It may not be December yet, but Microsoft on Wednesday announced a new marketing campaign with Google Shopping in its crosshairs titled “Don’t get Scroogled.” The company says nearly half of all online shopping this holiday season will start from search engines, and it wants you to use Bing, instead of getting screwed by Google.
Microsoft emphasizes it wants to let shoppers know that when they use Google, the results they are seeing are partially optimized to benefit the company’s revenue, not the user’s wallet. If this practice concerns them, they should consider trying Bing as an alternative.
Microsoft claims that Google Shopping now decides what to show you, how prominently to display product offers, based partially on how much the merchant in question has paid. Even if a product is not better or cheaper for the consumer, merchants can pay Google to improve their chances to display their product higher than others, according to Microsoft.
As such, Microsoft says too many shoppers who use Google are getting “Scroogled” via a misleading “pay-to-rank” system. It says consumers should believe the results they see are both relevant and objective, and Bing is the way to get both.
In fact, Microsoft is promising the following with Bing:
We won’t let who pays us for ads or other services affect what you see in your search results. Search results are one thing; ads are another.
We won’t switch to pay-to-rank to allow some shopping search results to appear higher than others. We don’t believe shoppers should risk paying more, simply because they started their search at Google.
We understand that search is evolving, and that’s why we are working hard to make sure all those new kinds of information and services get delivered, clearly and reliably, as either search results or ads.
The company says Bing is renewing its commitment to delivering better, more objectively ranked search results.
Image credit: bokeh burger/Flickr
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