Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) still hasn't learned its lesson with trying to compete with Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL). Forget the fact that the software giant recently wrote off $6.2 billion in goodwill related to its acquisition of online advertiser aQuantive and posted its first-ever public quarterly loss as a result. What's done is done. Let the competition go on!
In its never-ending quest to dethrone Google and grow Bing's presence in the minds and query boxes of netizens, Microsoft has launched numerous marketing campaigns targeting Big G, such as its Bing It On "search off." The company even set up a website for the challenge. Its latest move is a little juvenile, albeit Microsoft does have a good point at the heart of the campaign.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me
With Christmas rolling around in less than a month, Microsoft has its new Scroogled site. It boldly asks, "Have you been Scroogled?"
The whole point of the site is to inform Googlers that the Google Shopping results they peruse are all paid ads and there are no longer organic search results. Microsoft lays out a strong case here, showing exactly where Big G tells you that Google Commerce has transitioned to a "purely commercial model" with the hopes that merchants will provide better information and data.
The change was completed this fall and Google now displays shopping query rankings "based on a combination of relevance and bid price." Needless to say, Microsoft says its Bing results are purely "honest" and unadulterated by ads.
That's similar to criticism that Chinese search giant Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) receives, as its organic search results and paid ads are hard to distinguish from one another. That hasn't proven detrimental to Baidu's dominant position, though; the company still maintains over 70% market share in the Middle Kingdom.
Microsoft's smearing probably won't do much to dent Google's market share, but that won't stop it from trying.
Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Baidu. The Motley Fool owns shares of Baidu, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Baidu, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.