• http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512945366 Jaimie Sirovich

    I don’t think this is correct. In most shopping engines, the price is per-category or per-category-per-price-bracket, etc. Otherwise it’s ‘relevance.’ With Google, the bid influences your rank. This is my understanding. I no longer actively manage PPC campaigns anymore, but my understanding is that you submit the feed as you did historically, and then bid on parameters of the feed. In other words, the more you pay based on those parameters, the more you’ll rank to some degree. What else would bidding higher do? Does it go to the Red Cross? :) Of course if your ad doesn’t perform well, Google won’t want to give you impressions because they’ll also make less. It’s revenue maximization. This makes more sense with ads you write, though. Products are commodities.

    The difference is, with the other engines, you either participate or you don’t. With Google, you’re paying for better ranking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512945366 Jaimie Sirovich

    This is my interpretation as well. Paying to be included is not the same thing as paying to rank. I know it’s not bullet proof and Danny makes some interesting points re: “can’t rank,” but I see what MS is saying and I largely agree with it.

    I’m also not sure why any consumer wouldn’t just want the lowest price from a reputable retailer. When I used Froogle/Google Products/Shopping/Whatever, the first thing I’d do was sort by price + shipping and then scan for the lowest row from a retailer I recognized. The way it is now, I don’t think it’s as clear what’s going on. This is about money, pure and simple. That’s OK, but I don’t think it’s about spam or quality.

    If this is really about spam, Google has ample equipment to deal with that from their repertoire of algorithms, ideas, and patents. They could use collective intelligence to weed out bad vendors based on boatloads of implicitly provided (back buttons) and explicitly provided (bad reviews) data.

    They’re free to do what they want, and there’s nothing that screams illegal or immoral here on Google’s part (they point out it’s sponsored), but MS has a point. I’m still going to click through to Google Shopping, click the SKU I want, and sort by price. As can anyone. So there!

  • http://ftc.gov/ MonopolizedSearch

    http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/bing-merchant-faqs

    “Throughout the year, we have accepted free feeds from merchants
    and we continue to include free listings from those merchants in our
    Bing Shopping program today. However, like last year, to ensure a
    quality shopping experience for consumers during the holiday season, we
    have temporarily stopped accepting free feeds from new merchants. After
    the holidays, we will again reopen our program to accept free feeds from
    new merchants.”

    Anyone comparing the product results of Bing and Google side by side will clearly see that Bing offers consumers more choice, especially on obscure product searches. Although Bing is not accepting free feeds from merchants now, they have in the past and will after the holidays. By combining paid, free and crawled listings, Bing certainly provides a better overall shopping experience for consumers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Martin/508010100 Michael Martin

    BTW is this “Epic Dinner” Alan? I can’t tell without any comments that invoke “asshat” ;)

  • Guest

    None of this is really surprising. Google is not some benevolent force. It’s a company making money. Consumers are almost always scr*d anyway.

  • treepodia

    None of this is really surprising. Google is not some benevolent force.
    It’s a company making money. Consumers are almost always scr*d anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512945366 Jaimie Sirovich

    For what it’s worth, I see it exactly the same way as you do =)

    Impartial inclusion is not the same thing as impartial ranking IOW. Danny’s right that MS is a bit hypocritical, but I see a huge difference.

    That doesn’t mean the ad campaign isn’t stupid, though. If a bunch of educated marketers can disagree over this, 99% that layman don’t give a shit, get it, or care.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512945366 Jaimie Sirovich

    Still curious what you think Danny. This is something I’m studying. Not trying to argue. I just see a _huge_ difference if I’m not mistaken. I know you mention it, but I come to different conclusions.

  • Alan

    LOL comment deleted! sad really. This made me wonder about my old comments. Went over a few of my old comments and a month or 2 down the track and search engine land deletes them. I guess they don’t want to look like they are the Google police so they wait. http://searchengineland.com/who-has-search-engine-marketers-backs-no-one-we-need-lobbyists-121882 Oh right maybe SEMPO didn’t like it.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Bing didn’t make clear this was a temporary change until after I wrote my article. Before I wrote it, it had stopped taking feeds back in September and only recently added a short note (mentioned in my article) saying nothing about this being temporary.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    It’s very unclear that paying just ranks you better at Google. Do a search there, say for “Lego Death Star,” and it’s products that are ranked by relevance (and it is relevance), not merchants. Go into a product listing, and the list of merchants seems to be ranked by how much people are willing to pay. But it’s not like you don’t get a list of them, as well as the ability to sort by price (which for many is going to be the top factor), so Bing suggesting that all of Google Shopping is just people who pay the most ranking tops for a product search — I just don’t see that.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Bing is absolutely calling Google out for a lack of disclosure, and I’ve highlighted this several times. It talks about “unsuspecting” consumers making assumptions they are getting “search results” rather than ads on the opening page of Scroogled, as just one example.

    Right now, Shopping.com is — and has been — absolutely a requirement for getting into Bing Shopping since mid-September, since the free program was closed.

    As for not showing up if you don’t pay enough on Google, that’s not actually how it works — and when you do a search for products, you are indeed getting actual products ranked by relevancy.

    Everything I’ve written in terms of Bing is fully documented. Sorry you disagree with my findings, but I stand by them — nor as anyone from Bing sent any type of further statement or comment after this appeared.

    Make no mistake — I disagree with Google’s exclusionary practice of paid inclusion, and I’ve written about that many times. Heck, my focus on it has probably helped enable BIng in the way it did, which is fine.

    But if it was going to attack, do it right. Don’t attack when you’ve just shut down your own free submission system and when you self-admitted say that consumers can’t really understand how your shopping search works and that the only way you know if you are doing disclosure as required by the FTC correctly is after you consult with lawyers.

    Imagine if Bing had dropped paid inclusion entirely for the holiday shopping period. Now that would have been a real challenge to Google.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134296118 William Parris

    I manage CSE/Shopping campaigns and while they do have a minimum bid per category you can and are encouraged to bid above minimum (on a SKU and Category level) to improve rank.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134296118 William Parris

    In my experience this is exactly what Bing does. If you are sending a feed to both Bing and Shopping.com, Bing will use the Shopping.com result (identifiable by reviewing how these URL’s are tagged when you click through). They are not all that different than Google – they want to get paid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512945366 Jaimie Sirovich

    Do you have a source for this? That would put it to bed :)

  • Kent Riddersholm Nielsen

    What’s up with all the slants? Will all the Bing lobbyists please raise their hands? Joking aside, I found the article very informative.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    I commented on this more below, but the “pay to rank higher” doesn’t seem to be that straight-forward with Google Shopping. In general, Google’s ads already have a quality score aspect to them, so some of the people ranked first may not be the highest bidder (something that Bing well knows, and a similar system that it uses for its ads). In addition, Google Shopping searches seem to focus on listing products rather than merchants first. So you search, you get a product that’s most relevant to your search (exactly as the results list says will be the case), then when you drill in, you get a list of matching merchants for that product — and it’s that list where paying more may be a factor in ranking higher.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    It’s not pro-Bing people. It’s anti-Google people. You have a contingent of people who simply do not like Google. They don’t really care about overviews of issues, of whether all players are doing things right — it’s simply knee-jerk “I hate Google, and if you don’t hate them, I hate you.”

    I didn’t like Google’s paid inclusion shift at all, felt it went against the things Google said in the past and still hasn’t delivered what it was promised. I’ve written about all that many times, including within this piece. But I felt Bing didn’t exactly come into that debate as a shining example of how to get things right, so despite my displeasure with Google’s change, Bing still felt due for criticism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512945366 Jaimie Sirovich

    Well in any textbook relevance algorithm — forget all the other stuff Google does — there’s the keyphrase ranking algorithm — be it Okapi BM25, Cover Density, more exotic language models, etc. that decides the order of the results. In addition to that, most rankers also add in some level of ‘global’ Karma that multiplies in regardless of the user’s indicated keywords, and sometimes only when a user’s indicated keywords include a particular set of words. Some figure in some level of personalization. I’m sure Google does _all_ of this.

    The revenue maximization figures in at the end as ‘karma’ and probably only affects the final relevance value nominally. However, that’s probably just enough that my Macbook I’m shopping for will be from a vendor without the lowest price.

    Of course it’s not in Google’s interest to show me an ad for a Mesothelioma attorney when I’m searching for a Macbook and relevance is the biggest factor.

    The question is whether it’s OK to show me a product without the lowest price because of a Mesothelioma-like bid. To me the lowest prices are relevant. What do you think?

  • grs_dev

    ***COUGH****BULLSHIT***COUGH***

  • grs_dev

    Even when you are proven wrong you refuse to admit that you just tasted your own shoe! @klippers:disqus just told you that he is not paying to play in the program, and you completely dismissed his statement and spun it back to serve your own points…

  • grs_dev

    Brian it’s December 2012, get with the times. Even Google couldn’t keep a straight face when it claimed that Bing was “stealing” their search results…
    Bing gives me better results consistently, but that’s just me.

  • grs_dev

    @dannysullivan:disqus a temporary suspension of accepting new merchants is not synonymous with the exclusion of existing ones. Please stop misleading readers. The need not explain anything because there is nothing to explain. They owe you nothing.

  • grs_dev

    @google-1f653bbc9e4ce09ef93715253abd7b62:disqus I agree with the second paragraph in your post. Microsoft could have definitely used its dollars wiser in this space, but then again seeing the kind of reaction they’re getting from the blogosphere and folks like @dannysullivan:disqus, maybe this little scroogle thing might have a lot bigger ROI than I can imagine.

  • grs_dev

    @cjvannette:disqus hey each one of these mega money troves is allowed to have a silly year end project to burn through some left over funds in some budget. Google did the “honeypot” operation, bing is entitled to their own silly…

  • grs_dev

    You know the cheapest price could be in your local store somewhere right around the corner from you and not online! Hell you could even pick it up right there and then and not have to wait for shipping! LOL…
    If you have become so myopic that you can only see the world through google or bing then you are missing out on a whole lot of stuff and you deserve to be scroobingled!

  • grs_dev

    @dannysullivan:disqus “Payment is NOT a factor used to rank search results in Bing.”

  • grs_dev

    @Brad right on!

  • grs_dev

    @dannysullivan:disqus I have to give you credit for criticizing google for going the pay to play strictly route.

  • grs_dev

    “Don’t be evil”

  • grs_dev

    Not accepting new merchants doesn’t exclude existing merchants from participating. I simply don’t get why are you even implying that?!

  • Brian Hartman

    Did you look at the evidence? Google created search terms *specifically* to track if Bing was copying their results. It was proven. You can look at the evidence yourself.

  • David Jaeger

    If you were right, then Bing shouldn’t prioritize your Shopping.com feed over your Bing Merchant account, but SURPRISE – they do! They clearly make money off of the partnership, and therefore should abide by the rules to at least disclose.

  • grs_dev

    @google-152500e2021830ff278272a14162b0cc:disqus I actually did and I understood the point it tried to prove. Did you? The exact same scenario would have had virtually the exact same effects had bing conducted the so called “honeypot”. I would have criticized Microsoft if they tried to pull the same baseless claims too.

  • Brian Hartman

    @grs_dev:disqus It *wouldn’t* have worked if you did it the other way around, because Google wasn’t mining Bing’s results. If there is any evidence to the contrary, Microsoft should present it, as Google has.

  • grs_dev

    The way google uses its toolbar and desktop installables to “pickup signals” from users is well documented. Feel free to research them. Toolbar, Chrome, etc…

  • http://www.ccmoore.com/ CC Moore

    Couldn’t agree more Danny, again though a sign that they are taking more and more advantage of their position

  • Hacker For Hire

    The number of Microsoft shills posting in this thread is quite hilarious. Danny, please check their IP’s. I’m guessing they all originate from either Microsoft or one of their shill companies.