If you were to search for the meaning of "Hiybbprqag" you might be surprised by the Google and Bing search results that appear. Top ranking SERPs (search engine result pages) might surface links like "How Google Tripped Up Microsoft" or "Did Google catch Bing Cheating." Even comedian Stephen Colbert has a definition for the word. However, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, often praised for their real-time results were slow on the uptake regarding what the heck "Hiybbprqag" actually means?
Twitter, for instance, as of this posting only had 32 followers following the "Hiybbprqag" account with no indication as to who the owner of the account was. However, this Twitter handle is conspicuously following Danny Sullivan who is the founder of Search Engine Land, widely considered the "search engine guru."
"Hiybbprqag" Twitter Account
Facebook, on the other hand with only 28 fans (as of this posting) does identify the owner of "Hiybbprqag" Facebook page as Jonathan Kalbfeld, a graduate of California State University, Northridge and the "man in black" at the Jet Propulsion Labs at NASA.
Facebook's "Hiybbprqag" Account
So what is all the fuss about, and why should social networks being paying any attention to a made-up word like "Hiybbprqag." Well, for starters, it was part of what Google's Amit Singhai calls a 'scientific experiment,' - but what other others are now referring to as Google's 'Bing Sting.'
“In the summer of 2010, we were looking at the search results for an unusual misspelled query [torsorophy]," noted Singhai. Google returned the correct spelling — tarsorrhaphy — along with results for the corrected query. At that time, Bing had no results for the misspelling,” said Google Fellow Amit Singhai on his official Google Blog.
As pictured above: “Later in the summer, Bing started returning our first result to their users without offering the spell correction ... This was very strange. How could they return our first result to their users without the correct spelling? Had they known the correct spelling, they could have returned several more relevant results for the corrected query,” Singhai explained.
So obviously doubt was created, and in order to prove out the theory that indeed Bing was incorporating Google's results into their algorithms, Singhai's 'Bing Sting' took shape. Next, nonsensical queries were used and fabricated words were created to see how Bing would react.
In this YouTube clip, you'll see how Singhai actually set a trap for Bing to be caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar and how “Hiybbprqag." first came into the our English language lexicon. Here he is interviewed by Forbes' Kym McNicholas and Ben Parr from Mashable.
The Google/Bing fight over search results-stealing has gone from inspiring jokes on Twitter to Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report," where Stephen Colbert took on Bing (one of his network's sponsors) and the news that the search engine had been caught copying Google’s results. “For the first time ever, someone’s search history has been busted for something other than porn,” Colbert said. He concluded by saying, “apparently "Hiybbprqag" is a word meaning 'You got served.'"
Even before the news of Google's sting got leaked to the press, a Google employee by the name of Chih-Chung Chang registered the domain http://www.hiybbprqag.com, no-doubt anticipating that this story had legs. As a goof, the link redirects folks to Google's Jobs site.
So, if you also think that social media is a little late to the party in jumping on the "Hiybbprqag" bandwagon - but who cares - you might want to check out the "Hiybbprqag" mugs which can now be purchased on a Zazzle site for the low price of $17.95.
Bing's parent company Microsoft is going to have a hard shaking this one off - particularly if the next place the story surfaces is SNL.