft search engine a “cheater.” Now, immediately after denying the claims, Microsoft is calling Google a webspam profiteer.
This all happened on a the Farsight webspam panel, where Microsoft representative Harry Shum (Vice President of Search Development for Bing) first addressed the concerns of copied results. He questioned why Google hadn’t come to Microsoft with the concern first, rather than making a mess of the entire situation in the press, and further stated that the evidence presented by Google was comprised of “a few outlier examples constructed very creatively.”
Was Shum trying to “get even” when he launched into criticisms of Google playing “both sides” of the spam war? That’s hard to say for sure, but it certainly looks like it. “I’d say you [Google] are really sidestepping the big problems, the origin of spam, why they appeared in the first place,” Shum stated. “There must be an economic incentive to create this kind of content. Why? 70% of those pages show Google Ads.”
Matt Cutts, head of Search Quality and often seen as the voice of Google, stated that Google Ads were irrelevant when it came to spam monitoring, and that Google Ads made up a fairly small portion of the field when compared with other affiliate programs incentivizing spam sites.
So Bing is a cheater, Google is a spam profiteer. Meanwhile, I’m just waiting for someone to start shouting “I am rubber, you are glue.”