Two days ago the search industry and SEO blogs exploded over the Google vs Bing accusation drama. At the Future of Search, the panel included Harry Shum of Bing, Rich Skrenta of Blekko and Matt Cutts of Google. The debate was entertaining!
Matt Cutts started the discussion straight away by accusing Bing of plagiarism. Google based its argument on Bing’s use of click stream data that it gathers through Bing toolbar. Harry Shum made a good point by indicating that user behaviour is not Google’s property and that by agreeing to Bing toolbar’s EULA, the end user allows Bing to gather search behaviour anonymously therefore Bing can use that data however it wants. It could according to its EULA agreement use that data to enhance it is sites and services i.e. search engine.
Obviously, there is a lot of politics involved in this but the truth is that both search engines use click stream data as a ranking signal. Personally, I think anyone should be able to use click stream data as long as the end user has agreed to share their data anonymously. This debate is going to go on for weeks and I am sure both parties involved will ride the PR waves and exploit this it for commercial and strategic advantages.
But here is another thing, while SEO blogs and social platforms is and will be infested by this debate; one thing is being totally ignored. I find it very interesting that both Google and Bing who have decades of search experience are doing nothing but buttering Blekko during the panel discussion. Blekko is like a new born yet two search titans are complimenting it extraordinarily. Watch the video and see for yourself.
I think both Google and Bing have set their eyes on Blekko’s technology and it wouldn’t be long before they will both attempt to acquire Blekko. I think and hope that Skrenta will refuse such offers and will continue to work and improve Blekko on its own right.
The search industry needs a new search engine, I am not saying that Blekko is the answer at the moment, but it does have great potential and it might have that key ingredient that could potentially fight spam effectively to some extent before it becomes another victim of the commercial web.