Microsoft started the attack on Wednesday with a marketing campaign targeting the recent changes in the way Google operates the section of the search engine devoted to shopping results. This change has made the merchants to pay Google to have their products listed in the shopping section.
In its new ad the Redmond based company contends that the Google’s new approach betrays the longstanding commitment to provide the most trustworthy results on the Wednesday, even if it means some dents into its revenue. To nail its point straight, Microsoft warned the consumers about the risk of getting “scroogled” if they rely on shopping services by Google.
This campaign will be highlighted across media sections, to be telecasted in TV commercials scheduled to run on NBC and CNN and also in the news paper adds which includes The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. And the software giant went a step further, displaying its blitz on billboards and on an exclusive new website Scroogled.com.
Google yet remains the dominant search engine and all this deriding campaign by Microsoft point at one thing; its efforts to divert traffic on its own search engine Bing, which stands a distant second. The rivalry may get thicker in coming days.
Google defends its revision as an approach to encourage merchants to provide more comprehensive and accurate information about what they are selling. “I think you just get a well-organized set of product information, ways to buy it, and really have a great experience there,” CEO Larry Page said during a conference call with analysts last month, reports IBN Live.
In a statement, Google said it’s pleased with the responses for its listings of 100,000 sellers. And added Google doesn’t require websites to pay to be listed in its main database, the index that provides results for requests entered into its all-purpose search box.
“Our search results are the best we know how to produce,” Brin and Page wrote in the letter. “They are unbiased and objective and we do not accept payment for them.”
The unexplained part is why Amazon, which offers some of the best deals on web, is not listed in Google’s shopping section of the search page.
“We want consumers to know, in contrast to the route that Google has pursued, we are staying true to the DNA of what a good search engine is really about,” said Mike Nichols, Bing’s chief marketing officer. “We will rank results on what’s relevant to you and not based on how much someone might pay us.”
Danny Sullivan, an Internet search expert and editor of SearchEngineLand.com who has been following Google since its inception, believes Microsoft is highlighting an important issue. “Google deserves to take its lumps on this.” And added “I have been surprised by how little attention this issue has gotten so far because it’s a 180-degree turn for Google.”
Sullivan doesn’t think Bing’s shopping results are pristine either, pointing to its partnership with Shopping.com, which requires the merchants to pay to be in the listings. While all that is true, Bing’s shopping section consists mostly of listings from merchants that haven’t paid for the privilege, said Stefan Weitz, Bing’s director.