I have been very vocal recently about the nasty, dishonest, and disingenuous business practices Google has undertaken that would make their ‘don’t be evil’ and ‘open source’ things laughable … except that real people have been impacted, jobs lost, companies shuttered. In the latest bold move, Google has used their monopoly in search to make an assumption: since you are using Google for Search, everything you find MUST be somehow linked to Google or generate revenue for Google somehow.
Yesterday an article by Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineLand shows a new tool developed by engineers from Facebook, MySpace and Twitter that does something simple: it uses Google’s own ‘organic search index’ to re-do search results as they would actually happen. One example is the image above … I think that most reasonable people would agree that the one on the left is NOT a search, it is a portal of Google centric information.
PandoDaily rounded up some critical examples of things that Google has said that are now just easy to turn around on the search giant:
Here’s what Larry Page said in his Playboy interview before the company went public: “Most portals show their own content above content elsewhere on the web. We feel that’s a conflict of interest, analogous to taking money for search results. Their search engine doesn’t necessarily provide the best results; it provides the portal’s results. Google conscientiously tries to stay away from that. We want to get you out of Google and to the right place as fast as possible. It’s a very different model.”
Here’s what the site says under “Ten Things We Know to Be True:” ”Advertising on Google is always clearly identified as a ‘Sponsored Link,’ so it does not compromise the integrity of our search results. We never manipulate rankings to put our partners higher in our search results and no one can buy better PageRank. Our users trust our objectivity and no short-term gain could ever justify breaching that trust.”
Here’s what the S-1 said when Google filed to go public, “Google users trust our systems to help them with important decisions: medical, financial and many others. Our search results are the best we know how to produce. They are unbiased and objective, and we do not accept payment for them or for inclusion or more frequent updating. We also display advertising, which we work hard to make relevant, and we label it clearly. This is similar to a well-run newspaper, where the advertisements are clear and the articles are not influenced by the advertisers’ payments. We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see.”
And here’s what Eric Schmidt told Congress, when asked whether Google ever “cooked” results: “Senator, I can assure you we have not cooked anything.”
Pretty much all of those things are now easily shown to be untrue – Google wants to KEEP you on Google, to make it as HARD to escape as possible. Their results are NOT objective or unbiased – sorry, if you disagree you are absolutely WRONG. How can you POSSIBLY have a search that turns up IMDB on Google+ with 2000 circles and EXCLUDES the Facebook page with 2 MILLION likes? And remember – this is all ON Google! In other words, this is stuff they COULD have shown but CHOSE to exclude.
Heck, they even exclude YouTube links to push Google+!
There are some who say that a combination of the pressures of being a public company and competition from Bing have pushed them to try to erect a walled garden around the internet. Recent data shows the combined Bing & Yahoo (powered by Bing) account for ~27% of search traffic with Google maintaining ~66% share.
I highly recommend that you check out the ‘don’t be evil’ tool, give it a run, and see what Google has done to pervert the concept of ‘objective search’ that they used to EARN themselves a natural monopoly.