Is Your Business Getting ‘Scroogled’?

Getting Scroogled
Consider the potential negative effect of Google services on your business


In early February, Microsoft began a new national campaign that encourages users to leave Google's Gmail service in favor of joining Microsoft's Outlook email facilities, hooking into privacy concerns to relay the message.





This campaign piggybacks on the ‘Scroogled’ campaign from the last quarter of 2012. In the campaign, Microsoft claims that Google has the practice of selling their search results to the highest bidders, which produces frustration in online shoppers as they might miss out on the best price or the highest quality items. This switch from Google from its 2004 IPO position (“we do not accept payment for [search results> or for inclusion or more frequent updating.") was made public to its investors through Google’s 2012 SEC disclosure of Google Commerce.





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One week after Microsoft started its attack against Gmail through a petition against Gmail’s practices, their petition had about 6,000 signatures. Back on Feb. 14, Microsoft’s goal was to gather 25,000 signatures. As of Feb. 21, the petition has 72,927 backers and a new goal of 90,000 signatures. Considering that the Gmail user base ranges between 300 million to 425 million users and using the lower 300 million number, this means that potentially 0.03% Gmail users agree with Microsoft’s petition.
Unlike Google, Microsoft claims that its e-mail services,, Hotmail and Office 365, do not use the content of users’ private emails to target advertising. "Emails are personal — and people feel that reading through their emails to sell ads is out of bounds," said Stefan Weitz, senior director of Online Services at Microsoft in a Feb. 6, 2013 statement. "We honor the privacy of our users, and we are concerned that Google violates that privacy every time an user exchanges messages with someone on Gmail. This campaign is as much about protecting users from Gmail as it is about making sure Gmail users know what Google's doing."





Is Your Business Getting ‘Scroogled’?

In the same Feb. 6 statement, Microsoft points out that a GfK Roper poll, commissioned by the Redmond, Wa., giant, shows that 70 percent of Americans didn’t believe or didn’t know that any major email service provider scans the content of personal emails in order to target ads. Similarly, in December 2012 Microsoft’s Bing commissioned research firm Fusion GPS to conduct an in-depth analysis of the new auction-based system, Google Shopping. The report indicates that Google Shopping is designed to provide greater benefits to merchants at the expense of consumers.
These two findings have direct repercussions to any business that uses Google as its search engine and Gmail as its email platform.


About the author

Damian Davila

Damian Davila is a professional marketer living in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii. Since 2008 Damian has been writing articles on online marketing and reports on the latest SEO and startup news at his blog. Born in Ecuador, Damian has traveled extensively and held positions in Mexico, Germany, Italy and the United States. He has a MBA from the University of Hawaii and a Masters in Educational Technology from a joint program between the Tecnologico de Monterrey and the University of British of Columbia.