Bing Steal Google’s Results And Google Demonstrate They Can Fix Their SERP’s
Well, it’s been quite a day in the world of the search engines. Google, in no uncertain terms, have accused their rival Bing of copying their search results for a myriad of different phrases. It would appear they’re right too (check out Danny Sullivan’s SEL article), as specifically placed honeypot pages (pages returned specifically for nonsense search terms like ‘mbzrxpgjys’ which have no algorithmic reason for being there) put there by Google, are also returned for the same search in Bing.
Whilst this is a contentious issue on its own (should Bing be stealing results? Effectively leaving us with one search voice), the fact that Google were able to place these honeypot pages in the first place takes us into a whole other area of debate.
Google have always stated categorically that they do not, and are not ale to fix search results. They firmly deny any ability to push results into their SERP’s that don’t deserve to be there – i.e. it’s all algorithmic. Whilst their assertion that they don’t fix their search results leaves us with only speculation to the contrary, their statement that they can’t fix the search results has clearly been contradicted by their recent activities.
Their ability to manipulate the search results isn’t a particular surprise, as an SEO engineer I’ve often seen pages higher up in the SERPS than I thought they deserved to be (in a lot of cases outranking pages which are technically far superior) and anyone who’s foolishly engaged in black hat SEO tactics will have seen first hand that Google are capable of fixing a certain pages’ ranking position, but what is a surprise is that nobody at Google realised the implications of their ‘honeypot’ experiment.
Also, whilst I agree that Bing shouldn’t copy Google’s results (I want a range of search engines with a range of results), doesn’t Google use Yahoo’s directory to help determine a sites authority and therefore, its ranking position? Just a thought!