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Microsoft accuses Google of 'click fraud' as copying catfight continues

Microsoft has launched a stinging attack on Google over accusations that Bing copies Google's search results.

Microsoft has hit back at Google over allegations of copying search results in its rival search engine, Bing. A Microsoft chief has accused Google of click fraud after Google set a trap for Bing.

Microsoft muckamuck Yusuf Mehdi has flatly denied the allegations in an official blog post: "We do not copy results from any of our competitors. Period. Full stop."

Google recently noticed Bing was apparently returning results that were suspiciously similar to Google's own results. To test the theory, the Big G added some ringer results to obscure searches, and soon saw these dodgy results appearing in Bing searches too.

Google saw this as cut-and-dried evidence that Bing was copying Google, although it's equally likely that Google searches have been collected in user data from Bing and Internet Explorer. Mehdi acknowledges that "anonymous click stream data is one of more than a thousand inputs into our ranking algorithm", but reckons this is "common practice".

Microsoft counters Google's accusation by condemning the so-called 'Bing sting' as "click fraud". Click fraud usually refers to the practice of systematically clicking on adverts that charge the advertiser for every click, so the advertiser has to pay more.

We can't help but be amused to see these two technology giants pulling each others' hair in public. It's like Alexis and Krystle slapping each other around in a pond, except with bitchy tweets instead of waspish asides and blog posts instead of Gucci handbags. Whose side are you on?