Google’s Search “Sting” Is Hypocritical

Published on

Google is blasting rival Microsoft for copying its search engine results for use on Microsoft's search service, Bing. Microsoft claims they did nothing wrong and that Google engaged in "a spy-novelesque stunt."

I always like a good media stunt and have been accused of committing a few myself by none other than the Internet giant. Welcome to the club, Googlers.

Seriously, though, Google's protestations are the height of hypocrisy. The company's entire business model is built on using other people's content, usually without bothering to ask permission whether it be your emails, journalists' work or digitized books, to turn a buck. And a very profitable business it has been.

Dig back in history and you'll recall that Google's method of monetizing search came from a company called Overture. They thought they'd been robbed and filed suit. Yahoo acquired Overture and Google ultimately settled the claim out of court.

I don't see how Google executives can possibly keep a straight face and claim to be upset about somebody copying them. Copying  is in Google's DNA.

I'm no fan of Microsoft, but it strikes me that they were doing nothing different than any other Silicon Valley company: analyzing a competitor's product and then using what was learned to improve your own.

What is troubling is how they did it. It shows how sneaky all these Internet companies are. Microsoft tracked users' clicks in the tool bar of its Internet Explorer as they used Google's search engine and then factored the information into their Bing search algorithms.

We need Do Not Track Me legislation to prevent the ubiquitous snooping prevalent on the Internet.

According to Mike Swift at the San Jose Mercury News, the donnybrook blew up as some of the top search scientists from Google and Microsoft convened Tuesday morning for a conference sponsored by Microsoft at UC San Francisco.

There's nothing more fun than watching two corporate behemoths bash each other. A pox on both their houses.

John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

Latest Videos

Latest Releases

In The News

Latest Report

Support Consumer Watchdog

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, press releases and special reports.

More Releases