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The Week We Searched For- February 4, 2011

Google accuses Microsoft of copying search results- Google accused Microsoft of copying its search results after conducting a “sting operation,” which found that Internet Explorer is tracking user behavior and Microsoft uses that data to tweak Bing’s results. Google fed the story to Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land. In Sullivan’s post [1] Google’s Amit Singhal explained, “I’ve spent my career in pursuit of a good search engine. I’ve got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innovation, in my book.”

Initially, Bing did not explicitly deny Google’s claim. Stefan Weitz, director of Microsoft’s Bing, explained to Sullivan, “As you might imagine, we use multiple signals and approaches when we think about ranking, but like the rest of the players in this industry, we’re not going to go deep and detailed in how we do it. Clearly, the overarching goal is to do a better job determining the intent of the search, so we can guess at the best and most relevant answer to a given query. Opt-in programs like the [Bing] toolbar help us with clickstream data, one of many input signals we and other search engines use to help rank sites. This “Google experiment” seems like a hack to confuse and manipulate some of these signals.”

This story has turned into a blogosphere soap opera. Make sure to check out Danny Sullivan’s article [1] for the full story as well as Chloe Albanesius’ article on PCMag [2] and Nicholas Kolakowski’s article “Microsoft: Google Worried about Bing” [3] on eWeek for more information.

Yahoo and Zillow team up- Yahoo and Zillow.com announced [4] a new real estate network partnership on Thursday. The deal will enable Zillow to sell advertisements across both sites and Zillow’s house listings will now be integrated into Yahoo real estate. In a statement Zillow’s CEO, Spencer Rascoff, enthusiastically explained, “One phone call can now connect industry professionals to the biggest real estate network on the web. The launch of this partnership will simplify advertising decisions and bring Zillow listings to millions of additional users every month.” The announcement comes one week after Google announced [5] they would be retiring their real estate listings from Google Maps.

Blogs to check out:

About Camille Canon

Outside of summer jobs and not-for-profit internships, The Search Agency is my first official place of employment. I recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where I studied Art History and German. I am an avid cook, baker, and destroyer of diets. My specialties are cream cheese brownies, biscotti cookies and lemon bars. I am also an Art enthusiast. Living in Berlin enables me to follow a young, emerging Art scene complete with “eccentric” performance pieces and temporarily converted butcher shop galleries. I also enjoy running, traveling, and handy work. Camille Canon + [13]