Google, Microsoft fight it out

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Does Microsoft's Bing search engine copy results from Google? Does it matter?

The two tech-sector giants have been going at it — at least as much as two companies can through their blogs and Twitter accounts – over this topic for much of the week. A short roundup: Google said Bing was stealing its search results on February 1; Microsoft said Google's accusations are “a spy-novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers.”

However, the fight itself might be indicative of a changing search marketing landscape, according to Larry Dignan, editor-in-chief of ZDNet, who said: “My bottom line: Bing matters.”

“There's no way Google would give a rat's a** how its public results were being used if it wasn't worried about Bing,” he said on CBSNews.com. “Now the Google vs. Microsoft spat is very public, slightly entertaining and makes for great headlines.”

Freelance technology journalist Jared Newman of PCWorld, meanwhile, argues that Google has bigger things to worry about. “The revelation makes for a lively debate, but the back-and-forth between Google and Microsoft also reflects poorly on Google, the search juggernaut who surely has better things to do than slag on a competitor who has roughly 12% of the market (or 28% counting Yahoo).”

We'll be taking a deeper look at this subject, and what it means for marketers, in our March issue. Stay tuned.

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