Government Regulation of Google?

26 replies
Somebody wants the government to regulate Google...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/opinion/28raff.html

Interesting. What do you think?

CT
#google #government #regulation #skin
  • Profile picture of the author SaRitaCustis
    Very interesting. I have 3 comments:

    #1 - I'm always hesitant when the government wants to add new regulations because the potential ramifications are not always thoroughly considered (was that politically correct enough?)

    #2 - As long as Google continues to provide the results users are looking for, they will keep the lion's share of search engine traffic - if people get annoyed, they'll start going elsewhere. Perhaps too much of a Pollyanna view of free enterprise, but that's what I think.

    #3 - You CANNOT base your entire business model on Google -- or any other company -- if you want to HAVE a business. Too many business owners focus on Google everything, and forget that there are thousands of other ways to get in front of their target audience.

    Just my 2 cents
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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      The article is a little off in what it is saying and I presume they knew this before publishing. I would have welcomed to read further than where I found the descrepanices but unfortunately they were so far off I'll await the result of such a campaign rather than read crap.
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      • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
        Google alone can make a millionaire out of any webmaster - and put another completely out of business.

        Yes, I think this should be considered - and yes, even if I was the "millionaire"

        Another way that Google exploits its control is through preferential placement. With the introduction in 2007 of what it calls "universal search," Google began promoting its own services at or near the top of its search results, bypassing the algorithms it uses to rank the services of others. Google now favors its own price-comparison results for product queries, its own map results for geographic queries, its own news results for topical queries, and its own YouTube results for video queries. And Google's stated plans for universal search make it clear that this is only the beginning.
        Ominous indeed ...
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        • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
          Another way that Google exploits its control is through preferential placement. With the introduction in 2007 of what it calls "universal search," Google began promoting its own services at or near the top of its search results, bypassing the algorithms it uses to rank the services of others. Google now favors its own price-comparison results for product queries, its own map results for geographic queries, its own news results for topical queries, and its own YouTube results for video queries. And Google's stated plans for universal search make it clear that this is only the beginning.
          1. Google made Maps for this purpose so why wouldn't they use it to serve business locations on local searches. (They have nothing to gain).

          2. Google don't just display their own news results, they display others too. Most importantly Google's own news results also help promote other news websites content so there's a more equalised opportunity from their result than most others.

          3. Google don't serve their own YouTube results purposefuly and where a video from YouTube ends up getting ranked other video sites are sure to follow in a multi listing.
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          • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
            Originally Posted by Intrepreneur View Post

            1. Google made Maps for this purpose so why wouldn't they use it to serve business locations on local searches. (They have nothing to gain).
            They have everything to gain by having absolute control over the map displayed ... that just happens to be filled with their own ad network...

            2. Google don't just display their own news results, they display others too. Most importantly Google's own news results also help promote other news websites content so there's a more equalised opportunity from their result than most others.
            Google is not a "news" organization - so there is no such thing as "Google" news results - they scrape news results and just about every other type of content out there and again to serve this information on their own ad filled pages ...

            3. Google don't serve their own YouTube results purposefuly and where a video from YouTube ends up getting ranked other video sites are sure to follow in a multi listing.
            The only way you can know that for sure is if you were a Google "insider" - which would make sense as you are also a Google apologist.
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            • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
              Originally Posted by Eric Lorence View Post




              The only way you can know that for sure is if you were a Google "insider" - which would make sense as you are also a Google apologist.
              Nope I just keep up with Google and how they work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lawrh
    Google is run by academics and technocrats. They decide what is best, no other opinions are considered. Of course they believe that their promoting their brand is in the best interests of the public. If the public doesn't realize this it's simply their ignorance on display and will be ignored. Simple academic arrogance coupled with corporate venality.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Lawrh View Post

      Of course they believe that their promoting their brand is in the best interests of the public.
      What if it is?

      I'm not saying that; I'm a big Microsoft booster, and anything that convinces more people to use Bing is fine by me. But seriously, what if promoting Google's brand really is in the best interest of the person running the search?

      How could you tell?
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      • Profile picture of the author Lawrh
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        How could you tell?
        Often you can't. Particularly when the other options aren't even on the same page. You can only compare what's presented to you. That was the point of the article. The howls, excuse me, posts in this forum alone about G's capriciousness and refusal to even discuss their actions suggests the columnists angst isn't isolated.
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  • Profile picture of the author 2d0k
    Originally Posted by Charles Harper View Post

    Somebody wants the government to regulate Google...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/28/opinion/28raff.html

    Interesting. What do you think?

    CT
    Well, It's about time that they do that!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    From the article..."For three years, my company's vertical search and price-comparison site, Foundem, was effectively "disappeared" from the Internet in this way."
    So the article was written by someone who was cheesed that HIS company's site doesn't rank better! I wonder if he'd be so concerned if his company was ranked number one? Don't think so.

    He does raise some excellent points though -- my problem is, I trust the government less than Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author rockstar99
    DUH DUH DUH..ATLAS SHRUGGED..LOL JP

    Would be horrible if the government regulated them. They've also been on Amazon's case as well. They want to make all business "Equal" - which is pretty pathetic since the obvious model seems to work pretty well: Work hard, Do research, and get more sales.

    Read the book <b>Socialnomics</b>Socialnomics . Google won't always be the best place to market.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zach Booker
    Not making this political but as long as the current administrative office is in power there is no way anything would be brought against Google, in the United States, that would negatively affect them (due to their political connections).

    The article raises some very valid points but then again saying that I wish that would happen would be going against much of what I believe although it'd benefit me.

    I don't like the FTC going after me but if another Government agency got Google to take down certain things that rank high for certain searches then that's be hypocrisy at it's finest. You can't pick and choose what regulations you wish upon an industry.

    I personally wish the internet went to the free market in which it used to be where no power governed what was done (or at least tries in the case of the US government).

    Google has been scraping and putting together data for years, thanks to everyone signing up for Analytics etc, and figuring out what buying terms are and what sells. Google is a publicly traded company they are held responsible for their income and when it fluctuates they sure as hell hear about it.

    Believe it or not banning re-bills took a large amount of Adwords profit. Keywords like "buy ****" have dropped dollars - and when keywords like that get searched tens of thousands of times per day it adds up to a lot of missing profits.

    Google is now leveraging what they have to make up for that and trying to turn a search result into something where they can maximize their return. They have adwords, now they have maps, products, and news results. They are slowly but surely bumping out affiliates and normal websites trying to help the average Joe and Jane (yes those are still around).

    It sucks. But Google has every right to do so - we do not pay anything to Google as people who rank organically it just so happens that what we do we do in order to please Google and get ranked highly due to the high market share they have.

    Google is more and more turning into what appears to be a marketplace. You do a search, see some ads, see some maps, see some products, and if the consumer scrolls may see your site.

    We'll see what happens. :-)

    Zach
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Zach Booker View Post

      Not making this political but as long as the current administrative office is in power there is no way anything would be brought against Google, in the United States, that would negatively affect them.
      I think just the opposite is true. This current administration is full of people that have worked all their lives to change the economic landscape, redistribute wealth, and dismantle power structures in favor of more government and more regulation, and even socialist-like agendas.
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      • Profile picture of the author Zach Booker
        Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

        I think just the opposite is true. This current administration is full of people that have worked all their lives to change the economic landscape, redistribute wealth, and dismantle power structures in favor of more government and more regulation, and even socialist-like agendas.
        This is very true - looking back on my post I forgot to clarify why, when the current administration is making everything so regulated, they would leave Google alone.

        The reason being is the vast amounts of money donated to the Obama campaign, the friendship between Google and the Obama team, and the questionable rankings of sites favoring Obama for certain search terms.

        Google was a major underlying player in bringing majority support to the Obama camp and the President himself has talked about Google in a glowing, glorifying matter many times.

        As always it's all political and thus why Microsoft get's in trouble all the time but Google doesn't seem to appear.

        Zach
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Google as a business will promote its own interests. It is not a news organization or a charity endeavor - it's a search engine.

        I remember when "brains" thought it was a great idea to break up the AT&T monopoly - service deteriorated and prices went up, up and away.

        Years later, more "brains" decided maybe that hadn't been such a great idea after all. I don't expect or require "fair and balanced" from google and I don't want someone else requiring it for me.

        kay
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  • Profile picture of the author MicahF7
    No way.... The government can not fix anything... they have a perfect track record for NOT being about to fix anything!


    Micah Rush

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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
    Yikes!

    This is more political than I thought...

    The story is interesting, but more interesting are the comments of folks who I gather are not internet marketers.

    I think this is a political blog or something.

    Big Government Blog Archive Google: Openness for Thee, But Not For Me

    Sheesh...

    CT
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Charles Harper View Post

      The story is interesting, but more interesting are the comments of folks who I gather are not internet marketers.
      Wow Charles, I didn't know so many people hated Google until you linked up that story. Good find.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Taylor
    We need less government intrusion. Google doesn't owe anyone anything and the government can keep its damned hands off of private enterprise.
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  • Profile picture of the author CMCarlin
    I personally do not enjoy the 'universal search' content (maps, videos, news results) for any given query. I like the older style, where the good content was above the fold. Google recognizes this prime real estate and is trying to monetize it.

    Good for them, they do what they need to do. But there is a balance.

    Also, the other day, I noticed Bing offering products directly through their search. Isn't that what google gets chastised for on occasion? Eliminating us middle men.....
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  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    The first thing that came to mind when I heard about this was a court case Google won in seconds by simply stating the obvious.

    At the heart of every search engine (Google included) is a human element called 'opinion'. What that means is when you look at search results, you are viewing the opinion of the designers of what they think you are searching for.

    The fact that everyone and their dog uses Google only means they trust Google's opinions on search results over the opinions of Bing, Yahoo, Ask, and everyone else.

    You start bringing Government control into that arena, and you start messing with fundamental freedoms. It would be like the government having control over your opinions simply because too many people liked what you had to say, and trusted you as a result.

    This very thought of messing with these fundamental freedoms should send chills down your spine. And you should be fighting this with every fiber of your being, because you could be next.

    If this comes to pass, don't say I didn't warn you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ronak Shah
    One way that Google exploits this control is by imposing covert "penalties" that can strike legitimate and useful Web sites, removing them entirely from its search results or placing them so far down the rankings that they will in all likelihood never be found.
    If governments had to do some stuff well, they'd better regulate themselves well. LOL

    With their policies and regulations already in place, I wonder if businesses need anymore intrusion in their private matters and policies. Well, if Google cannot decide its own policies who will?

    The government? you're kidding me! LOL. I can't have another laugh at that one. It's really funny .
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