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State of Search radioshow – episode 44: Danny Sullivan about Google vs Bing

9 February 2011 BY

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In this very special episode of our radioshow on Webmasterradio we were very happy to welcome Danny Sullivan as our guest. As you know Danny last week broke the story on the accusations from Google towards Bing that they were copying their search results. So in the second part of the show Danny talked to Bas and Roy about that story, how he got the story, what his thoughts were and more. A must listen for every search marketer out there.

Next to the talk with Danny Bas and Roy also discussed the number of blogs in Europe and Roy had his rant of the week about newspapers and online.

The shownotes are below.

Listen to the show here or subscribe in iTunes

Links and topics discussed in the show:

Danny Sullivan

Twitter account: @dannysullivan
His page on Searchengineland: Danny Sullivan

Blogs in Europe
UK blogs ranking

Follow Bas and Roy on Twitter:

@chapter42 (Roy)

@basvandenbeld (Bas)

Want to suggest a topic? Send in your suggestion in the comments or via e-mail and if the topic is right we’ll discuss it in the show! Off course you can also drop into the chatroom on a live-show and suggest a topic there!

You can listen to us live at at 8pm every Tuesday here in Holland, which is 7 in the UK, and in the US it’s at 2pm on the East Coast and 11am on the West Coast. Be sure to join us in the chatroom to take part in the discussion!

Subscribe to the show in iTunes! ->

Find older shows here


    Bas van den Beld is a speaker, trainer and online marketing strategist. Bas is the founder of -- You can hire Bas to speak, train or consult.
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    • Barry Adams

      Good show Bas & Roy, great to have Danny as a guest. he came across really well and made a lot of sense. However when he tries to defend Google, he falls short now and then.

      For example re: the timing of the Bing Sting release, Danny suggests that the misconception is that Google wanted to divert attention away from the webspam issues.

      However, Google had already been catching flak from various angles on the search neutrality / antitrust issue for several months. The whole webspam hype came later, and Google may well have instigated the Bing sting as a PR stunt to divert attention away from the search neutrality / antitrust debate.

      Danny admitting that he got the story as early as mid January, and that he chose to publish it the day he did, makes it rather suspect for him to be honest. He could not have missed the fact that releasing it the day of the Farsight event would be seen as a PR stunt. The fact that Danny says that he chose to publish the story that day, is nothing short of admitting that he willingly served as Google’s PR machine – which makes his whole impartiality plea rather hollow, imho.

      Also, it’s blatantly obvious by the phrasings used in the article that Danny obviously sided with Google on that issue. From the headline to how the evidence was presented, the pro-Google bias is evident. He may no even be aware of this bias – our subconscious prejudices have a big impact on how we speak and write.

      But I have to admit that Danny has since made extensive efforts to highlight Google’s hypocrisy, as well as Bing’s sturdy defence on this ‘copying SERPs’ non-issue. In the end I think this whole kerfuffle has harmed Google more than Bing. And unfortunately it’s also damaged SEL’s reputation.

      Lastly, believing Google’s claim that they had to build the capability to manually alter SERPs, and then promising that they will remove that capability, that’s rather naive. Of course Google can alter the SERPs at their will – they’ve done it many times in the past and will continue to do it in the future. They claim they don’t because there are all sorts of legal issues involved, but you have to be pretty naive to actually believe it. Or perhaps Danny is very much pro-Google and unquestioningly repeats Google’s dubious claims. Take your pick. ;)

    • Dean Cruddace

      I read Danny`s original article when it he published it on Feb 1st, I have read a few follow up posts elsewhere looking in great detail of the whys and hows and made a mental note. The only sentences that stood out from Dannys article like glaring beacons were;

      “For the first time in its history, Google crafted one-time code that would allow it to manually rank a page for a certain term”


      “Then Google made a manual change, so that a specific page would appear at the top of these searches”


      Obviously those sentences are taken out of context but I could not care less whether Bing copies G`s results or if one or the other has found the fountain of youth, for too long now we have suspected they have had the capability to perform hand jobs.

      With regards to Danny, I would have to give credit for bringing at least an admission from Google of the capability to perform manual changes in that piece.

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