Companies engaged in search engine optimisation activities may be interested to hear that Google has accused Microsoft of copying its results for use on its Bing service.

According to an article by Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan, Google ran a sting operation which revealed that its rival is using information from their site to improve Bing's search listings.

Mr Sullivan stated that Google had likened it to "the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google's test".

Google explained to the writer that it had created a series of "synthetic queries" that consisted of random terms users are unlikely to genuinely search for, which produced a single unrelated result when searched for.

It alleged that these then later appeared in an identical form on Bing within a couple of weeks.

Responding to the claims, Bing described the sting as a "spy-novelesque stunt" that "doesn't accurately portray how we use opt-in customer data as one of many inputs to help improve our user experience".

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