Google has accused Microsoft of cheating, following an investigation known as the 'Bing Sting'.
Google engineers created 100 nonsensical queries such as "hiybbprqag" and inserted a fake result for each.Google has accused Microsoft of cheating, following an investigation known as the 'Bing Sting'.
Within weeks, the same results began to appear on its rival Microsoft's Bing search engine.
Microsoft denies copying Google and accused Google of conducting "spy-novelesque stunts".
Harry Shum, vice president of Bing, said: "We do not copy google's search results. We use multiple signals and approaches in ranking search results," he added.
"Opt-in programs like the toolbar help us with clickstream data, one of many input signals we and other search engines use to help rank sites," he added.
But Google's Amit Singhal told industry blog SearchEngineLand.com that it was "plain and simply cheating" and he detailed the sting operation in a long blog post.
He said Google decided to conduct its experiment after mis-spelt words and results were replicated on Bing.
"A search for 'hiybbprqug' on Bing returned a page about seating at a theatre in Los Angeles. As far as we know the only connection between the query and result is Google's result page," he said.
BBC News | 2 February 2011 - read full report