Microsoft's Bing goes after Google over "scroogling"

I was served the not particularly attractive banner above on Talking Points Memo. Boy, does this ever smack of desperation on Microsoft’s part. So I had to click.

The landing page at Scroogled.com argues that Google “scroogles” its users because it now only serves paid ad results for shopping searches. Microsoft’s search engine Bing serves a mix of paid and “organic” results for shopping searches, as Google formerly did.  

Not that Bing doesn’t have a point. But this kind of campaign leaves me with the feeling that Bing is circling the drain. It’s as if they’ve acknowledged that they can’t win by highlighting their product’s advantages, so their only hope is to cry foul against their dominant competitor.

Microsoft itself, of course, has faced a litany of criticism and legal action about uncompetitive practices over the years. Regardless of the validity of those claims, Microsoft’s resorting to the same kind of tactics against its competitors exposes them to charges of hypocrisy. 

I’m not saying they’re wrong. Nor am I saying that I wouldn’t make the same play if I were in their shoes. But it definitely seems like something you’d try when the enemy is about to overrun you and you’re down to the last few arrows in your quiver. 

Here’s the video that lays out the Microsoft/Bing case: