Microsoft Attacks Google Search with 'Scroogled' Campaign

Microsoft charges that Google's shopping results are really paid ads.
Posted November 29, 2012

Cynthia Harvey

Microsoft has begun attacking Google with a controversial new website that compares the search leader to Ebeneezer Scrooge. Warning customers not to get "Scroogled," Microsoft says that Google's shopping results are all paid ads and that search users should try Bing instead.

At Scroogled.com, Microsoft writes, "In the beginning, Google preached, 'Don't be evil'—but that changed on May 31, 2012. That's when Google Shopping announced a new initiative. Simply put, all of their shopping results are now paid ads." Microsoft continues, "We say that when you limit choices and rank them by payment, consumers get Scroogled. For an honest search result, try Bing."

But TechCrunch's Frederic Lardinois noted, "The 'Don’t Get Scroogled' page is getting quite a bit of attention today, but at the same time, there is also some unease about how Bing organizes its own shopping results. Bing, after all, recently partnered with eBay’s Shopping.com. While Bing previously allowed merchants to submit their own feeds for inclusion, the company now says that it is 'not accepting new merchants for this program.' Instead, Bing says, merchants should work with Shopping.com. One of the reasons for this according to Bing is that 'paid offers will be highlighted throughout Bing Shopping, including search result and product pages.'"

InformationWeek's Paul McDougall observed, "Microsoft is looking to put a dent in Google's stranglehold on the search market. Google held 66.9% of the U.S. search market as of October, according to the latest data from Comscore, compared to just 16% for Microsoft."

CNET's Chris Matyszczyk commented, "I am sure that when Microsoft's advisers came up with the name 'Scroogle' there were hoots of laughter and fists pumped toward the lampshades. There is the analogy to being 'screwed' and the nod to Dickens' creation, all bundled in one tiny package. Now I just thought I'd mention this -- for whatever it might be worth -- but didn't Scrooge turn out to be a good guy?"

Tags: Google, search, Microsoft

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