Microsoft's search engine Bing launched a marketing campaign Wednesday to generate awareness of what it deems a dishonest practice on Google's part. According to Bing's press release, Google's "pay-to-rank" or "Product Listing Advertising" system falsely portrays what search engine users believe are top shopping search queries. The Microsoft rival states these results are actually paid ads.
"Merchants can literally pay to improve their chances to display their product offers higher than others inside of Google’s shopping 'search,' even if it’s not necessarily better or cheaper," states the press release, which calls the system untrustworthy.
Bing says it will not allow businesses to pay their way to the top of search listings. "We don’t let who pays us for ads or other services affect how your search results are ranked," said Mike Nichols, Bing's chief marketing officer.
While online ads are very effective, it's important to remember customers – especially when it comes to B2B marketing – can tell the difference between search engine advertisements and organic queries.
It's also a good idea to ensure content marketing and SEO efforts are made with regard to clients who may use Bing as their primary search engine. If an audience doesn't trust Google for personal shopping, they are less likely to use it in professional settings as well.