Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Cloud Best Practices Network, Sematext Blog, Kevin Jackson, PagerDuty Blog

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
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices 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 business opportuni...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.