Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land broke a story Tuesday morning about Google’s sting operation, aimed at Bing, which convincingly proved that Microsoft is using Google to perform Bing’s search results.

“Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google [and] the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings.

“Google likens it to the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google’s test.”

Later yesterday, an unsigned piece on The Official Google Blog spelled out its accusation against Microsoft and broke down the sting operation. The piece, headlined “Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it,” details “experiments that lead us to understand just how Bing is using Google web search results.”

It’s a great read and will be like candy to search geeks and spy/caper fans alike. 

Essentially, once Google’s search team became suspicious that Bing was copying their results, they planted a trap by altering their algorithm on certain pages to respond to specific search terms. They then entered those search terms on Bing and got the same results. Both Sullivan and the Google blog spell it out in great detail.

Read Google: Bing Is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results on Search Engine Land.
Read Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it on The Official Google Blog.