The saga over whether or not Microsoft's Bing has been stealing search-results from Google continues today. Yusuf Mehdi, SVP of the Online Services business - which includes MSN and the company's search engine - chimed in which his take on the accusations.
In a blog post entitled "Setting the record straight", Mehdi made it clear that "we do not copy results from our competitors. Period. Full stop. We have some of the best minds in the world at work on search quality and relevance, and for a competitor to accuse any one of these people of such activity is just insulting".
He explained the company's position again, calling tracking click streamed data a "common practice in helping to improve a wide array of online services".
Mehdi then went on to attack Google's honeypot tactics, saying that it was "rigged to manipulate Bing search results" by using "click fraud". He compared the search-leader's tactics to those used by spammers to trick consumers and generate misleading search results.
"What does all this cloak and dagger click fraud prove? Nothing anyone in the industry doesn't already know".
Not content in defending the Bing team's actions, the SVP then went on to suggest that the whole exercise showed that Google was starting to get scared. After mentioning a few of the decision engine's features that the search-giant 'borrowed', Mehdi suggested that Microsoft's search engine had gained enough momentum that the people in Mountain View "took notice and began to worry".
So is this the last word? As much as we'd like to think so, it's unlikely either party will want to let this one go any time soon.
For more details on how Google laid its trap, USA Today has an interview with Bing Director Stefan Weitz explaining how it all went down.