“Don’t get Scroogled” — yes, that’s short for “Don’t get screwed over by Google” — is the message from the Redmond software giant, who just debuted Scroogled.com to educate people about Google Shopping.
“In the beginning, Google preached, “Don’t be evil“—but that changed on May 31, 2012,” the site reads. “That’s when Google Shopping announced a new initiative. Simply put, all of their shopping results are now paid ads.”
Here’s what recently changed: Google Merchants must now pay Google to be listed in the shopping results, and how much they pay helps determine where they appear in the rankings. Merchants pay either per click or per transaction to be included in Google Shopping and every “result” is essentially an ad.
The website has social media links that make it easy for you to “warn” your friends about Google’s new practices. There are also big links to “Try Bing,” and to “Make Bing your homepage.”
“We don’t let who pays us for ads or other services affect how your search results are ranked,” Mike Nichols, Bing’s chief marketing officer, said in a press release. “Search, as a business, depends on consumer trust, and that requires keeping search results and ads separate. With Google Shopping the wall between search results and ads is gone — and so are several popular shopping sites. At Bing, we’re committed to keeping ads where they belong and will continue to deliver the most relevant search results possible.”
Here’s a Bing blog post that details the reasons behind the campaign. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has called out Google. There was the Gmail man back in February, the ongoing Bing It On campaign and the full-page newspaper ads challenging Google’s privacy practices.
So, readers, what do you think? Is this a valid attack or just a cheap shot at Microsoft’s fiercest search engine competitor?
Previously on GeekWire: Microsoft’s data proves it: We’re obsessed with the iPhone
Reach staff reporter Taylor Soper at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Taylor_Soper