Thursday, February 25, 2010

Google Claims No Wrongdoing in EU Inquiry

Competitive search engines have complained - rightfully so - that Google's omnipresent Google Page Rank (PR) has resulted in an unfair advantage, as Google is consistently ranking competition lower. Google defended its monopolistic tactics in an attempt to placate them and avoid yet another EU inquiry on its blog today. However, some are saying that Google's anti-trust problems are just starting.

While the Union has not officially opened an inquiry into Google's ranking practices, it did confirm having received three complaints on the matter. Google suggested the complaints were prompted by Microsoft, as two of the engines which complained are associated with the computer giant.

A lot of other cyberculturalists, industry watchers, and others like to harp on how "monopolies are not illegal in the U.S." but "exercising that power is," and while that may technically be true, what do you think monopolies do? The American legal system is a total fail in all regards, on all fronts, but going back and forth on such niggling, little technicalities is in no one's interest but Google's. Sadly, Google will simply buy the politicians, judges, and authorities it needs to and nothing will change.

The only hope for a freer Internet is to support foreign powers in their attempts to grab some of that cash. So long as Google is forced to spend resources fighting to maintain its global stranglehold on the Web's content and those of us who create and produce it, it has fewer resources to spend on expanding that stranglehold and illegally usurping our content or harassing us into bowing to it.

But the greater truth remains: Google will simply buy its way out of this mess.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

1 comment:

ManoDogs said...

This blog post at Webconnoissuer perfectly describes, and illustrates, what I have been saying for years and years now about Google's preferential treatment of pages displaying AdSense and how truly irrelevant most of their searches can be.

I posted elsewhere (possibly before I started this blog, though it may be on here) how The Weirding has returned toward the top of the results consistently for a handful of years - rightfully so - but had been shunted by literally hundreds, possibly even thousands, of entries bandying an album by the same name when it was released. All of the results lead to a purchasing site, the band's MySpace profile (which had links to commercial sites on which you could buy or download the album), etc., so really, they were all the same; all the links provided the same information.

The links to the Wired article which created this mini-debacle are included and recommended.

I should also mention that when I did the search (from the Wired article), Google listed the correct result first (or close).