Google and Bing - 3 quick points about their spat
Three quick things about the highly enjoyable spat between Google & Microsoft over whether Bing has been stealing search results.
1. This isn't the first time a search giant has been accused of 'stealing' info via an installed browser toolbar. Back in the mid-2000s, there were repeated accusations from webmasters that Google was indexing development sites before they had attracted any backlinks at all. The only way, they argued, that Google could have discovered the URL was through looking at the logs of people browsing with the Google toolbar installed, although Matt Cutts tried to debunk that theory in 2008.
2. I have a spreadsheet that compares the results of Google searches restricted to 'guardian.co.uk' to the results you get when you use our site search. It helps me judge the quality of results. Is that stealing?
3. Google has repeatedly argued that crawling, indexing and displaying snippets of other people's content and intellectual property is protected by fair use, and a service for which we should be grateful. If Bing shows snippets of Google's results, why isn't that the same thing? ;-)