Is Google to Thank for Decision Engine’s Infinite Wisdom?

A recent Google sting operation involving illogical inserted search results has asserted that Bing uses Google data to make their search results more relevant, a claim Bing isn’t denying. Bing has reported the use of opt-in Google clickstream data, along with 1000 or so other signals for their algorithm, and has cited Google’s honeypot as a “creative tactic by a competitor” to be taken “as a back-handed compliment.”

Google waited to expose this news alongside the kickoff of Farsight 2011: Beyond the Search Box, a Bing-sponsored event bringing together industry leaders to discuss the future of search where Google’s Matt Cutts and Bing’s Harry Chum then publicly went at each other. This news was also conveniently timed for Google, allowing the search giant to temporarily repel the recent onslaught of complaints about Google’s search quality.

Once Yahoo started showing Bing’s results, most were left two primary search engines — Google and Bing. However, if Bing is pulling Google’s search results now as well, it’s hard not to wonder: are we destined for a one-engine Web?