Welcome!

Symbian Authors: Jack Newton, Kevin Benedict, Matthew Lobas, Shelly Palmer, RealWire News Distribution

Blog Feed Post

Scroogled or Binged? – A Guide to Online Holiday Guides

Scroogled

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.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP Integration will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EARP Integration is a passionate software house. Since its inception in 2009 the company successfully delivers smart solutions for cities and factories that start their digital transformation. EARP provides bespoke solutions like, for example, advanced enterprise portals, business intelligence systems an...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...