Quantcast
Latest Stories

Microsoft, Google in catfight over online shopping

By

A woman looks at a computer site on November 30, 2012 in Washington, DC. – Just in time for the holidays, Microsoft and Google have become embroiled in a bitter dispute over who is the fairest of them all for online shopping, stepping up the battle between the tech giants. AFP/Paul J. Richards

WASHINGTON – Just in time for the holidays, Microsoft and Google have become embroiled in a bitter dispute over who is the fairest of them all for online shopping, stepping up the battle between the tech giants.

Microsoft threw the first punch when it launched a campaign for its Bing search engine “to highlight Bing’s commitment to honest search results.”

The campaign also seeks “to help explain to consumers the risks of Google Shopping’s newly announced ‘pay-to-rank’ practice,” a Microsoft statement said.

Microsoft created a Web page called “Scroogled,” which points out that its rival has reversed course on its pledge at the time of the Google stock offering to avoid paid ad inclusion for search results.

“Google Shopping is nothing more than a list of targeted ads that unsuspecting customers assume are search results,” Microsoft claims.

Google announced earlier this year it would revamp its product search to become a shopping service with paid listings. This eliminated merchants which opted not to pay, including some notable ones like Amazon.

Google said it completed the transition October 17 in the US, and will be rolling out the same model in Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland.

“We think this will bring the same high-quality shopping experience to people – and positive results to merchants – around the world,” a Google blog posting said.

Microsoft is promoting its campaign online and offline with ads “demonstrating why consumers should be concerned and helping them take action” on the Google shift, a Microsoft statement said.

“We’re also calling on Google to stop this ‘pay-to-rank’ system for their shopping results and give shoppers what they expect – an honest search.”

Google maintains that merchants cannot improve their rank simply by paying more, and that sellers who have a financial stake in the results will keep their information up to date.

“Google Shopping makes it easier for shoppers to quickly find what they’re looking for, compare different products and connect with merchants to make a purchase,” said an email from a Google spokeswoman.

But some analysts say both companies are less than transparent about how their shopping engines work, and that Microsoft is not without blame.

Danny Sullivan, analyst with the website Search Engine Land, said of the Microsoft effort: “Great campaign, if it were true. It’s not. Bing itself does the same things it accuses Google of.”

Sullivan told AFP that “at least Google has the fine print that you can read; Microsoft doesn’t have it at all.”

Microsoft, according to Sullivan, excludes new merchants from Bing search results if they don’t pay for inclusion with its partner, Shopping.com, even though this is not fully transparent to consumers.

“Payment is a factor for ranking,” in Bing, said Sullivan, who maintains that Microsoft’s campaign is misleading.

Microsoft said its own shopping results through Bing are not influenced by payment.

“Bing includes millions of free listings from merchants and rankings are determined entirely by which products are most relevant to your query,” said Stefan Weitz, senior director at Bing, in an emailed statement.

“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.”

Sullivan argues that Google, ironically, may have moved to paid listings to deflect attention from regulators and others who complain it had been skewing its search results.

“If you have people complaining you search results are unfair, you can turn them into ads,” he said.

But Sullivan noted that Google merely adopted the same policies of most shopping sites, which use paid listings even if they appear to be an impartial search.

The overall message from the latest row, according to Sullivan: “You need to shop around. Use multiple search engines. All of them that suggest that they are gathering stuff from across the Web but may not be doing that.”


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter




Recent Stories:

Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare 13 mins elapsed Intrigues mar signing of Bangsamoro draft law 14 mins elapsed Singson apologizes for delay in Edsa road repairs 37 mins elapsed Congressmen seek end to small-town lottery operations 48 mins elapsed 16-year-old survives in wheel well of US flight 54 mins elapsed MMDA to blame for delay of Edsa reblocking – DPWH exec 58 mins elapsed No talk of tax during Pacquiao’s courtesy call to Aquino 1 hour elapsed 4 more crew detained over S. Korea ferry disaster 1 hour elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Google , Internet , Microsoft , Online

  • NoWorryBHappy

    When a company like Microsoft starts mud slinging, it means it is losing the fight.
    The arrogant tech giant of the past millennium gets a taste of its own medicine.
    Catfight, alright. Microsofty meows, Google roars.



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
  1. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  2. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  3. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  4. Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  5. Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  6. Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  7. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  8. Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  9. Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  10. Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  1. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  2. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  3. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  4. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  5. IT technician found guilty of defrauding firm of P130,000
  6. Netizens react to Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley
  7. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  8. Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  9. Online-addicted man arrested over son’s death
  10. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  1. #RejectedBbPilipinas2014Questions flood Twitter
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens fall in love with Crimea prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya
  4. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  5. Nude and so dangerous
  6. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  7. Russia tries to curb Crimean prosecutor’s Internet fame
  8. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  9. Netizens thank Capa for Lee arrest
  10. Filipino artist copies piece from digital art

News

  • Intrigues mar signing of Bangsamoro draft law
  • Singson apologizes for delay in Edsa road repairs
  • Congressmen seek end to small-town lottery operations
  • 16-year-old survives in wheel well of US flight
  • MMDA to blame for delay of Edsa reblocking – DPWH exec
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Business

  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace