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Google or Bing? Where's the pic of Sanford's lover?

Despite "Maria Belen Shapur photo" being one of Thursday's top search phrases, neither a Google search nor a Bing search has turned up anything. Come on, engines.

The people have googled. The people have binged.

And still there is no sign of the one thing the world needs most: a picture of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's Argentinian lover.

CC Mark Licht Notions

According to Fox 5 in New York, "maria belen shapur photo" was one of the top searches on the Web of intrigue Thursday. And according to Google Trends, "mark sanford mistress photo" rounds out the top 10 Google searches at the moment. Yet no trace has been found of the governor's taste in clandestine lovers.

It is a little sad that the media is pitching its large and very moral tent outside Ms. Shapur's Buenos Aires apartment. Somehow, affairs of the heart don't always seem the most appropriate subjects for public conjecture. It's just that they're so deeply exciting that we cannot prevent our more fundamental instincts from taking over.

So I prefer to think of this as a technological exercise, a mixed martial-arts battle of the search engines.

Will Google have it first? Will Bing's decisive algorithm slap its more vaunted rival across the chops and proclaim triumph? It may only be a matter of milliseconds. But in the search business, milliseconds count.

I bet you just can't wait.