ADOTAS – Google’s hissy fit about Bing “copying” its search results by collecting Google result data through the Bing browser toolbar and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was met with resounding indifference by Adotas readers — “So what?” was the top answer in our recent poll on the “scandal,” followed closely by “Huh, that’s kinda clever,” which was my reaction.
In theory, shouldn’t a comprehensive search engine use top results for queries made on other search engines as a data input for its algorithm? Of course, said engine should also be upfront about that practice, but that’s a matter of ethics — who has time for ethics on the Internet?
Experian Hitwise’s latest data shows there might be something to this strategy, as January 2011 boasted high success rates for searches on Bing and Yahoo. More than 81% of searches made on either site ended in a visit to a website in the results, compared to 65% for Google.
In January, Bing accounted for 27.44% of all U.S. searches in January, a 6% gain month over month. Bing.com had a 21% increase in searches month over month (10.% to 12.8%), but search.yahoo.com dropped by 4% (15.17% to 14.62%). Google’s share of the search market fell from 70% to 68%, while 70 other search engines accounted for 4.61% of U.S. searches.