Bing is calling out Google this holiday season. In a message geared toward holiday shoppers, Bing is claiming shenanigans on Google for it's new paid ad Google Shopping results, and has launched a national campaign trying to spotlight Bing as what honest search results should look like.
The campaign is called “Don't Get Scroogled,” complete with a video and its own website, scroogled.com. It doesn't take a search result to determine Scroogled is likely a hybrid of “screwed by Google.”
In a press release this morning, Bing accused Google Shopping's pay-to-rank scheme as “not true search results.” The advertising campaign – which will run both online and offline – will demonstrate why holiday shoppers should be weary of Google Shopping search results.
Bing's aim is to help consumers take action. The scroogled.com website was designed to help consumers get information on Google's new pay-to-play search results.
While Google Shopping has been around for over a decade under various names, Google very quietly announced the paid model of Google Shopping in May. Product ads have also been available for several years now. However, the model requires merchants to set up product listing ads (PLAs).
PLAs are paid Google advertisments with images and detailed product information. While Google Shopping is still a comparison engine, these PLAs require merchants to bid to be included. A merchant's product can be included for as little as one cent. However, inclusion is not the same as visibility.
Citing consumer trust, one of Bing's goals of the Don't Get Scroogled campaign is to call on Google to stop this paid inclusion practice. Scrolling across the top of scroogled.com are quotes from Google's founders stating how paid ads bias search results and other original “don't be evil” position statements that have been completely reversed by the new paid Google Shopping product.
In their community blog post this morning, Bing claims Googlis is throwing its trusted brand “down the chimney.”
This is Bing's second national campaign in the latter half of this year. Earlier this fall, Bing launched thie Bing it On campaign, a taste-test of sorts, positioning Bing search results equal to or better than those of Google's. With the one-two campaign punch, Bing is suggesting it's search is as good and now, more honest.
Are Microsoft's points valid? Will this convince you to use Bing? If nothing else, would you use it vs. Google for your holiday shopping? Let us know in the comments!
Update: Does Bing Use Paid Inclusion?
In response to comments about Bing's partnership with Shopping.com, Search Engine Watch reached out Bing, regarding paid results. Here's what Stefan Weitz, senior director, Bing, told us:
“Bing includes millions of free listings from merchants and rankings are determined entirely by which products are most relevant to your query. While merchants can pay fees for inclusion on our third party shopping sites, and subsequently may appear in Bing Shopping through partnerships we have, we do not rank merchants higher based on who pays us, nor do we let merchants pay to have their product offers placed higher in Bing Shopping’s search results.”
Update 2: Google Comments
The Inquirer asked Google to respond to Scroogled, and this is what a spokesman said:
"We made the transition to Google Shopping to improve the shopping experience for our users. We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date. Higher quality data – whether it's accurate prices, the latest offers or product availability – should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants."