Microsoft Criticizes Paid Inclusion in Google Shopping, Bing Does Exactly the Same

Google discloses the paid inclusion, Bing doesn't

By on November 29th, 2012 13:51 GMT
Microsoft doesn't shy from attacking Google in any way it can. Being second place in search and pretty much everything else online for more than a decade leads to desperate measures.

The latest smear campaign is called Scroogle, classy just like everything else Microsoft does, and it takes aim at Google's new shopping search engine that only lists paid results.

Google rather controversially revamped its product search engine in the US earlier this year and now all entries are essentially ads, online stores pay to get included.

Microsoft was quick to capitalize on this with a new campaign and a website in which it claims that this is misleading and that users are unaware that all those results are paid for.

It then says just how wonderful Bing is and how payments are not a ranking factor in its own product comparison search engine.

There's a small problem though, it's not true. Currently, the only way to add your products to the Bing search engine is to pay Shopping.com to do it. That's it, no one gets in for free.

Bing says this is temporary, but even when free entries were allowed, others paid to get better ranking. Yet, on its own shopping search engine, Bing clearly states "Payment is NOT a factor used to rank search results."

"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," Microsoft boasts.

"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," it says.

Google marks the product search section as "sponsored" and does include a small disclosure of the fact that it gets paid for all the products you see listed. Bing has no such disclosure, despite the fact that at least some of the products would not be listed if someone didn't pay.

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