Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Texas Opens Google Inquiry

Due to several complaints it has received from companies over Google's perceived manipulation of search results, the Texas Attorney General has moved to open an inquiry into the search giant. Numerous companies and individuals have complained that Google is unfairly using its holdings and position within the online world to push its own sites and services, as well as those belonging to partners, ahead of competing sites in its results. Sites which rank first are most likely to be chosen by Web users and receive the most traffic. Google said it welcomes the inquiry.

I thought most people interested in this news would understand what the problem is, but reading comments related to this made me think otherwise, so I'll briefly explain:

Google decided it does not care for sponsored posts, which it claims unfairly -- Google's words -- unfairly inflates the PageRank of sites which pay for posts, so it "slapped" all blogs that accept sponsored posts severely several years ago. Of course, Google AdWords does not pay properly and refuses to entertain questions as to why it refuses to pay, how it counts "legitimate" hits, and more, and similar network/affiliate advertising programs are similarly low-paying, forcing some bloggers to accept sponsored posts to offset associated costs, such as site registration and hosting fees, as well as time spent. This is just a single instance of Google's alleged abuses.

Other companies, most of which are far smaller than their competition, have lodged complaints of a similar nature throughout the years, yet Google has never been investigated in the U.S.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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