Feb 01 2011

Bing gets Busted

Published by admin at 10:36 pm under Uncategorized

It’s just been reported that the people behind the bing.com search engine have been utilizing some unethical methods to gather their search engine results. Based on what’s being reported from Google’s headquarters, it seems that the Bing.com search results are being influenced by the Bing Toolbar feature within Internet Explorer.

It turns out that last summer some Google engineers noticed something truly strange about a misspelled search result on both Google, and then subsequently Bing.com. This lead them down the path of verifying their suspicion, just like any good engineer/scientist would do. You can read all about Bing’s sneaky methods here.

And the way that the Google engineers went about validating their suspicion is something that has been used time and time again. They basically set up what amounted to a “Honey Pot.” They set out a tasty treat and waited to see who took the bait. In this case, the way in which that bait was reeled in was the Bing toolbar. (Which brings me to my suggestion that you should never install a toolbar from ANY source. Google included.)

Anyway, it seems that Google caught their prey red handed. Read the details and have a chuckle.

Honey pots have mainly been used to catch spammers. I’ve even done similar, choosing to utilize what once was a free service to create unique, unguessable email addresses that I would ONLY share with sites where I was creating an account. That service was sneakemail.com BTW, and the types of email addresses they would give you, which would be automatically forwarded to your regular email account, were along the lines of te6ki3qj2b0t@sneakemail.com and are obviously not going to be subject to a dictionary attack or anything similar (other than a random character string generator.) Each email address allows you to specify a description for it, which I chose use to identify the website I disclosed the newly generated email address to as part of the signup process. An interesting result was that I found less unscrupulous websites than I expected (somewhere less than 1% IIRC.) But those websites who chose to sell (or “trade”) my email address meant that the email address was soon unusable. So I would simply turn it off and never hear from the black hat website again, nor anyone who acquired the tainted email address.

That was a fun experiment. Just as it appears that the bing.com experiment was fun for the Google engineers. Bravo.

Oh, if you’d like me to provide the list of folks who leaked those sneakemail.com addresses out, leave a comment and I’ll try to dig up the lists from my archives.

Happy searching!

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Bing gets Busted”

  1. Elliptical Machineson 09 Dec 2011 at 9:18 pm

    I suggest adding a “google+” button for the blog!

  2. Air Jordan Retroon 20 Dec 2011 at 10:41 am

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the structure of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  3. Jackson Flatcher 7on 12 Jan 2012 at 8:50 am

    As if she knows she should stop?? But just doesn?? t want to deal with the reality of it at that particular moment.

  4. Bryan Paterson 2on 12 Jan 2012 at 3:52 pm

    In relation to juicing, something that that you?? d like to be aware of is that you?? ll want to keep your juicer out and in sight at all times.

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