|By Shelly Palmer||
|December 9, 2012 03:01 AM EST||
Microsoft’s Bing Team recently posted a short piece entitled, “The Choice is Clear, Don’t Get Scroogled this Year.” Here’s the important part: “We launched the “Scroogled” campaign to educate average people about what Google has done with their shopping site. Instead of showing you the most relevant shopping search results for the video game you’re looking to buy your kid, Google Shopping now decides what to show you based partially on how much the merchant selling the product has paid them. Merchants can literally pay to improve their chances to display their products higher than others inside of Google’s shopping ‘search,’ even if it’s not less expensive for you.”
Scroogled? Really? How many of you know the difference between Google Shopping and Google? Everyone! I thought so. If you type “Samsung Flat Screen TVs” into Google, you get a bunch of paid ads (placed where you’ve come to expect them) and a bunch of organic search results. Nothing has changed. I’m not Scroogled there. But I might be Binged into thinking that I am being Scroogled in the wrong place.
On the other hand, if you visit Google Shopping and you type “Samsung Flat Screen TVs” into the search bar, you will get a bunch of paid ads that are disguised as search results. This is how Bing thinks that Google is Scroogling you. Wow, it’s already a verb, meaning “to Scroogle.”
Are You Being Binged or Scroogled?
Washington, DC-based research firm, FusionGPS published some research that sums up the issue of Google Shopping’s new Pay-To-Rank policy:
Over hundreds of searches, FusionGPS found:
- NO results showing a product available for sale on Amazon.com
- Wal-Mart products are included in some popular searches (like Schwinn bikes), but not in many others (like Samsung, Apple or Nokia mobile phones; Best Buy DVDs; and Canon, Epson or Brothers printers)
- Some merchants are not paying to include low-margin, no-margin or loss-making products that they listed prior to Google’s switch to pay-to-pay and pay-to-list (such as DVDs and books)
- As a result, smaller merchants dominate rankings for some products (like cell phones), regardless of the price they charge
We could chalk this all up to friendly competitive grousing between Bing and Google, except for the complaint recently filed with the FTC.
“Why these products?”
If you visit Google Shopping, you will notice a very small link in the upper right hand side of the page that says, “Why these products?” If you see it and happen to click it, a dialog box opens that says, “Products and offers that match your query. Google is compensated by these merchants. Payment is one of several factors used to rank these results.” According to FusionGPS, there are no results from merchants who don’t pay. I can’t verify this, but Bing seems to believe it too.
This disclaimer does not appear on product pages, so if you enter Google Shopping from a landing page other than its search page, you really have no way of knowing you are in a fully commercial, pay-to-rank environment… although, it would probably be better if you knew.
Is Bing Shopping any better? Bing says it is fully organic and its search results are solely based upon relevancy to the search, best published prices and merchant ratings.
Wait… When Did Google Become a Non-Profit?
I’m not sure that this is an earth-shattering issue, but I am fascinated by the “entitlement” articulated by the FTC filing and the audacity of the Bing attack. Google is a for-profit company. It is not a public service. In fact, Google is not a search engine; it is an advertising optimization engine that uses search as bait. You know Google is 100 percent about advertising because of the way advertisers are rewarded for creating the most relevant, most clicked ads. Which begs for the question, “Why isn’t Google entitled to create a for-profit shopping site?” Google could charge for everything if it wanted to. The reason it doesn’t is because you would stop using it if it did. Google search is provided free of charge; it’s worth exactly what you pay for it. If you are unhappy with the results, use another search tool. Nothing is stopping you? Oh wait, yes there is: for most of the things you need to find on the web, there isn’t a better search tool.
Sadly, Google only has to be better than Bing, and its other competitors, to keep you as a customer. As long as other search experiences are sub-optimal to Google, you’re not going anywhere. Google knows this, which is why it concentrates on optimizing ads, not content. I’m not saying that Google provides bad search results; I’m saying that it does not have any evolutionary pressure to do any better than it already does.
So, caveat emptor. Google Shopping is pay-to-rank. What should you do? Check the prices on amazon.com and buy.com and bestbuy.com, etc. before committing to a merchant on Google Shopping. Or, if it really bothers you, don’t use Google Shopping, the latter being the best (and only) way to inspire Google to change its policy. Oh, BTW: Bing actually mixes its paid and organic shopping results. Apparently, Scroogling goes both ways.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,394
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 300
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jul. 30, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 446
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Jul. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 265
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,049
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jul. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,155
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jul. 29, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,270
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,182
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Jul. 28, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,761
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
Jul. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,039
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Jul. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,028
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Jul. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 320
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
Jul. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,899
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
Jul. 26, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,571
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 387
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Jul. 25, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,957
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 460
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,533
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Jul. 25, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,485