287 replies
11:00 am EST...

...just crossing wires now...

...Wall St. Journal reporting that FTC is set to serve Big G in broad anti-trust probe.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...764717680.html
#big #ftc
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    That is nuts!!!

    How can they classify it a monopoly, when it is only guilty of out-competing the competition?

    Just because Yahoo and Bing and the other 50 search engines have sucked for years, does not mean that the Big G is monopolistic..



    p.s. Maybe in the future, I will be able to contact the Feds and get them to bring a suit against my competitors, when they beat me on the playing field.

    Just like they are teaching in schools today: there are no losers... we are all whiners...


    p.p.s. Helping a ********* to the ***** ***** could not save the big G from the mechanics of big **********.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      A real game of horse hockey!
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      • Profile picture of the author Laurie Rogers
        This isn't the first time the FTC has tried to b__ch slap google, nor will it be the last. Anyone remember the big "child pron" scandal with all the engines? Where they tried to get google to pony up with their inner workings? Out of all the engines, google said no, the FTC said well you have to OR ELSE and google still said no, they paid a hefty fine and walked away. Unlike the rest of them that handed over their data within a flash. The FTC has to do stuff like this once in a while, it makes them look like they're actually doing something useful with your tax dollars. They'll just keep coming up with allegations, so they can get their greedy little paws on google's inner workings.
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        • Profile picture of the author jasonthewebmaster
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Laurie Rogers View Post

          This isn't the first time the FTC has tried to b__ch slap google, nor will it be the last. Anyone remember the big "child pron" scandal with all the engines? Where they tried to get google to pony up with their inner workings? Out of all the engines, google said no, the FTC said well you have to OR ELSE and google still said no, they paid a hefty fine and walked away. Unlike the rest of them that handed over their data within a flash. The FTC has to do stuff like this once in a while, it makes them look like they're actually doing something useful with your tax dollars. They'll just keep coming up with allegations, so they can get their greedy little paws on google's inner workings.

          True. I will be glad to see G stand up to the FTC.. Somebody needs to before the US Govt demolishes any last vestige of freedom this world has! (being the internet)
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          • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
            Bill,
            Still missing the point entirely. It's not about "Opressed Marketers".

            It's about "Bing" no longer existing as the option for anyone, if Google is permitted to dominate 'search' to the extinction of all other search engines.

            -Dani, The R.C.
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            • Profile picture of the author tpw
              Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

              Bill,
              Still missing the point entirely. It's not about "Opressed Marketers".

              It's about "Bing" no longer existing as the option for anyone, if Google is permitted to dominate 'search' to the extinction of all other search engines.

              -Dani, The R.C.

              Dani, The Rambling Counterpoint:

              You are still missing the point.

              Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

              It's about "Bing" no longer existing as the option for anyone, if Google is permitted to dominate 'search' to the extinction of all other search engines.
              Google has been losing market share to Bing over the last year!!

              18 months ago, Google had an 80% market share. Now Google is closer to 70% of the market.

              The only people/entities taking away your right to use a competitor is YOU...

              So take my advice and move to Bing and plant your flag in their search engine, and then start the process of convincing others that Bing has better search results, and the momentum could accelerate to Bing.

              That way, in 5 years, we could come back here and argue about whether Bing is engaged in anti-competitive behavior, just because they control most of the search market.



              p.s. Marketing yourself as "The Responsible Capitalist" could be construed by some people to constitute "deceptive advertising", since it could reasonably be shown in a court of law that you are not always a "responsible" poster in the WF.
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            • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
              Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

              It's about "Bing" no longer existing as the option for anyone, if Google is permitted to dominate 'search' to the extinction of all other search engines.
              The convenient thing about all of these arguments you're making is that you can simply swap "Google" out for the biggest search engine, no matter what it is.

              Your complaint is basically that Google's consumer (the search user) is not its customer (the advertiser).

              This is true for all search engines. They all have to find some other way to finance their operation. And if you knock Google out of the number one spot, all you are going to do is promote all the rest. The #2 slot will become #1 the second Google falls.

              You will not fix anything.

              The #1 search provider will still hold the public's trust and open a door for them to stop trusting everyone else.

              Only the names will change.

              And here's the important part. Are you paying attention?

              It doesn't matter how ethically, honestly, or transparently the search provider is doing business.

              You're just complaining that someone is #1, and they could abuse that.
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              • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                Bill,
                18 months ago, Google had an 80% market share. Now Google is closer to 70% of the market.
                As long as the balance continues...

                CD,

                I'm still waiting for you to tell me what word they should be using that means what they're trying to say - that organic search results are never directly altered or manipulated.
                None.

                You do. If you don't like Google's ethics, you don't have to use them.
                For as long as there are alternatives that is.

                Then test it... now... and show me where you see anything deceitful going on.
                I'm not qualified to test it, since I don't know how the algo determines how rankings are calculated.

                It doesn't matter how ethically, honestly, or transparently the search provider is doing business.
                I dare to say that it does matter, as a matter of law, with any business.

                You're just complaining that someone is #1, and they could abuse that.
                You are mistaking 'complaining' with supporting the notion of 'keeping a watchful eye.'

                Allow me to translate:

                "Trusting a company is bad."

                Yeah. Whatever.
                Let me fix that for you: Blind trust in any company is just blind.

                Dan,
                Neither Hitler nor Castro were capitalists.
                Hitler was a propagandist,

                Propaganda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself.
                I don't have the time to get into Castro right now... but censoring information, (media) - still feudal.

                -Dani
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                • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                  Originally Posted by Chris Worner View Post


                  This coming from the guy who posted this:


                  Originally Posted by Chris Worner View Post

                  Moral of the story; Don't rely on Google solely for traffic.

                  Chris
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            • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
              Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

              Bill,
              Still missing the point entirely. It's not about "Opressed Marketers".

              It's about "Bing" no longer existing as the option for anyone, if Google is permitted to dominate 'search' to the extinction of all other search engines.

              -Dani, The R.C.
              So is this finally the truth about where you're coming from. Was all the other nonsense smoke and mirrors?

              OK. I won't belittle your fear that poor old billy boy gates' search engine might die. But I'd like you to stop and think for a sec and tell me answer one question:
              Presuming that google is indeed rigging search results as you claim they are, how in the hell does that hurt other search engines?
              Surely this can't be your answer: Google Search Results
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              • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

                So is this finally the truth about where you're coming from. Was all the other nonsense smoke and mirrors?

                OK. I won't belittle your fear that poor old billy boy gates' search engine might die. But I'd like you to stop and think for a sec and tell me answer one question:
                Presuming that google is indeed rigging search results as you claim they are, how in the hell does that hurt other search engines?
                Surely this can't be your answer: Google Search Results
                I don't claim they ARE... I claim they CAN... and I further claim that it bears scrutiny.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
      Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

      Bill, Bill, Bill...

      It's going to be a dog and pony show.

      Google is a big contributor to the current administration. And they will need to money to keep coming in for the re-election effort.

      At the same time, they need to look like they are taking people's concerns seriously.

      So, they'll investigate Google. And, in the end, they'll determine that Google has done nothing wrong or maybe they'll slap Google with something inconsequential and fine Google some token amount that's a drop in the bucket for them.

      I would be very surprised if anything meaningful happens here. Most likely, it's just a show for the worried public's benefit.
      I totally agree, the FTC can fight with Google, but they won't get much out of it. Google is a huge company, one of the main competitors with Microsoft. The most that they will do is give a $50,000 fine to Google, or something similar to this.
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      • Profile picture of the author GlobalTrader
        Originally Posted by Ben Gordon View Post

        I totally agree, the FTC can fight with Google, but they won't get much out of it. Google is a huge company, one of the main competitors with Microsoft. The most that they will do is give a $50,000 fine to Google, or something similar to this.
        If they slap G with any kind of fine (which I doubt) then another dept of the govt will turn around and award them a lucrative contract to provide information on who and what is being searched.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I could understand if the newer "innovative searches" are the focus of the investigation. I don't view google as a monopoly - but manipulating the market is another issue.

        Following what you have been looking at online and tailoring ads to that - or offering google ad alternatives are presented as user friendly options. Is there a point at which "personal" search becomes self serving manipulation of results? I know my own reaction to some of the recent 'improvements' at google have been an instant search for how to turn off the new google function that was automatically added.

        It will be interesting to see the results of this investigation and to see what google offers as rebuttal.

        kay
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    • Profile picture of the author J Bold
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      That is nuts!!!

      How can they classify it a monopoly, when it is only guilty of out-competing the competition?

      Just because Yahoo and Bing and the other 50 search engines have sucked for years, does not mean that the Big G is monopolistic..



      p.s. Maybe in the future, I will be able to contact the Feds and get them to bring a suit against my competitors, when they beat me on the playing field.

      Just like they are teaching in schools today: there are no losers... we are all whiners...


      p.p.s. Helping a ********* to the ***** ***** could not save the big G from the mechanics of big **********.

      Yes but it's got nothing do with their search engine business that merely competes their competition. That way, way, way oversimplifies it.

      A previous investigation has got to do with how their search engine business, monetized with advertising, made them hugely powerful and rich, and they use that power to buy other companies that compete with them in internet advertising.

      This new investigation is probably more wide ranging, and since they control a large chunk of the search engine market, how they may use that dominance to unfairly prop up their own services over other service providers.

      You can still disagree with it, but it is what it is.
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    • Profile picture of the author azmanar
      Originally Posted by Devon Brown View Post

      Wow. What? That's a lot of asterisks!
      Hi Devon.

      You should know, sometimes Bill uses secret morse code.
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    • Profile picture of the author blueorca17
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      That is nuts!!!

      How can they classify it a monopoly, when it is only guilty of out-competing the competition?

      Just because Yahoo and Bing and the other 50 search engines have sucked for years, does not mean that the Big G is monopolistic..



      p.s. Maybe in the future, I will be able to contact the Feds and get them to bring a suit against my competitors, when they beat me on the playing field.

      Just like they are teaching in schools today: there are no losers... we are all whiners...


      p.p.s. Helping a ********* to the ***** ***** could not save the big G from the mechanics of big **********.
      I totally agree. It's not Google's fault that they make their services incredibly user friendly and deliver really relevant results. It's like the FTC is bashing them for being too cool and popular. Rediculous. They ARE whining. If competitiors want to get more of the market share then they need to make a better product/service. You're right. They need to stop whining.
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  • Profile picture of the author ladywriter
    What ramifications would this have for us, if the FTC succeeds?

    I don't know anything about what goes on at Google, but most alternatives to Google are inferior as far as I can see.
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by kstark View Post

      What ramifications would this have for us, if the FTC succeeds?

      I don't know anything about what goes on at Google, but most alternatives to Google are inferior as far as I can see.

      Most likely, Google will pay a fine, then return to business as usual.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by kstark View Post

      What ramifications would this have for us, if the FTC succeeds?

      I don't know anything about what goes on at Google, but most alternatives to Google are inferior as far as I can see.
      This could be huge with major ramifications for marketers.

      This is not about "alternatives" to Google.

      It is about Google unfairly wielding it's search dominance to push people to its growing book of products, services, promotions and affiliates instead of using "search" to direct them to your services.

      Simple Example:

      You sell dog leashes online.

      Google decides it is going to sell dog leashes and when someone searches for dog leashes on Google, whaddya know, the top spot(s) are now for Google's own dog leash shop.

      You then have to apply for food stamps after your business craters.

      This has been happening and threatened in more and more niches. Health. Travel. Local listings. Reviews. Video. News.

      For some searches, literally the entire first page is virtually all Google properties. You only get on the 1st page if you pay for an Adwords listing.

      IMHO, this government action is way overdue. But I'm surprised given Google's public support for the Obama administration.

      What should happen is similar to what happened with Microsoft and its attempts to leverage the Windows operating system:

      Google should have its search business.

      Any business that benefits from search results should be spun-off because (1) Google has an impossible conflict of interest in being fair in its search results and to its stockholders, and (2) Google arguably has a monopoly share of search.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author Laurie Rogers
        I'll give you the real question... who contributes more money to the govt? Google or Microsoft? Microsoft has always got a beef with someone, even though they monopolize a lot of technology as well ... maybe a case of internal whining. Well we give more money than they do, so please do something and we'll give you more money ... come on now folks, this is what really happens, not like they actually have anyone's "best interests" at heart making these "tough decisions".
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        • Profile picture of the author Laurie Rogers
          Originally Posted by Steve Wells View Post

          The United States Citizens, the taxpayers..........
          That's not the question I asked, I asked who gave more money to the govt, Google or Microsoft? Nothing about the US citizens was in my post.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        Simple Example:

        You sell dog leashes online.

        Google decides it is going to sell dog leashes and when someone searches for dog leashes on Google, whaddya know, the top spot(s) are now for Google's own dog leash shop.

        You then have to apply for food stamps after your business craters.

        This has been happening and threatened in more and more niches. Health. Travel. Local listings. Reviews. Video. News.

        For some searches, literally the entire first page is virtually all Google properties. You only get on the 1st page if you pay for an Adwords listing.
        Yet, for some reason, people continue to give Google the inside track by installing stuff like Google Analytics on their websites.
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      • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
        Banned
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        This could be huge with major ramifications for marketers.

        This is not about "alternatives" to Google.

        It is about Google unfairly wielding it's search dominance to push people to its growing book of products, services, promotions and affiliates instead of using "search" to direct them to your services.

        Simple Example:

        You sell dog leashes online.

        Google decides it is going to sell dog leashes and when someone searches for dog leashes on Google, whaddya know, the top spot(s) are now for Google's own dog leash shop.

        You then have to apply for food stamps after your business craters.

        This has been happening and threatened in more and more niches. Health. Travel. Local listings. Reviews. Video. News.

        For some searches, literally the entire first page is virtually all Google properties. You only get on the 1st page if you pay for an Adwords listing.

        IMHO, this government action is way overdue. But I'm surprised given Google's public support for the Obama administration.

        What should happen is similar to what happened with Microsoft and its attempts to leverage the Windows operating system:

        Google should have its search business.

        Any business that benefits from search results should be spun-off because (1) Google has an impossible conflict of interest in being fair in its search results and to its stockholders, and (2) Google arguably has a monopoly share of search.

        .
        I didn't realize we were entitled to high search rankings. Who knew? Basically, your entire argument against Google is what's wrong with the system, not what's right with it. Long overdue my a**...it should never happen.
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        • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
          Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

          I didn't realize we were entitled to high search rankings. Who knew? Basically, your entire argument against Google is what's wrong with the system, not what's right with it. Long overdue my a**...it should never happen.
          No one said anything about being "entitled" to a "high" search ranking. And investigations happen because something is wrong, not with what is working.

          The government is looking into "fair" rankings.

          Are we entitled to "fair" search rankings?

          I'll be first in line to talk about free enterprise.

          Uh, well, until it is my ox getting gored by an evil monopoly that is abusing its position in one business (search) to harm my business (anything but search).

          (Admittedly, when I get a monopoly in something I'll have to delete this post. Us lawyers are real good at arguing any perspective of an issue.)

          These days Google is an outright competitor - and at the same time starting to push other online businesses off or down its search listings in topics as diverse as credit cards, shoes, books, weddings, and project software.

          Search, presumably, is to provide the information a person is searching for. When "search" morphs into favoring Google's own properties the question becomes is that fair?

          There's no clear answer on that.

          But if the favoritism is combined with monopoly power then it is not just a question of fairness, but being illegal.

          Monopolies are illegal for many reasons. Not just the goring of my bank account. They also stifle innovation, harm competition, increase prices, etc.

          Basically, power corrupts.

          Is Google a search engine to find stuff on the Internet, or is Google a search engine to find stuff controlled by Google?

          So ...

          BHC has an online business selling cat collars. Google controls a monopoly of traffic for people searching for cat collars. BHC has, by any account, the best cat collar website around and is making good money. Is BHC solely reliant on Google? No. But because Google has the search traffic a necessary result is a significant portion of BHC's income comes from Google.

          BHC is then eliminated from the first page of Google. Not because it no longer has the best cat collar site, but because the first page is now consumed with Google properties about cat collars: Google guides to cat collars, YouTube videos, Google ebook store books, Google affiliate network sellers, BHC's piss-poor competitor that Google just bought, etc.

          The end result is BHC makes less money. Perhaps not enough to keep innovating or to stay in business. Adios BHC.

          If that's fine with you it's fine with you.

          Who knows what the outcome of the investigation will be. No claims have been made Google is a monopoly. Or if it is that it is abusing its position.

          But many have seen what is happening with Google and understand what the future will bring. It's not pretty.

          .
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

            No one said anything about being "entitled" to a "high" search ranking. And investigations happen because something is wrong, not with what is working.

            The government is looking into "fair" rankings.

            Are we entitled to "fair" search rankings?

            I'll be first in line to talk about free enterprise.

            Uh, well, until it is my ox getting gored by an evil monopoly that is abusing its position in one business (search) to harm my business (anything but search).

            Define "fair rankings".

            Is it "unfair" if you don't rank on page one of Google, and I do?

            Would it be more "fair" if you ranked on page one instead of me?

            Would it be more "fair" if neither of us or both of us landed on page one?

            There are only ten results on page one, and if there are more than ten competitors in that niche, then someone will always be claiming that things are "unfair", because they are not able to suck the tit of the Google gravy train!!

            Who is going to define "fair" for us in a way that all of us will agree is "fair"? You? Or some government bureaucrat? LOL
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            • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
              Originally Posted by tpw View Post

              Define "fair rankings".

              Is it "unfair" if you don't rank on page one of Google, and I do?

              Would it be more "fair" if you ranked on page one instead of me?

              Would it be more "fair" if neither of us or both of us landed on page one?

              There are only ten results on page one, and if there are more than ten competitors in that niche, then someone will always be claiming that things are "unfair", because they are not able to suck the tit of the Google gravy train!!

              Who is going to define "fair" for us in a way that all of us will agree is "fair"? You? Or some government bureaucrat? LOL
              I don't think it's about "normal results", though, Bill. It's about those "special results" (for lack of a better description).

              If you search for "buy cat collars", the sites with the most backlinks and authority for that term search should, by rights, appear highest in the SERPs. And they will. But they'll be split by Google insertion of "special results" in a prominent place, detracting from the exposure that those regular organic results would normally receive.

              Those special results aren't computed by the same algorithm, and indeed the products/services/companies contained within them are (usually) limited to those specifically submitted to and approved by Google. Google may or may not charge a fee for those listings or even take a commission from their take-up, but they're typically subject to a stringent approvals process whose requirements are beyond the scope of being met by "the average Joe".

              So it's not even about Google championing its own services inasmuch as it is about championing the services of those "big and bad" enough to make it under their wing, who Google also potentially profits from (or may do in the future).

              No-one is saying Google's in the right or in the wrong, yet, anyway. This is what's set to be determined in due course. But without such investigations and deliberations, such determinations cannot be made. And if determinations aren't made, monopolies will run rampant simply because its not in their nature to "self-regulate".

              You could almost liken the argument against this as saying "right, take all the police patrols off the streets and investigate crimes/offences only after they've been reported, or committed publicly - being proactive is ridiculous, expensive and only costs us our freedoms".
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              • Profile picture of the author tpw
                Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

                If you search for "buy cat collars", the sites with the most backlinks and authority for that term search should, by rights, appear highest in the SERPs. And they will. But they'll be split by Google insertion of "special results" in a prominent place, detracting from the exposure that those regular organic results would normally receive.

                Those special results aren't computed by the same algorithm, and indeed the products/services/companies contained within them are (usually) limited to those specifically submitted to and approved by Google. Google may or may not charge a fee for those listings or even take a commission from their take-up, but they're typically subject to a stringent approvals process whose requirements are beyond the scope of being met by "the average Joe".

                There was no firestorm of protest when Google started mixing other special results in the results, such as: images, videos, news, tweets, local results, etc.

                We did not care then, because they were not actually making money off those listings.

                But then again, when they first introduced Adwords, people were pitching a bitch-fit about that.

                We only cry, when they set up the game so that they can make more money.

                As long as Google isn't preventing us from buying advertising on someone else's site, then there is no issue.

                They get to choose who advertises on their site, who they let have free advertising, and what rates they will charge their advertisers. These are the same rights enjoyed by all other websites online.

                But, because Google is bigger than everyone else, it is a problem when "they" exercise their rights?

                Really people?

                **** rolls downhill, and if we enforce these draconian standards against Google, then we will pay the piper.
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                • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
                  Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                  There was no firestorm of protest when Google started mixing other special results in the results, such as: images, videos, news, tweets, local results, etc.
                  Says who? :p

                  Personally, I admit I do use Google to find images, but for everything else I head to a dedicated site (YouTube for videos; BBC / The Independent, etc., for news; and I have little interest in "what's being discussed on Twitter" at all) or look said thing up manually using their regular search.

                  I don't like the fact they've got all this extra crap cluttering up their results that I seldom (if ever) want to see and never really use.

                  Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                  We did not care then, because they were not actually making money off those listings.
                  It's not that the school bully gets to sleep with all the hot girls because he's muscular and attractive; it's that he cut off your assets and left you unattractive to them, then chained you up in the boiler-room, out of sight, so that they couldn't even take pity on you.

                  It's not just about Google making a profit: it's less about that than it is whether they're using (or abusing) their position to deprive others of "theirs".

                  That's the rather unsavoury consequence of monopolistic behaviour, isn't it? The "evil" isn't in that one company making a lot of money (perhaps more than everyone else), it's that they make it hard for others to make any money, or get a foot-hold, at all.

                  As someone else (Brian???) said, it's about preventing competition and stifling innovation. (And perhaps doing things without proper disclosure, for which there's a legal requirement to have one and with which "everyone else" complies.)

                  One's size, power, reach and influence are all things that factor into how "well" one's able to do that, of course, and how much of a threat one becomes.

                  It doesn't much matter whether Google's the "go-to" seach engine by sheer force or as a result of people's individual choice: the fact is that they are, and certain responsibilities and considerations are conferred along with that position. Until they have "real, substantial competition", they're treading a fine line doing some of the things they do.

                  Whether any of what they do is in fact "at the insuperable expense of others" is likely what's to be determined by this, no?

                  I for one would rather a formal, fair and in-depth look into this, rather than to rely on the superficial observations and gut-reactive moralistic opinion of community forum members, when it comes to determinining whether a gigantic, powerful, multi-billion-dollar corporation - whose name many people consider synonymous with "the internet" or "searching the web" - is in violation of any laws/regulations, and whether, as a consequence, changes are called for in their operational practices / structure.

                  Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                  But, because Google is bigger than everyone else, it is a problem when "they" exercise their rights?
                  Well ... more or less, yes.
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            • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
              Originally Posted by tpw View Post

              Who is going to define "fair" for us in a way that all of us will agree is "fair"? You? Or some government bureaucrat? LOL
              Good points as always Bill.

              I vote for me

              Actually, no one is going to ever agree about what is "fair" in the search rankings of other websites.

              If you're on top it's fair. If not it's not.

              But perhaps you would agree that taking whatever algorithm Google has for rankings, if the ranked websites are pushed down in the rankings because Google is now placing its content and properties ahead of them, that will reduce the traffic to those websites.

              And perhaps you would agree that if traffic is reduced then revenue is reduced.

              General principles here. There are always exceptions.

              Now, perhaps you would agree that the FTC has numerous disclosure requirements so that consumers can properly and fairly evaluate what they are looking at. For instance, that you disclose an affiliate or other paid relationship when recommending a product because that could bias your review or content, and the consumer has the right to know of that possible bias.

              Hopefully, I've got 3 yesses from you at this point. If not, I'll have to go back and rework my cross-examination.

              Then perhaps you would agree that except for the Adwords listings Google is not disclosing it's self interest in listing it's properties and content ahead of those websites it's computer algorithm ranked. Or that it owns or controls various websites or content that are listed.

              You might have uncertainty about that. I just did a search for

              sacramento to san francisco flight

              The #1 listing is a Google listing and the only airline it shows flying from Sacramento to San Francisco is United - with a link to the United website with all sorts of extra code that "might" be tracking / affiliate code.

              Now, while some may call Sacramento a cow town, I assure you United is not the only carrier flying to San Francisco.

              Interestingly, make of it what you will, there are only 2 Adwords Ads for this search. The top one is for United.

              So if you had uncertainty about the last question, perhaps you would agree this is a little suspicious - and wonder why Google is only showing United as flying from Sacramento to San Francisco when in fact Sacramento's most popular carrier is Southwest.

              As you're thinking about this, you may be interested to know that United does not fly from Sacramento to San Francisco, unless maybe for a leg on a longer flight. (To be fair, an airline called Skywest does, and United has an arrangement to operate Skywest flights.)

              Perhaps you would agree Matt Cutts is on record, numerous times, talking about how Google's rankings cannot be bought, are "fair", and solely dictated by computers without human intervention.

              You might also agree, although this would require subpoenas to Google to know for sure, that "fair" computer rankings without human intervention would not place content and properties owned by Google at the top of the search rankings.

              And they probably would not list United as the only airline flying from Sacramento to San Francisco

              Don't know if have 6 yesses from you at this point. Maybe none - you're being tough on me today.

              But if so, then maybe you see why the FTC is "investigating" by issuing subpoenas.

              .
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              • Profile picture of the author tpw
                Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

                Good points as always Bill.

                Thanks.


                Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

                I vote for me

                As long as it is not me. I would not want the job.

                I get enough nagging from my wife.

                And there are millions of unsatisfied webmasters, whining about how they cannot be in Google and Google just isn't fair. :p


                Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

                Actually, no one is going to ever agree about what is "fair" in the search rankings of other websites.

                If you're on top it's fair. If not it's not.

                But perhaps you would agree that taking whatever algorithm Google has for rankings, if the ranked websites are pushed down in the rankings because Google is now placing its content and properties ahead of them, that will reduce the traffic to those websites.

                And perhaps you would agree that if traffic is reduced then revenue is reduced.

                General principles here. There are always exceptions.

                It is true that no one will ever agree on a "fair" arrangement.

                Self-interest will always get in the way of "fair"... That is just the human condition.

                Yes, if Google is putting their stuff on top of mine OR your stuff on top of mine, it will push my ranking down, and therefore my traffic down.

                I am fairly certain that this has been tested in court, where the plaintiff was suing Google for loss of revenue. As it should have been, those plaintiffs lost.


                Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

                Now, perhaps you would agree that the FTC has numerous disclosure requirements so that consumers can properly and fairly evaluate what they are looking at. For instance, that you disclose an affiliate or other paid relationship when recommending a product because that could bias your review or content, and the consumer has the right to know of that possible bias.

                Agree.

                And Adwords does say "Ad" in both blocks. If consumers are unwilling to read, then the consumer is to blame for their selective reading habits.

                As to Google showing their own properties in Google's search results, who is to say that they are cheating? They are just better at SEO than we are, because they know the inner-workings of their algorithms and we can only guess.

                I have at times seen Google properties at the top of the organic results, and I have seen their competition above them in the results... But this is only hearsay, because I did not screen shot the experience. Therefore, my testimony is not admissible in court.


                Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

                Hopefully, I've got 3 yesses from you at this point. If not, I'll have to go back and rework my cross-examination.

                Let's see... Yes, Yes and Yes.

                You're good.


                Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

                Then perhaps you would agree that except for the Adwords listings Google is not disclosing it's self interest in listing it's properties and content ahead of those websites it's computer algorithm ranked. Or that it owns or controls various websites or content that are listed.

                You might have uncertainty about that. I just did a search for

                sacramento to san francisco flight

                The #1 listing is a Google listing and the only airline it shows flying from Sacramento to San Francisco is United - with a link to the United website with all sorts of extra code that "might" be tracking / affiliate code.

                Now, while some may call Sacramento a cow town, I assure you United is not the only carrier flying to San Francisco.

                Interestingly, make of it what you will, there are only 2 Adwords Ads for this search. The top one is for United.

                So if you had uncertainty about the last question, perhaps you would agree this is a little suspicious - and wonder why Google is only showing United as flying from Sacramento to San Francisco when in fact Sacramento's most popular carrier is Southwest.

                As you're thinking about this, you may be interested to know that United does not fly from Sacramento to San Francisco, unless maybe for a leg on a longer flight. (To be fair, an airline called Skywest does, and United has an arrangement to operate Skywest flights.)

                If they are listing something in Adwords, that is disclosed, unless you are one of those people with selective vision.

                If they wrote an exclusive deal with United Airlines that pays a premium to Google for exclusive placement for United, then that would be within Google's rights to do.

                With Adwords, it is easy to believe that possible.

                With the organic results, it is easy to believe that Google helped United SEO its website.

                Yes, it is very suspicious that only United ranks in the organic listings, even if United was advised how to SEO for that term.

                The only business that I believe that Google should not be involved is SEO, because they would be selling their organic placements to the highest bidder.

                Even if Google sold SEO services to United for the organic listings, that would not be a violation in my mind of unfair business practices, because other websites are not required to disclose who does their SEO work.

                But I definitely do not think that Google should be in the SEO business, because it undermines their credibility.

                I will give you half a point here.


                Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

                Perhaps you would agree Matt Cutts is on record, numerous times, talking about how Google's rankings cannot be bought, are "fair", and solely dictated by computers without human intervention.

                I read him a lot, and I have never seen him state that positively.

                Instead, I have heard him say that "Google would prefer to find an algorithmic solution to any problems in its search results that they want to address."

                "Prefer" is not an absolute.

                I have also heard him say that they have manually changed things in their algorithms.

                You are speaking to people's perceptions of Google, not Google's official position.

                Minus one.


                Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

                You might also agree, although this would require subpoenas to Google to know for sure, that "fair" computer rankings without human intervention would not place content and properties owned by Google at the top of the search rankings.

                And they probably would not list United as the only airline flying from Sacramento to San Francisco

                1. Google does not claim "no human intervention" in their rankings.

                2. It is their algorithm, and the courts have upheld their ability to change the algos as they see fit to do.

                3. Computer algorithms often do place Google properties at the top of the list, which is because no one knows SEO better than the folks at Google. (Some people are drooling at this admission, but I am not done with this part. See #8 and #9.)

                4. Computer algorithms do not always put Google properties at the top of the list.

                5. It would be understandable if United was the only listing in the paid results, IF United purchased the premium exclusive listing there.

                6. It would be odd for United to have the only page one slot for that flight path.

                7. The organic listings are free advertising for other parties. Google has never asked the public to pay for those organic listings, at least not yet. If they get into the SEO biz, that will change.

                8. If I do a top ten list of niche websites on my website, it is biased naturally, because I am placing my subjective bias into the ranking. Google does the same, and always has done so. Every tweak to their algorithm is intended to exclude someone from the search results and to help others move forward in the results. It is the nature of the beast. Google management decides how the mathematical formulas should be organized, so it is only as "fair" as Google management believes that it should be.

                9. On most of my websites, the articles are the content. On some sites, the sales copy is the content. On Google, the top ten list giving free advertising to others is the content.

                In #8, I already established that Google is biased always in its organic listings. If it is biased towards a paid advertiser in its organic listings, I would not be surprised at that. Google's search results are biased from beginning to end, so where is the sudden surprise that Google's management is biased towards United in the organic results?

                10. Who is truly surprised that Google has biases? Only those who want to believe that a business could ever be 100% altruistic. LOL



                Since your second sentence in this section was a carry-over from your original point, I will not give you any plus points on that one.

                In the end, I have to give you another minus one here.



                Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

                Don't know if have 6 yesses from you at this point. Maybe none - you're being tough on me today.

                But if so, then maybe you see why the FTC is "investigating" by issuing subpoenas.

                .

                FINAL SCORE: 3.5 of 6

                I guess you will "have to go back and rework your cross-examination".

                Nice try though. You have done your darned best to sway me...

                I understand "investigating", but investigations should not presume guilt of the party investigated, whether it is an individual or company.

                You know about this stuff more than I do, but does anyone ever win their innocence, after the FTC has decided to take a shot at them?

                Not to my knowledge.

                As Dan said, this will likely be a dog and pony show. And Google will lose, pay its fines, then return to business as usual.

                From what I hear, THAT is the American Way of doing business...
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          • Profile picture of the author OutOfThisWord
            By arbitrarily assigning a 'quality score' to a landing page, Big G is... in effect... determining the cost of marketing for some businesses, rather than have that determination rest in the free marketplace.

            What if next Super Bowl, the network broadcasting the game suddenly says to Go Daddy that they think their ad is of lower quality than the Doritos ad and then proceeds to charge them more for the same 30 sec. of airtime?

            Or what if the Post Office started telling direct mailers what they considered to be an acceptable direct mail letter? Or even they did not think 'long form' direct mail letters were of high quality and therefore would not deliver the mail?

            Anytime any business with a dominant position in the marketplace starts to dictate pricing, someone whose job it is to look into stuff like that, will look into it.

            And it Big G's case, it's about time.
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          • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
            Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

            Is Google a search engine to find stuff on the Internet, or is Google a search engine to find stuff controlled by Google?

            So ...

            BHC has an online business selling cat collars. Google controls a monopoly of traffic for people searching for cat collars. BHC has, by any account, the best cat collar website around and is making good money. Is BHC solely reliant on Google? No. But because Google has the search traffic a necessary result is a significant portion of BHC's income comes from Google.

            BHC is then eliminated from the first page of Google. Not because it no longer has the best cat collar site, but because the first page is now consumed with Google properties about cat collars: Google guides to cat collars, YouTube videos, Google ebook store books, Google affiliate network sellers, BHC's piss-poor competitor that Google just bought, etc.

            The end result is BHC makes less money. Perhaps not enough to keep innovating or to stay in business. Adios BHC.
            It looks to me like the end result is BHC has everything they had before they partnered with Google.

            They have all the income from their direct response advertising campaigns, their TV ads, their newspaper ads, their email campaigns, their telemarketing efforts, their trade show appearences, their radio ads, their magazine ads, their brick and morter business if they choose to have one, etc.

            What am I missing here?

            Google was sending them business and now Google OWES them a living?

            Seriously?

            What are we striving for here in society? Alimony 2.0?

            It seems to me that once the consumers who use Google as a service come to understand that they are going to Google and Google is serving up Google products it's up the the consumers to make or break Google.

            If this Anti-Trust investigation was about them strong-arming cell phone companies or ISPs or computer makers, or any other part of the technology spectrum demanding exclusivity and demonstrating they have the power to crush them it would be a different matter.

            But that article wasn't talking about that.

            ~Bill
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            • Profile picture of the author tpw
              Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

              Google was sending them business and now Google OWES them a living?

              Seriously?

              What are we striving for here in society? Alimony 2.0?

              Alimony 2.0...

              Nice one.


              Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

              If this Anti-Trust investigation was about them strong-arming cell phone companies or ISPs or computer makers, or any other part of the technology spectrum demanding exclusivity and demonstrating they have the power to crush them it would be a different matter.

              Agree 100%.

              If I remember right, that was the basis for the anti-trust litigation against Microsoft, which I felt was just.
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      • Profile picture of the author DrewClement
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        This could be huge with major ramifications for marketers.

        This is not about "alternatives" to Google.

        It is about Google unfairly wielding it's search dominance to push people to its growing book of products, services, promotions and affiliates instead of using "search" to direct them to your services.

        Simple Example:

        You sell dog leashes online.

        Google decides it is going to sell dog leashes and when someone searches for dog leashes on Google, whaddya know, the top spot(s) are now for Google's own dog leash shop.

        You then have to apply for food stamps after your business craters.

        This has been happening and threatened in more and more niches. Health. Travel. Local listings. Reviews. Video. News.

        For some searches, literally the entire first page is virtually all Google properties. You only get on the 1st page if you pay for an Adwords listing.

        IMHO, this government action is way overdue. But I'm surprised given Google's public support for the Obama administration.

        What should happen is similar to what happened with Microsoft and its attempts to leverage the Windows operating system:

        Google should have its search business.

        Any business that benefits from search results should be spun-off because (1) Google has an impossible conflict of interest in being fair in its search results and to its stockholders, and (2) Google arguably has a monopoly share of search.

        .
        This is the side of the argument that constantly blows my mind. Anti-trust etc? Are you kidding me?

        It's Google...their search engine, their algorithm, their hosting, their domain, their property.

        No one HAS to use this search engine and in no way is it the only one out there.

        It's similar to suing a restaurant for conflict of interest simply because they put ONLY their own recipes and items on their menu. You want to eat something else? Go to a different restaurant.

        Why would Google in any way be responsible for listing competing companies ahead of themselves?

        What a crock of sh*t
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
          Originally Posted by DrewClement View Post

          Why would Google in any way be responsible for listing competing companies ahead of themselves?
          Because Google is a search engine. Consumers expect that a search engine is going to give them the best, most relevant sites on the Internet for what they are searching for.

          It would be like going to Consumer Reports to look for the best TV to buy and having the #1 TV being a Consumer Reports brand television.
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          • Profile picture of the author Roaddog
            Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

            Because Google is a search engine. Consumers expect that a search engine is going to give them the best, most relevant sites on the Internet for what they are searching for.

            It would be like going to Consumer Reports to look for the best TV to buy and having the #1 TV being a Consumer Reports brand television.

            Exactly, a little sanity.:rolleyes:

            It is a conflict of interest...
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            • Profile picture of the author tpw
              Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

              Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

              Because Google is a search engine. Consumers expect that a search engine is going to give them the best, most relevant sites on the Internet for what they are searching for.

              It would be like going to Consumer Reports to look for the best TV to buy and having the #1 TV being a Consumer Reports brand television.

              Exactly, a little sanity.:rolleyes:

              It is a conflict of interest...

              I must be dense...

              Since when are search engines held to a higher standard than other websites or publications?

              Consumer Reports does not accept advertising, because they want to protect the integrity of their reporting, not because some government schmuck mandated it.

              Other popular magazines write product reviews also, AND accept advertising from the companies they write about, and not a single eyebrow is raised.

              Some magazines and media companies sell products in the area that we consider their editorial turf as well. No big deal.

              But if Google does it, we have to launch an antitrust suit?
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              • Profile picture of the author Roaddog
                Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                I must be dense...

                Since when are search engines held to a higher standard than other websites or publications?

                Consumer Reports does not accept advertising, because they want to protect the integrity of their reporting, not because some government schmuck mandated it.

                Other popular magazines write product reviews also, AND accept advertising from the companies they write about, and not a single eyebrow is raised.

                But if Google does it, we have to launch an antitrust suit?

                Yea and I trust Consumer Reports more because of that fact.

                While I most certainly can't speak for Dan.. I think he nailed it...people expect a search engine to give the best, most relevant results, not skewed in their favor.

                Fact is, it is a law, and I'm happy to see it.

                As far as why Goog...

                There's an old Japanese proverb,
                The nail that sticks out, is the one that is hammered...
                and that is also a fact,

                unfair? Maybe.

                Nobody has enough funds or manpower to go after everything..
                That's when you hit the biggest threat first.

                They have certainly done a good job of sticking out, and rubbing everyone's nose in it. Now they want to cheat too?
                So they should just go unregulated?

                The only thing that surprises me is the fact that anyone is defending them.


                IMO, people are going to extremely sorry when there are only a couple of huge unregulated corporations running it all.

                Which is the way things are heading.
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                • Profile picture of the author tpw
                  Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

                  While I most certainly can't speak for Dan.. I think he nailed it...people expect a search engine to give the best, most relevant results, not skewed in their favor.

                  Fact is, it is a law, and I'm happy to see it.

                  Generally, I agree with you and Dan... Not this time...

                  Which law are you talking about exactly? The one that says that "search engine results must be fair and unbiased?"

                  I guess I missed that law...

                  But then it comes back to my other question, "Who defines fair?"

                  Of course, I do realize that you are talking about anti-trust laws...


                  Antitrust laws, or competition laws, are laws which prohibit anti-competitive behavior and unfair business practices. The laws make illegal certain practices deemed to hurt businesses or consumers or both, or generally to violate standards of ethical behavior. Government agencies known as competition regulators regulate antitrust laws, and may also be responsible for regulating related laws dealing with consumer protection. Antitrust laws become a legislative inducement towards fairness and are used as a key for principled business relationships.

                  -- Source
                  -- Alternate Definitions from the Google Dictionary

                  I am still convinced that the Google business practices do not yet rise to the level of "unfair business practices".

                  But if we want to persecute them for those things they have yet to do, you better send the cops to my house, because one of these days, I am going to kill my children.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Roaddog
                    Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                    Generally, I agree with you and Dan... Not this time...

                    Which law are you talking about exactly? The one that says that "search engine results must be fair and unbiased?"

                    I guess I missed that law...

                    But then it comes back to my other question, "Who defines fair?"

                    Of course, I do realize that you are talking about anti-trust laws...





                    I am still convinced that the Google business practices do not yet rise to the level of "unfair business practices".

                    But if we want to persecute them for those things they have yet to do, you better send the cops to my house, because one of these days, I am going to kill my children.


                    In a nutshell (as I understand it) Google is trying to aim search results at their own properties for their benefit, unfairly monopolizing search results.
                    When they are 'supposed' to be the best search results for the consumer (what they built themselves up to this point on) and not them.

                    The search engine side is conflicting with the advertising revenue side,
                    in fairness to the consumer.

                    Why have anti-trust laws at all then?





                    But if we want to persecute them for those things they have yet to do, you better send the cops to my house, because one of these days, I am going to kill my children.
                    Tell me about it, Bill.

                    Yesterday (short version) slingshots, broken windows, my kids, neighborhood kids, finger pointing...."I do not recall, Senator"


                    Apparently, the other parents and I did it....you know, since we're stuck paying the lady for two kitchen windows.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                      Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post


                      Apparently, the other parents and I did it....you know, since we're stuck paying the lady for two kitchen windows.

                      You need a little bit more faith in your children. Its a well known fact that tiny meteorites often make impact with windows just when children are playing outside. Many kids have testified of their existence . Its a government cover up of epic proportions and our children have to suffer the shame of not being believed.

                      Sometimes the meteorites hit the ground and then the window and have a stark comparison to a baseball but don't let that fool you.
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                    • Profile picture of the author tpw
                      Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

                      In a nutshell (as I understand it) Google is trying to aim search results at their own properties for their benefit, unfairly monopolizing search results.

                      When they are 'supposed' to be the best search results for the consumer (what they built themselves up to this point on) and not them.

                      The search engine side is conflicting with the advertising revenue side,
                      in fairness to the consumer.

                      Why have anti-trust laws at all then?

                      We have anti-trust laws for people who force their competition into unfriendly business arrangements.

                      But if I want to advertise on CNN, I have to play by their rules, or not spend my money with them.

                      If I want to advertise on Cnet, I have to pay the piper and do things their way.

                      When I want to get advertising on FaceBook, I need to adhere to FaceBook policies and prices.

                      Not once would I bemoan CNN, Cnet, or FaceBook for pushing their own products and services to me or other consumers, because after all, it is their storefront, for them to do with as they see fit.

                      But we are going to sanction Google for those things that the other giants do everyday? And more to the point, we are going to play the hypocrite saying it is okay for CNN, Cnet, FaceBook and OUR websites to do the things that they do, but not for Google?

                      There is nothing unfair, if Google wants to do with its website what it wants to do to make money.

                      They are not preventing their competition from advertising online. They are simply making their competition take backseat to their own advertising --- that is, if they are really doing that as many people have claimed.

                      Mike and I have never noticed it, but I am from Oklahoma and I don't know what Mike's excuse is.




                      Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

                      Tell me about it, Bill.

                      Yesterday (short version) slingshots, broken windows, my kids, neighborhood kids, finger pointing...."I do not recall Senator"

                      Apparently, the other parents and I did it....you know, since we're stuck paying the lady for two kitchen windows.

                      At the beginning of last summer, my kids were playing at the John Deete dealership behind our house, and they found keys left in one of the tractors.

                      Need I say more?

                      They spent the first half of the summer confined to their room.
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                      • Profile picture of the author gefflong
                        Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                        We have anti-trust laws for people who force their competition into unfriendly business arrangements.

                        But if I want to advertise on CNN, I have to play by their rules, or not spend my money with them.

                        If I want to advertise on Cnet, I have to pay the piper and do things their way.

                        When I want to get advertising on FaceBook, I need to adhere to FaceBook policies and prices.

                        Not once would I bemoan CNN, Cnet, or FaceBook for pushing their own products and services to me or other consumers, because after all, it is their storefront, for them to do with as they see fit.

                        But we are going to sanction Google for those things that the other giants do everyday? And more to the point, we are going to play the hypocrite saying it is okay for CNN, Cnet, FaceBook and OUR websites to do the things that they do, but not for Google?

                        There is nothing unfair, if Google wants to do with its website what it wants to do to make money.

                        They are not preventing their competition from advertising online. They are simply making their competition take backseat to their own advertising --- that is, if they are really doing that as many people have claimed.

                        Mike and I have never noticed it, but I am from Oklahoma and I don't know what Mike's excuse is.
                        That's not really the same thing.

                        As far as PAID advertising goes, Google does have their set of rules that everyone has to follow. Just like we have to follow ad rules on CNN, Facebook, etc.

                        The problem is with organic search results.

                        Please stop confusing the two.

                        Google is supposed to be a search engine. When they start ranking their own sites higher in the organic search ranking just because they can, that is a conflict of interest.

                        Hey, if they want to put their own ads first in the paid section... all is fair.

                        What is NOT fair is to do it in the organic search results.
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                        • Profile picture of the author tpw
                          Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

                          That's not really the same thing.

                          As far as PAID advertising goes, Google does have their set of rules that everyone has to follow. Just like we have to follow ad rules on CNN, Facebook, etc.

                          The problem is with organic search results.

                          Please stop confusing the two.

                          Google is supposed to be a search engine. When they start ranking their own sites higher in the organic search ranking just because they can, that is a conflict of interest.

                          Hey, if they want to put their own ads first in the paid section... all is fair.

                          What is NOT fair is to do it in the organic search results.

                          I think you misunderstand my POV. I am not confused, and I have not been talking only about Paid Results, but both paid and organic results.

                          And Brian Kindsvater is clearly talking about Paid Results, which I will address next.

                          The fact that Google is a "search engine" has no bearing on my argument.

                          A number of folks in this thread, including yourself, are attributing a different standard to Google than you are applying to other web properties. To the best of my knowledge, your position is not supported by legal statute.

                          The only reason the Feds are looking at them is because they are big, and their competitors are whining.

                          By your testimony and the testimonies of others, Google must be treated with a different standard, because you have set higher standards for them than you have set for others.

                          Google is simply a website that attracts a lot of visitors, and they sell advertising on their site to people who want to talk to their visitors.

                          That traffic going to Google is Google's users. They are free to present to those people what they want to present to them. If consumers start finding issue with what Google shows them, they will go to Google's competition, just as unwelcome advertisers go elsewhere to advertise.

                          FaceBook is nearly as big as Google, but we are not trying to dictate to them how they should present content to their users, but we see no problem dictating to Google how they should deliver content to their users.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                            Originally Posted by tpw View Post


                            A number of folks in this thread, including yourself, are attributing a different standard to Google than you are applying to other web properties. To the best of my knowledge, your position is not supported by legal statute. [
                            Sorry Tpw your argument holds no water. Antitrust laws are in fact supported by the statutes and we have the precedent of MS that makes things pretty clear. MS was not allowed to say that they can leverage the popularity of their own software to embed their browser into it and win the browser war. By your rationale its their software and if you don't like what they do with it then go elsewhere (MAC or Linux). This is not how antitrust laws see it. once you have a good stranglehold on the market you CANNOT use it to ensure you beat your competition into any market you choose. This is unfair market practices that Antitrust laws are built on. Say you don't like it but precedent shows very clearly it is in fact based on legal statutes

                            The only reason the Feds are looking at them is because they are big, and their competitors are whining.
                            No they are looking at them because their usage rates shows a percentage that indicates a stronghold which raises antitrust issues. Of course antitrust laws will ALWAYS be aimed at the big guys because if they are not big then they would not dominate the market and vice a versa. It doesn't matter that you don't like it . That's just the way the law works. Thats like complaining that abuse of power laws are discriminatory because they only target the powerful - Well yeah thats the whole idea.


                            That traffic going to Google is Google's users.They are free to present to those people what they want to present to them. They are free to present to those people what they want to present to them.
                            and MS can present to windows users what they want to present to their OS users? Do you remember nothing of that case that was firmly held up on the law? Someone else said it. We aren't understanding antitrust laws. None of this "its ours so we can do what we want" arguments can be leveraged against anti trust laws. Doesn't work.



                            FaceBook is nearly as big as Google, but we are not trying to dictate to them how they should present content to their users, but we see no problem dictating to Google how they should deliver content to their users.
                            If Facebook starts to use its domination in order to force its way into new markets while using internal policies to force competition downward then they would be next. the big difference is that Facebook will find it harder by the nature of their service to control competition. Google can merely move a competition down one spot artificially and take away a significant chunk of their income. Right now the worse facebook can do is shut down your page.

                            If you were right about this then MS would have had a greater and iron clad case more than Google could ever claim. MS windows was entirely theirs - intellectual property exclusively copyrighted to them and not dependent on any third party app or content.

                            Google's search engine has absolutely no value standing on its own. It needs to be connected to the public internet to have any customers and it has to pull content from millions of sites it does not hold copyright on.


                            It MS had to bow to antitrust laws with their 100% owned OS there is no weight to claiming that Google does not have to bow to antitrust laws should they be found to be one the wrong side of this probe.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                              Google is only one website and one advertising platform -- one out of millions of websites and advertising platforms!!

                              I sense that many people -- not just you -- are suffering from "Google Tunnel Vision"... The single-minded focus that ALL Traffic comes from ONLY one place -- Google.
                              As an aside since you brought it up Google is still one of the best traffic generators by far if you know how to use it. BY FAR. I know there are marketers and even some gurus that are claiming its time to dump Google and SEO because one day Google can just make your traffic stop.

                              Its actually quite false. Trafffic to a good site where you have done your job will always get repeat traffic. Too many marketers are concentrating on the numbers of new searchers that various terms get and claiming thats what SEO generates. The truth is those are mostly numbers of new searches for people who have not yet found what they are looking for. After you have done a few searches for a topic do you keep doing them? NO you know where to go and you bookmark and type in the url.

                              Thats still traffic that SEO generated - repeat traffic and it does not have to stop if tomorow you are not on the front page. If people would stop building just MFA sites where no one would ever return then they would see that a term that only gets 6,000 searches a month over time can start bringing in 20,000 visits a month and 14,000 no matter where you are on in Google.
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                              • Profile picture of the author tpw
                                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                                As an aside since you brought it up Google is still one of the best traffic generators by far if you know how to use it. BY FAR. I know there are marketers and even some gurus that are claiming its time to dump Google and SEO because one day Google can just make your traffic stop.

                                I am not saying that Google is not a traffic powerhouse for those fortunate enough to get their links seen in it.

                                Google is still huge for traffic generation, and I would never suggest for anyone to dump it as a traffic source.

                                Instead, I advise diversification of traffic sources.

                                Don't rely only on Google, but don't kick them out of bed either. :p
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                      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                        Originally Posted by tpw View Post


                        Mike and I have never noticed it, but I am from Oklahoma and I don't know what Mike's excuse is.
                        Florida but its flat as a pancake so maybe I don't have a good view. Mind you I don't entirely agree that they can do what they want. If they put themselves in first place in the organic listings then I am not up for that and its false advertising of their stated intent to make sure the best sites for a keyword are the best and most relevant. If they put it in their paid or advertised section and mark it as such then fine I have to live with it but in the organic listing its somewhat editorial and its unfairly using their leverage. So we probably disagree there (I just haven't seen it to the degree that some are claiming and I think I ought to have seen it considering how neck deep I am in serps almost daily.)

                        I already think that their stance on not buying links etc because it allegedly spoils the integrity of the search results is a bit bogus considering that you can flat out buy the top spots of any serp (whether you call it paid or organic) but doing it in the organic listings to me would be a manipulation that would rise to a near illegal abuse of their power as the dominant search engine in the world. In the organics everyone should play by the same factors not manually override what the public sees because its your site.

                        Why not because its your site? Because you sold to the public that sites rank based on relevance and votes from the community. You can't say you put the best sites in the winning spot according to certain public criteria and votes and then say oops unless we have a business we want to give the prize to based on our own interests.
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

                  As far as why Goog...

                  There's an old Japanese proverb,
                  The nail that sticks out, is the one that is hammered...
                  and that is also a fact,

                  unfair? Maybe.
                  Actually its not even unfair. The assumption is just being made on thin air that Yahoo will be allowed to continue with placing what they want in their results if the FTC rules against Google. Theres nothing to suggest that would be the case.

                  You go after the big fish because when you get them the littler fish fall into line faster and cheaper. You don't need to open up probes of all companies at the same time to correct a bad practice. If Apple had any plans at embedding Safari so deep into their OS that it could't be removed I bet the idea came off the table mighty quick when the FTC told MS no way. Plus its just easier to make an antitrust case stick when the company has a majority of users over companies that have a little share.

                  Its all just practical no sinister grudge against success. at least not in this.
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

            Because Google is a search engine. Consumers expect that a search engine is going to give them the best, most relevant sites on the Internet for what they are searching for.

            It would be like going to Consumer Reports to look for the best TV to buy and having the #1 TV being a Consumer Reports brand television.

            That sounds a lot like a trip to Yahoo...

            So, if Yahoo is a search engine, why is it okay for them to have dozens of Yahoo properties listed on the front page of their website and in its search results, but not okay for Google to do?

            I know... they are the little guy of search...
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            • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
              Originally Posted by tpw View Post

              That sounds a lot like a trip to Yahoo...

              So, if Yahoo is a search engine, why is it okay for them to have dozens of Yahoo properties listed on the front page of their website and in its search results, but not okay for Google to do?

              I know... they are the little guy of search...
              Yahoo's not a search engine anymore. No one knows what Yahoo is anymore. Yahoo doesn't know what Yahoo is anymore. They're run by a bunch of yahoos.
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              • Profile picture of the author Laurie Rogers
                Sorry but I disagree with this BIG time, ever dabble in media buying? Yahoo is in the top 20 places for media buys and it doesn't come at a cheap price either, you don't get that IF people don't know who yahoo is anymore.

                Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

                Yahoo's not a search engine anymore. No one knows what Yahoo is anymore. Yahoo doesn't know what Yahoo is anymore. They're run by a bunch of yahoos.
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              • Profile picture of the author 2011profit
                Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

                Yahoo's not a search engine anymore. No one knows what Yahoo is anymore. Yahoo doesn't know what Yahoo is anymore. They're run by a bunch of yahoos.

                That is absolutely way too bad if that's the case. But I have to disagree with you. Yahoo is still there for a lot of people out there.
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          • Profile picture of the author DrewClement
            Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

            Because Google is a search engine. Consumers expect that a search engine is going to give them the best, most relevant sites on the Internet for what they are searching for.

            It would be like going to Consumer Reports to look for the best TV to buy and having the #1 TV being a Consumer Reports brand television.
            I'm just tired of the FTC thinking they can somehow protect stupid people from their own stupidity.

            herp derp
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        • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
          Originally Posted by DrewClement View Post

          What a crock of sh*t
          Here's an interesting search on Google and some analysis:

          ยป Is Google Getting Into Flight Comparison Shopping? Angies Copywriting Services

          Google gives itself the 1st organic search listing. As noted in the story, Google may have been acting as an affiliate for some searches - which could violate FTC disclosure rules everyone else has to comply with.

          This is the type of possible sh*t that results in FTC investigations.

          Hard proof in that article? No. And I'm not spending my time hunting down something better to share.

          But hopefully the ramifications are obvious for what this would mean to the travel industry, the leverage Google would have, the effect on businesses Google decides not to favor, etc.

          Here is Google testing specific booking functionality for hotels that is getting real close to an affiliate model, or which effectively eliminates competition because there is no need to search on Google for anything beyond Google:

          Google brings hotel price ads and booking front and center | Tnooz

          As noted on highly respected and long-term SEO websites such as Aaron Wall's SEOBook.com, organic listings are disappearing from Google's search results.

          Here is a picture showing organic virtually gone for a search:

          FairSearch.org | Tnooz: “Organic search results for travel almost dead on Google”

          I believe SEOBook has similar pictures.


          (BTW Drew, let me give your company this plug: SellHealth is one of the best networks around for taking care of its affiliates. Maybe the best. Highly recommended.)

          .
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        • Profile picture of the author John Durham
          Originally Posted by DrewClement View Post

          This is the side of the argument that constantly blows my mind. Anti-trust etc? Are you kidding me?

          It's Google...their search engine, their algorithm, their hosting, their domain, their property.

          No one HAS to use this search engine and in no way is it the only one out there.

          It's similar to suing a restaurant for conflict of interest simply because they put ONLY their own recipes and items on their menu. You want to eat something else? Go to a different restaurant.

          Why would Google in any way be responsible for listing competing companies ahead of themselves?

          What a crock of sh*t
          Yes but if you were paying top dollar for a pie advertisement on their menu to sell your pie, and then the resturaunt, once they found out how well your pie sold at your expense, starts putting pie advertisements all over their menu so yours couldnt be noticed anymore?

          Using your customers as tracking devices so you can rub them out later and take their markets?

          Thats not loyal to your customers, nor holding their best interest at heart, nor ethical IMHO.

          Legal? Maybe...But not cool.

          On another note...

          Originally Posted by tpw View Post

          They are not celebrating because they know that Google has done wrong. They are celebrating because they think Google has too much power in the market place.
          Either way, its a natural fact, that when you get too big...people get sick of seeing you everywhere...

          Treu: People shouldnt be pissed at google when they are just naturally number one... but they are, and people shouldnt be pissed at a person who is RIGHT just because they are proud of it.

          BUT

          I have been taught the lesson more than once in my life that when you start getting cocky, right or wrong, everybody wants to see you fall off your horse. Google might be getting that lesson too... you can say "Im right" all day, but it doesnt stop the natural facts.

          Maybe someday I'll learn it!
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          • Profile picture of the author John Durham
            Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

            On another note...


            Either way, its a natural fact, that when you get too big...people get sick of seeing you everywhere...

            True: People shouldnt be pissed at google when they are just naturally number one... but they are, and people shouldnt be pissed at a person who is RIGHT just because they are proud of it.

            BUT

            I have been taught the lesson more than once in my life that when you start getting cocky, right or wrong, everybody wants to see you fall off your horse. Google might be getting that lesson too... you can say "Im right" all day, but it doesnt stop the natural facts.

            Maybe someday I'll learn it!
            Principles are natural facts that apply across the board, and above is the principle that drives this irritation in people.

            Not that I think its right...its just the natural result.
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            • Profile picture of the author tpw
              Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

              Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

              On another note...

              Either way, its a natural fact, that when you get too big...people get sick of seeing you everywhere...

              True: People shouldnt be pissed at google when they are just naturally number one... but they are, and people shouldnt be pissed at a person who is RIGHT just because they are proud of it.

              BUT

              I have been taught the lesson more than once in my life that when you start getting cocky, right or wrong, everybody wants to see you fall off your horse. Google might be getting that lesson too... you can say "Im right" all day, but it doesnt stop the natural facts.

              Maybe someday I'll learn it!

              Principles are natural facts that apply across the board, and above is the principle that drives this irritation in people.

              Not that I think its right...its just the natural result.

              I agree John.

              Thank you for saying so.
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              • Profile picture of the author John Durham
                Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                I agree John.

                Thank you for saying so.
                Sure, I posted twice because I was editing when you read the first time. I gotta stop doing that!
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        This could be huge with major ramifications for marketers.

        This is not about "alternatives" to Google.

        It is about Google unfairly wielding it's search dominance to push people to its growing book of products, services, promotions and affiliates instead of using "search" to direct them to your services.

        Simple Example:

        You sell dog leashes online.

        Google decides it is going to sell dog leashes and when someone searches for dog leashes on Google, whaddya know, the top spot(s) are now for Google's own dog leash shop.

        You then have to apply for food stamps after your business craters.

        This has been happening and threatened in more and more niches. Health. Travel. Local listings. Reviews. Video. News.

        For some searches, literally the entire first page is virtually all Google properties. You only get on the 1st page if you pay for an Adwords listing.

        IMHO, this government action is way overdue. But I'm surprised given Google's public support for the Obama administration.

        What should happen is similar to what happened with Microsoft and its attempts to leverage the Windows operating system:

        Google should have its search business.

        Any business that benefits from search results should be spun-off because (1) Google has an impossible conflict of interest in being fair in its search results and to its stockholders, and (2) Google arguably has a monopoly share of search.

        .

        To be fair, I was with you until you said, "For some searches, literally the entire first page is virtually all Google properties."

        You must be searching for different things than I search for.

        Then you said, "You only get on the 1st page if you pay for an Adwords listing."

        That would be because you suck at SEO. I have thousands of listings on page one Google search results, and I don't buy Adwords at all.



        Yes, they have been moving towards creating a situation where they are going to try to compete with their Adwords customers...

        I don't like that aspect of Google, but if they are moving their business model in that direction, it is their right to do so. They get to choose their business model, not us.

        Their job is to make a profit.

        If they decide it makes sense for them to get into other business models, and lead their users to their profit centers, that is their prerogative to do. (We have the right to do the same with our own properties.)

        If their users decide that is unfair or distasteful, their users will go elsewhere.

        If their users don't want to buy from Google, they won't.

        And if it ever becomes a situation where Google's products are all that is on page one, I suspect their users will leave in droves.

        The only rumor I have ever heard about Mountain View that I thought was definitely across the line is the rumor that Google is thinking about getting into the Search Engine Optimization business. That just smells like a great big turd.
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      • Profile picture of the author ladywriter
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        For some searches, literally the entire first page is virtually all Google properties.
        .
        Yeah see, this is what I was unaware of. I have not seen this, and I thought I was pretty informed on the Google properties....hm. Have to pay more attention.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by kstark View Post

          Yeah see, this is what I was unaware of. I have not seen this, and I thought I was pretty informed on the Google properties....hm. Have to pay more attention.
          Do SEO and only SEO and I can't say I have ever seen nothing but google properties on the front page of any serp I've looked at. exaggeration perhaps?
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        It is about Google unfairly wielding it's search dominance to push people to its growing book of products, services, promotions and affiliates instead of using "search" to direct them to your services.
        Yep ... this is all about Google's dominance in the search/advertising bus.

        The U.S. Justice Department currently is conducting an antitrust review of Google's recent purchase of Internet-advertising company Admeld Inc. for around $400 million, said people familiar with the probe.

        The new inquiry, by contrast, will examine fundamental issues relating to Google's core search-advertising business, said people familiar with the matter. The business is the source of most of Google's revenue. The issues include whether Google--which accounts for around two-thirds of Internet searches in the U.S. and more abroad--unfairly channels users to its own growing network of services at the expense of rival providers.
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

          Yep ... this is all about Google's dominance in the search/advertising bus.


          The issues include whether Google--which accounts for around two-thirds of Internet searches in the U.S. and more abroad--unfairly channels users to its own growing network of services at the expense of rival providers.

          Do I "unfairly channel my customers into products and services that I offer", because I link to my products and services, instead of the products and services of my competitors?

          I am certain my competitors DO lose money when I do that.

          You folks are marketers. Be very, very careful what you wish for...

          These kinds of things frequently come back to bite people in the ass, with unintended consequences.
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          • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
            Originally Posted by tpw View Post

            Do I "unfairly channel my customers into products and services that I offer", because I link to my products and services, instead of the products and services of my competitors?
            Really? Do you really not see the difference between your example and Google stacking the first page of results with its own properties?

            Now, I'm not saying that I agree that Google necessarily does this but I think that is the gist of the investigation.
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            • Profile picture of the author tpw
              Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

              Originally Posted by tpw View Post

              Do I "unfairly channel my customers into products and services that I offer", because I link to my products and services, instead of the products and services of my competitors?

              Really? Do you really not see the difference between your example and Google stacking the first page of results with its own properties?

              Now, I'm not saying that I agree that Google necessarily does this but I think that is the gist of the investigation.

              If I told you that my sites served over 500,000 unique visitors and 7 million page views in 2010, would you still think of me as one of the little guys that needs to be protected from the big G?

              It is all a matter of scale.

              If it is wrong for the big guy to do it, it will eventually be wrong for the little guy to do it too.

              **** rolls downhill.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

              Really? Do you really not see the difference between your example and Google stacking the first page of results with its own properties?
              Still would love to see an example of this. Anyone with a link

              the only one I have been able to find so far is this one

              google - Google Search

              but for obvious reasons thats not inappropriate
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              • Profile picture of the author tpw
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                Still would love to see an example of this. Anyone with a link

                the only one I have been able to find so far is this one

                google - Google Search

                but for obvious reasons thats not inappropriate

                I enjoyed a good laugh when I clicked your link.

                I don't think anyone will be able to rise to your challenge Mike.

                I have never seen such an example myself either.

                Next thing you know, Wash DC will be writing laws that force you and I to pay double-taxation, because we know how to dominate Google page one. :rolleyes: Don't you know, that is so "unfair" of us to have that kind of knowledge.
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                  I enjoyed a good laugh when I clicked your link.

                  I don't think anyone will be able to rise to your challenge Mike.
                  Hey but I still was wrong. I didn't notice number ten is wikipedia so I have no examples at all of this alleged practice.
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                  • Profile picture of the author TCrosby
                    I think there is an aspect to this which no one has yet to broach.

                    Some people are saying that google is using their platform to push their own stuff. Sure, It is after all their platform. People can use it or not use it. You can then come up with the argument like "people who pay with adwords are getting snubbed if google shows more of their own stuff." Reasonable point...

                    HOWEVER

                    It's too bad the government doesn't look at the big picture of where the internet is bringing mankind (I can't expect them to, but I still hate them for it). Google has REVOLUTIONIZED THE INTERNET. Google offers the top product in existence, in several different niches, and it keeps pumping out more. At what cost to the public? FREE.

                    I can't remember where, but there is a government in Europe that is pushing the internet as a "natural right" that every citizen should have. Sure, this will most likely just end up in some fees, but what is the ultimate punishment in monopoly investigations? Trying to break companies up. Trying to pick apart the monopoly. I know that realistically that isn't what is going to come of this, but the fact that the government is pursuing something in that line angers me. This is the company that provides the entire world with top of the line search, email, images, calendar, collaborative docs, and more... for free.

                    Sure Google is going to try and turn a profit. They are a damn business after all. But they provide the entire world with invaluable services for nothing.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                      Originally Posted by TCrosby View Post

                      Sure Google is going to try and turn a profit. They are a damn business after all. But they provide the entire world with invaluable services for nothing.

                      I really don't think most people are reading the link for this thread. No one is going after Google for being the top Search engine. They are asking questions (not even going after anyone) about how they are using their dominance to hamper competition in OTHER areas and services.

                      Incidentally why doesn't anyone gush about NBC , CNN, ABC providing all their entertainment and information services for free? Most of those have been doing it longer than there's been an internet. They don't do it for completely free either. Its just that the advertisers pay for it and Google has the very same business model and is getting paid for it quite handsomely.
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              • Profile picture of the author DrewClement
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                Still would love to see an example of this. Anyone with a link

                the only one I have been able to find so far is this one

                google - Google Search

                but for obvious reasons thats not inappropriate
                The funniest part of that search is that this is listed on the left side:


                Something different?

                yahoo
                altavista
                lycos
                excite
                hotbot
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  Originally Posted by DrewClement View Post

                  The funniest part of that search is that this is listed on the left side:


                  Something different?

                  yahoo
                  altavista
                  lycos
                  excite
                  hotbot

                  and the funnier thing about that list is it just conveniently leaves out the closest competitor that is taking more share than expected away from google - Bing
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              • Profile picture of the author mytoy78
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                Still would love to see an example of this. Anyone with a link

                the only one I have been able to find so far is this one

                google - Google Search

                but for obvious reasons thats not inappropriate

                Spot on...very amusing. Goggle is a company, that is led by profits. People have a choice of whether to use their service or not...No one is sat there with a gun to their head, forcing them to click through on Google.

                simple!
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                • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                  Originally Posted by mytoy78 View Post

                  Spot on...very amusing. Goggle is a company, that is led by profits. People have a choice of whether to use their service or not...No one is sat there with a gun to their head, forcing them to click through on Google.

                  simple!
                  We're from the government, we're here to help you.
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          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
            Banned
            Originally Posted by tpw View Post

            Do I "unfairly channel my customers into products and services that I offer", because I link to my products and services, instead of the products and services of my competitors?

            I am certain my competitors DO lose money when I do that.

            You folks are marketers. Be very, very careful what you wish for...

            These kinds of things frequently come back to bite people in the ass, with unintended consequences.
            Do you have the reach and coverage that G has? I wish I were big enough to have this problem.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          I've listened to both sides of the argument, and while both sides make valid
          points, I have to agree with Brian on this one.

          Here is why.

          Hypothetical example.

          Site A - Sells multiple products much in the way Amazon does. It is recognized
          as the authority in this area. It has millions of pages and backlinks. It virtually
          has no equal. It is # 1 in the SERPs.

          Google decides that they're going to create the same kind of site.

          They then arbitrarily take away many of the backlinks claiming that they are
          no longer relevant. They also knock down the PR of the site. And, with all
          the subsidiary listings Google plugs into page one, for the soul purpose of
          knocking this site off of page 1, suddenly the site's income drops by 50%
          almost overnight. The only people still buying are the loyal customers who
          have always purchased, like me.

          If you can't see the abuse here, well, I'll refrain from making the comment
          that I want to make because one banning from this place is enough for me,
          thank you.

          Sorry, Google needs to be taken down more than just a few pegs.

          Be a search engine or be a merchant.

          Beyond the problem of their actions, Google is perceived by the general
          public to be a non biased entity simply showing the most relevant results
          for a given search. If they end up stacking the deck by putting their own
          properties first, then they are no longer an unbiased search engine. They
          are a manipulative bunch of evil bastions that need to be dealt with and
          swiftly.

          Those of you on the other side of this argument won't agree with me, and
          that's fine.

          But when the day comes that Google is finally put out of business, I will be
          doing a song and dance that they're going to hear up on Mars.
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            I've listened to both sides of the argument, and while both sides make valid
            points, I have to agree with Brian on this one.

            Here is why.

            Hypothetical example.

            Site A - Sells multiple products much in the way Amazon does. It is recognized
            as the authority in this area. It has millions of pages and backlinks. It virtually
            has no equal. It is # 1 in the SERPs.

            Google decides that they're going to create the same kind of site.

            They then arbitrarily take away many of the backlinks claiming that they are
            no longer relevant. They also knock down the PR of the site. And, with all
            the subsidiary listings Google plugs into page one, for the soul purpose of
            knocking this site off of page 1, suddenly the site's income drops by 50%
            almost overnight. The only people still buying are the loyal customers who
            have always purchased, like me.

            If you can't see the abuse here, well, I'll refrain from making the comment
            that I want to make because one banning from this place is enough for me,
            thank you.

            Sorry, Google needs to be taken down more than just a few pegs.

            Be a search engine or be a merchant.

            Beyond the problem of their actions, Google is perceived by the general
            public to be a non biased entity simply showing the most relevant results
            for a given search. If they end up stacking the deck by putting their own
            properties first, then they are no longer an unbiased search engine. They
            are a manipulative bunch of evil bastions that need to be dealt with and
            swiftly.

            Those of you on the other side of this argument won't agree with me, and
            that's fine.

            But when the day comes that Google is finally put out of business, I will be
            doing a song and dance that they're going to hear up on Mars.

            LOL

            What we have here is a failure to communicate...



            I never thought of you Wags as someone who was wearing the Google Blinders. I always thought you got your traffic from a lot of sources like I do.

            Google is only one website and one advertising platform -- one out of millions of websites and advertising platforms!!

            I sense that many people -- not just you -- are suffering from "Google Tunnel Vision"... The single-minded focus that ALL Traffic comes from ONLY one place -- Google.

            If Google threw out link popularity tomorrow as a measuring stick, lots of marketers would whine and cry, but it is still within Google's right to do.

            People have tried suing Google before, for destroying their business with an algorithm change. Those cases never held up in a court of law, because why? Because Google gets to show on their own site what they want to show, regardless of what anyone else wishes they would do.
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            • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
              Originally Posted by tpw View Post

              LOL

              Because Google gets to show on their own site what they want to show, regardless of what anyone else wishes they would do.
              Really? So lets see...Google is the largest purveyor of search engine results. The results they deliver are trusted by the general public WORLD WIDE as REAL and UNBIASED. Then Google turns around and breaks that trust by altering the results the general public has become accustomed to seeing and trusting by inserting their own properties in the results.

              You don't see whats fundamentally wrong with that? Its not about us and our damn traffic and rankings, its about the USERS!
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              • Profile picture of the author tpw
                Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

                Really? So lets see...Google is the largest purveyor of search engine results. The results they deliver are trusted by the general public WORLD WIDE as REAL and UNBIASED. Then Google turns around and breaks that trust by altering the results the general public has become accustomed to seeing and trusting by inserting their own properties in the results.

                You don't see whats fundamentally wrong with that? Its not about us and our damn traffic and rankings, its about the USERS!

                You are talking about Google's branding... If they go against their own branding, that is going to piss off their users...

                Their users are free to go somewhere else...

                Your pissed because they are going against their branding... So be it... But it is not illegal for them to do it...

                They are doing it because they think they can get by with it with their users... It is a calculated risk that may come back to bite them in the ass... But going against your own branding is NOT illegal...
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                Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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                • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
                  Dood! Google brand means exactly what I mentioned in my previous post. In the users eyes Google equates to fair, relevant, unbiased search results.

                  Just like hamburger in most peoples minds means Mc Donalds.

                  You've totally missed the point.

                  Originally Posted by tpw View Post

                  You are talking about Google's branding... If they go against their own branding, that is going to piss off their users...

                  Their users are free to go somewhere else...

                  Your pissed because they are going against their branding... So be it... But it is not illegal for them to do it...

                  They are doing it because they think they can get by with it with their users... It is a calculated risk that may come back to bite them in the ass... But going against your own branding is NOT illegal...
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                  • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                    Wow! I'm shocked to see so many people who think that Google is doing nothing wrong.

                    Leaving out advertising, monopolies, anti-trust laws, paid rankings, organic rankings and comparisons to 'publications'...

                    I think that at the heart of the matter is where Bill said that Google it's acceptable for Google to risk ruining their 'brand' by not delivering the most relevant 'search results' to their users.

                    It's a Hell of a lot more than 'risking their brand.' It's DECEPTION.

                    They are 'deceiving' their users by promising something that they don't deliver (most relevant results) so that they can instead deliver something they can profit from.


                    Now I can't quote any laws on 'deceptive business practices,' but I'm sure there are some.

                    "Hey Bill, I've got this new software program, it's a 'wish genie' and every time you open it up, you are going to get exactly what you wish for."

                    So you take the software, and every time you open it up, you don't get what you wish for, you get whatever 'affiliate' product I want to show you so that if you buy it, I make money.

                    And it also does this other neat little magic trick that completely blocks your access to finding another genie in a bottle program.

                    Now, Bill, YOU have enough common sense to stop using the 'genie in the bottle software', but 'entire societies' are much slower to adapt to that process, especially when most of them aren't really even 'aware' that their being sold to to begin with.


                    And until that happens, Google is monopolizing on a stranglehold that it achieved on that very deception. And that does interfere with free trade.

                    -Dani

                    P.S. I don't have a dog in this show. I have only one blog that gets any SE traffic, and I only 'offer' SEO to local business clients who wont' be convinced that it's an unstable means of generating traffic and profits. I rely on reliable, targeted, paid advertising for my traffic.
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      • Profile picture of the author batchos
        Thanks for clarifying this issue for those who don't get it. As you said, the likely result is a brake up of the Google company. Those who warn about inferior products to Google's, have not been paying attention to Google's arbitrary actions of banishing people with lifetime bans from its products. In effect destroying people's business. Many states have now joined the investigation.


        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        This could be huge with major ramifications for marketers.

        This is not about "alternatives" to Google.

        It is about Google unfairly wielding it's search dominance to push people to its growing book of products, services, promotions and affiliates instead of using "search" to direct them to your services.

        Simple Example:

        You sell dog leashes online.

        Google decides it is going to sell dog leashes and when someone searches for dog leashes on Google, whaddya know, the top spot(s) are now for Google's own dog leash shop.

        You then have to apply for food stamps after your business craters.

        This has been happening and threatened in more and more niches. Health. Travel. Local listings. Reviews. Video. News.

        For some searches, literally the entire first page is virtually all Google properties. You only get on the 1st page if you pay for an Adwords listing.

        IMHO, this government action is way overdue. But I'm surprised given Google's public support for the Obama administration.

        What should happen is similar to what happened with Microsoft and its attempts to leverage the Windows operating system:

        Google should have its search business.

        Any business that benefits from search results should be spun-off because (1) Google has an impossible conflict of interest in being fair in its search results and to its stockholders, and (2) Google arguably has a monopoly share of search.

        .
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      • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        It is about Google unfairly wielding it's search dominance to push people to its growing book of products, services, promotions and affiliates instead of using "search" to direct them to your services.
        Next they will be claiming that Microsoft is a monopoly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by kstark View Post

      What ramifications would this have for us, if the FTC succeeds?

      I don't know anything about what goes on at Google, but most alternatives to Google are inferior as far as I can see.

      From what I am reading absolutely no ramifications since the probe is not about the search engine operation itself or even its dominance in being the most used service but how it is used to leverage the use of OTHER services the company offers.

      People are just getting all excited because the words Google, antitrust and feds raises certain emotions. FTC is no more going after the popularity of Google as a search engine than it was Microsoft for the popularity of Windows. Its merely looking at whether the popularity is being leveraged unfairly in other avenues (like when MS tried to leverage the popularity of Windows by forcing internet explorer into the OS).

      Nothing that is going to have even the slightest affect on you if you use SEO for traffic. Maybe something could affect adwords but I doubt it.

      The article point blanks spells this out but people are ignoring it.

      "In the U.S., Google has stirred complaints by travel services like Expedia Inc. and TripAdvisor LLC, local listings services like Yelp—as well as Google's perennial rival, Microsoft. Many of them say that Google promotes links to Google's own websites above their own, starving them of vital Web traffic. Still others say that Google is abusing its dominance in search advertising to extend its control into other markets, from mobile telephony to online television, publishing and airline travel"


      So if you are a competitor to Google in some service or website that google operates in then maybe a change but for all the rest of us - nada.



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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    Is Google abusing their market dominance?
    Is Google acting in an anti-competitive manner?

    Absolutely.

    Will anything of consequence happen to Google?

    Doubtful.
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    • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
      Originally Posted by LB View Post

      Is Google abusing their market dominance?
      Is Google acting in an anti-competitive manner?

      Absolutely.
      How so?

      Organic growth. Relatively low barrier to entry. These factors are contrary to the definition of a monopoly.
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      • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
        Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

        How so?

        Organic growth. Relatively low barrier to entry. These factors are contrary to the definition of a monopoly.
        Low barrier of entry?

        You're having a laugh, right?

        Holy smokes.

        "Organic growth"? All right, but that's only the story of how they got to this point, beginning at a time when things were rather different to today.

        It doesn't change the reality of who/where they are now, and the question of whether or not they're now capable (and guilty) of monopolistic behaviour, having many billions in their coffers, being a brand whose name is firmly hammered into the heads of even the most technologically averse individuals in the far corners of the globe, and with more than a decade's head start in a sector in which the biggest threat of competition is another multi-billion-dollar corporation (Microsoft) who so far, despite many failed attempts, don't seem to be making much progress in catching up at all.

        Need one say more?

        Let's try to remain grounded and feature elements of practicality and levelheadedness in this debate, shall we?
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        • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
          Originally Posted by DireStraits View Post

          Low barrier of entry?

          You're having a laugh, right?

          Laughing? Only at ignorance. In every way that matters, yes, the barrier to entry is low. That's key in any antitrust case.

          "Organic growth"? All right, but that's only the story of how they got to this point, beginning at a time when things were rather different to today.

          Really? Is it that much different today than it was in 2004? I only ask because that's when Facebook launched. Perhaps you've heard of it.

          It doesn't change the reality of who/where they are now, and the question of whether or not they're now capable (and guilty) of monopolistic behaviour,

          You're welcome to present any proof.

          having many billions in their coffers,

          So what you're suggesting is success should be punished?

          being a brand whose name is firmly hammered into the heads of even the most technologically averse individuals in the far corners of the globe,

          And that's Google's fault? Perhaps the FTC should go after CocaCola too?

          and with more than a decade's head start in a sector

          Now that's just ridiculous. Google entered the market in 1998. Was it the wild west? Well, looking back, yes, but there was some serious competition: Excite(1993), Yahoo(1994), Webcrawler(1994), Lycos(1994), Altavista(1994)...

          Need one say more?

          Yes. How about some evidence?

          Let's try to remain grounded and feature elements of practicality and levelheadedness in this debate, shall we?
          Yes, let's.
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  • No chance anything significant happens to Google from this probe. Microsoft was a monopoly. People using Google is a choice and not a monopolistic venture on their part.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesGw
    I wonder what they're going after precisely. This is pretty good news either way. Google has been killing non-search related businesses by abusing its search engine power. Things need to change.
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  • Profile picture of the author jcruz
    Regardless of what people think google is not a monoply, it may be the most dominating one, but not a monoply none the less. It's retarded, it's like going after Mcdonalds because their the biggest food chain in the world. Their probably just trying to squeeze some money out of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author theory expert
    Banned
    Google is a monopoly of some sort. I remember Matt Trainer was talking about google advertising for advertisers cutting out "you" the middle man. I am not going to get into a debate here, but, I stopped liking google ever since he mentioned that. JMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    This happened with Microsoft back in the late 1990s and nothing much ever came of it. I think the big players online "cooperate" with the Feds when they need or want "privileged" information. Yep, call me a conspiracy nut.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roaddog
    I hope it's a legitimate investigation.

    Google has been 'pushing it' for a while now.

    Kindsvatar nailed it.

    It's not that they are a 'complete' monopoly, but what they are doing with the dominance. The article so much as say's that.

    Maybe instead of, or along with, anti-trust, they could add conflict of interest.
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  • Profile picture of the author DrewClement
    The Oracle lawsuit is a MUCH bigger concern for big G right now
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    A lot of people in this thread have no idea what "antitrust" is...
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by LB View Post

      A lot of people in this thread have no idea what "antitrust" is...
      So, do tell....
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by LB View Post

      A lot of people in this thread have no idea what "antitrust" is...
      The Principles of Anti-Trust - (from Wikipedia)

      Competition law, or antitrust law, has three main elements:
      • prohibiting agreements or practices that restrict free trading and competition between business. This includes in particular the repression of free trade caused by cartels.
      • banning abusive behavior by a firm dominating a market, or anti-competitive practices that tend to lead to such a dominant position. Practices controlled in this way may include predatory pricing, tying, price gouging, refusal to deal, and many others.
      • supervising the mergers and acquisitions of large corporations, including some joint ventures. Transactions that are considered to threaten the competitive process can be prohibited altogether, or approved subject to "remedies" such as an obligation to divest part of the merged business or to offer licenses or access to facilities to enable other businesses to continue competing.
      Substance and practice of competition law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Protecting the interests of consumers (consumer welfare) and ensuring that entrepreneurs have an opportunity to compete in the market economy are often treated as important objectives. Competition law is closely connected with law on deregulation of access to markets, state aids and subsidies, the privatization of state owned assets and the establishment of independent sector regulators, among other market-oriented supply-side policies. In recent decades, competition law has been viewed as a way to provide better public services.[4] Robert Bork has argued that competition laws can produce adverse effects when they reduce competition by protecting inefficient competitors and when costs of legal intervention are greater than benefits for the consumers.[5]
      Ideas about competitive law were published during the 18th century with such works as Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. Different terms were used to describe this area of the law, including "restrictive practices", "the law of monopolies", "combination acts" and the "restraint of trade".
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    • Profile picture of the author batchos
      'tis true, my fellow man.

      Originally Posted by LB View Post

      A lot of people in this thread have no idea what "antitrust" is...
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    In the new Google beta, the search results are bumped even further down resulting in more space for ads and less organic results.

    How Google Killed Category Killer Domain Names
    Google's Disclosure / Disclaimer / Doubt Tax
    Google SEO Advice: do as they say, or do as they do?
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    I agree with gefflong ...

    Google cross the line when they DISGUISE their listings (aka advertising) as organic listings above others, without disclosing what they are.

    Yes, it's their business, their product... but there is a point where disclosure must be given... just like when an editorial advertisement or infomercial has to.

    However, I'm sure that if they want to push out advertisers, or even just shut down Adwords and sell their own **** directly, then it's well within their rights.

    Currently, what they're doing is...

    "Hey, we've got this map. Look at where you can go. These are all real places, roads and it's perfectly to scale. What's that? You can't find your local McDonalds? Oh, that's because we've put an advert over that part of the map that talks about our own burger bar. McDonalds still exists, but good luck finding it..."
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

      I agree with gefflong ...

      Google cross the line when they DISGUISE their listings (aka advertising) as organic listings above others, without disclosing what they are.

      Yes, it's their business, their product... but there is a point where disclosure must be given... just like when an editorial advertisement or infomercial has to.

      However, I'm sure that if they want to push out advertisers, or even just shut down Adwords and sell their own **** directly, then it's well within their rights.

      Currently, what they're doing is...

      "Hey, we've got this map. Look at where you can go. These are all real places, roads and it's perfectly to scale. What's that? You can't find your local McDonalds? Oh, that's because we've put an advert over that part of the map that talks about our own burger bar. McDonalds still exists, but good luck finding it..."
      I agree with Nick.

      Add in stuff like Google's Sidewiki toolbar introduced last year... the random cancelling of Adwords accounts with no reason given... the conflict of interest between selling advertising and offering a free testing tool that tells Google what keywords are most profitable for a website... Google hasn't been playing nice for awhile now.

      Sidewiki was especially bad... do a search on this forum to read some of the older threads detailing the nightmare for marketers that was associated with that ugly toolbar.

      That's off the top of my head. I'm sure I'm missing some other crap that Google's pulled in the last few years.

      Personally, I'll be grabbing a box of popcorn and watching the fireworks. I'd love to see Google get taken to task by the FTC.

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    Here's one for you-

    Google buys BeatThatQuote. Uh oh, it turns out they did all sorts of link buying and other stuff Google doesn't like: Google Being Spammers? Will Google Penalize Google for Google Spamming Google

    Now that Google owns them, they say, "who cares?"

    (would your site get the same free pass?)

    After an uproar, Google penalized their own purchase...for 2 weeks. And then they ranked again.

    So, if you believe they weren't giving special treatment to the organic rankings of a property they owned, well...
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      All I can say is LOL!

      Why folks are defending G I don't understand. G is so branded into the minds of internet searchers that their users believe that the top results are the most authoritative and trusted results. Google controls so much of what people SEE and so much of the DATA people get to use to make decisions its obvious that they are breaking trust.

      Google is attempting the bait and switch which they planned in the dark conference rooms after working hours YEARS ago.

      Here's how it goes.

      We'll pitch pitch pitch that we deliver fair, unbiased, relevant results so our users will be likely to choose to do business with the sites we present at the top. The logistics of this takes years and they have accomplished this.

      Next phase:
      Buy out the competition in the markets we want to now sell in and
      begin inserting results at the top for our own properties so we canz make even more money.

      Some might think that this perspective is crazy but mind you. Companies as large as G don't think about what they are going to do next year, that's already been planned years before. They think in decades not years.

      Insurance companies are a prime example of this but that is another topic.


      Originally Posted by LB View Post

      Here's one for you-

      Google buys BeatThatQuote. Uh oh, it turns out they did all sorts of link buying and other stuff Google doesn't like: Google Being Spammers? Will Google Penalize Google for Google Spamming Google

      Now that Google owns them, they say, "who cares?"

      (would your site get the same free pass?)

      After an uproar, Google penalized their own purchase...for 2 weeks. And then they ranked again.

      So, if you believe they weren't giving special treatment to the organic rankings of a property they owned, well...
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  • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
    I'd rather the FTC did an inquery into what Google does with their enormous database of collected information which can be connected to emails and Google accounts.

    Does Google share these data with government agencies?
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Bill, for the record, I get almost none of my traffic from Google. Never did,
      never will. Personally, couldn't give two sh*ts what they do.

      My argument is purely from an objective point of view and looking at the
      whole thing through the perception of the public at large.

      Perception: Google shows the most relevant results when we look for stuff
      online.

      Reality: Google is stacking the deck and showing their own sh*t first when it
      suits them and f**k everybody else, including the people who have made it
      so that Google could get to where they are in the first place. Or have you
      forgotten that without all these people building sites, creating content and
      selling sh*t, Google wouldn't be anything but a stupid name?

      In short, Google has said, "Thank you for getting us to where we are now
      screw you."

      Illegal or not, what goes around comes around.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Bill, for the record, I get almost none of my traffic from Google. Never did,
        never will. Personally, couldn't give two sh*ts what they do.

        There is the Wags I expected to hear from.


        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        My argument is purely from an objective point of view and looking at the
        whole thing through the perception of the public at large.

        Perception: Google shows the most relevant results when we look for stuff
        online.

        Sorry Steven, not objective.

        The public's perception is skewed by Google branding, and in order for Google to survive the search engine wars, they must maintain that perception with the majority of consumers.

        People are creatures of habit, and they continue to do those things that they have always done out of habit.

        When Bing came out, Google scrambled to release a new search engine algorithm and prayed to God Almighty Himself that people would not figure out that Bing was better, before they were able to roll out their new search engine.

        I guarantee that Mountain View was breathing a heavy sigh of relief when Caffeine was finally released. At that point, they had not lost any market share to Bing.

        But they have lost 10 percentage points in market share since Caffeine was rolled out. Bing is eating away at them on the edges of the public mindset.

        It is hard for Bing to overcome people's Google habit, but it can be done, and progress is being made towards that end.


        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Reality: Google is stacking the deck and showing their own sh*t first when it
        suits them and f**k everybody else, including the people who have made it
        so that Google could get to where they are in the first place. Or have you
        forgotten that without all these people building sites, creating content and
        selling sh*t, Google wouldn't be anything but a stupid name?

        In short, Google has said, "Thank you for getting us to where we are now
        screw you."

        Yes, they are stacking the deck in their favor.

        Just as you stack the deck in your favor on your websites, and I stack the deck in my favor on my websites.

        Of course, only you and I and Google do such dastardly things to the public at large. :rolleyes:

        Google branded itself as, "Do no evil." And the sheep believed them when they said it. LOL

        And now the sheep are pissed, because they are starting to see Google acting in the interest they have been acting in since the very beginning -- maximizing their bottom line.

        Yes, Google played the marketing community like a fiddle.

        They convinced the marketing community that Google had the best search results, then the marketers convinced the public-at-large of the same idea.

        Now that we have won for them their audience, they are getting down to the business of helping their bottom line, with no worry about our bottom lines.

        The marketers are pissed, because it seems like Google is sticking the knives in our backs, but Google is only fulfilling their long-term business strategy of lining their pockets on the sweat of our brow.

        It is nothing personal; it is just business.

        Has Google betrayed us?

        If people did not see it coming, then it is because they were too busy acting like sheep.


        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Illegal or not, what goes around comes around.

        Karma is a beautiful thing, isn't it Wags?

        If Google plays their hand to heavy, they will lose some of their audience.

        And if their audience falls too far, they will lose their advertisers.

        And if the bottom falls out of their advertising model, they had best be prepared to enter the retail market as a merchant to survive.

        Which is the complaint of many here. LOL

        They are complaining that Google is starting to act like a merchant instead of an advertising platform.



        It is true that for most people, Google is the only advertising game in town, because they have never looked outside of Google for additional opportunities.

        Some people reading this are going to assume that this is proof that Google is destroying other businesses, at will and on a whim.

        I am going to hold my ground and suggest that people who don't diversify are destroying their own business by relying on one traffic source and not exploring opportunities outside of Google.

        Yes, Google is big and SEO is expensive, especially when one is in a very competitive marketplace.

        Yet, any business that cannot survive, because they put all of their eggs in the Google basket is a business that was led by a deaf, dumb and blind sheep.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post


          But I am going to hold my ground and suggest that HE destroyed his business by relying on one traffic source and not exploring opportunities outside of Google.

          Yes, Google is big and SEO is expensive, especially when one is in a very competitive marketplace.
          And I am going to hold that story is bogus. Not that you are lying but that the customer who is making $50,000 a month for an extended period of time and then loses it all in 6 months obviously has a lot more issues of business management than just SEO draining his pockets. So your alleged cause and effect doesn't ring true. Possibly he didn't tell you the whole truth and nothing but

          Seo is NOWHERE near that expensive unless you buy some crap that some company has the secret that no one else has. If not then you hire a good seo within your budget. really good guys can be had for a few thousand a month. If thats not in your budget then there are ton loads of other options in SEO. Your customer either had a crappy site that you didn't apprise him of before and he created no repeat traffic as a poor business model or he blew out the cash on foolishness. Either one is just plain bad business management not as a result of SEO. There has been no change in SEO in the last ten years that a good SEO could not correct for him without breaking the bank.
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            And I am going to hold that story is bogus. Possibly he didn't tell you the whole truth and nothing but.

            I deleted the story, because you make a good point.

            I don't know anything more than he told me, and he struck me as a dumbass anyway.



            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            Steve just in case. I mean If because I don't know if you are getting your blood pressure up but if just remember - Bill really doesn't determine the law, the law states that you cannot do anything you want when you hold a compelling piece of a market and regardless of what anyone here says the subpoena went out and the probe is going forward. The FTC already knows if it finds the evidence then the law would be with them.

            P.S. I don't have a problem with an investigation per se, so long as Google is given a fair shake in a court of law.

            But I keep hearing stories about how the FTC dances to their own drummer boy, and that they do not always take into account right or wrong -- guilty or innocent.

            They sent the press release, so now they have to find guilt, to justify the expense of a press release. LOL

            I don't believe for a second that this case was brought on anything less than politics. But we don't discuss politics in this forum. That is why so many of my earlier comments were redacted.


            p.s. Steve should not be getting his blood pressure up on my account. He knows I still like him.
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            Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by tpw View Post

              I deleted the story, because you make a good point.

              I don't know anything more than he told me, and he struck me as a dumbass anyway.
              LOL, alright I have had some of those too. I get where you are coming from
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        • Profile picture of the author azmanar
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post


          Yes, they are stacking the deck in their favor.

          Just as you stack the deck in your favor on your websites, and I stack the deck in my favor on my websites.

          Of course, only you and I and Google do such dastardly things to the public at large. :rolleyes:

          Google branded itself as, "Do no evil." And the sheep believed them when they said it. LOL

          And now the sheep are pissed, because they are starting to see Google acting in the interest they have been acting in since the very beginning -- maximizing their bottom line.

          Yes, Google played the marketing community like a fiddle.

          They convinced the marketing community that Google had the best search results, then the marketers convinced the public-at-large of the same idea.

          Now that we have won for them their audience, they are getting down to the business of helping their bottom line, with no worry about our bottom lines.

          The marketers are pissed, because it seems like Google is sticking the knives in our backs, but Google is only fulfilling their long-term business strategy of lining their pockets on the sweat of our brow.

          It is nothing personal; it is just business.

          Has Google betrayed us?

          If people did not see it coming, then it is because they were too busy acting like sheep.

          Karma is a beautiful thing, isn't it Wags?

          If Google plays their hand to heavy, they will lose some of their audience.

          And if their audience falls too far, they will lose their advertisers.

          And if the bottom falls out of their advertising model, they had best be prepared to enter the retail market as a merchant to survive.

          Which is the complaint of many here. LOL

          They are complaining that Google is starting to act like a merchant instead of an advertising platform.


          It is true that for most people, Google is the only advertising game in town, because they have never looked outside of Google for additional opportunities.

          Some people reading this are going to assume that this is proof that Google is destroying other businesses, at will and on a whim.

          I am going to hold my ground and suggest that people who don't diversify are destroying their own business by relying on one traffic source and not exploring opportunities outside of Google.

          Yes, Google is big and SEO is expensive, especially when one is in a very competitive marketplace.
          Hi,

          Make pretty good sense.

          Diversify traffic sources.




          Yet, any business that cannot survive, because they put all of their eggs in the Google basket is a business that was led by a deaf, dumb and blind sheep.
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            Marketers will, of course, see this from an advertising/ranking point of view and will judge google accordingly. The "google doesn't play fair" sounds odd when it comes from a marketing forum where "how to fool google" is commonly discussed.

            In my veiw, the problem google has is not that it sets the rules for its own business. It is not about what is "fair" to marketers.

            What might cause google problems is the view of its search results that has been promoted to the internet using PUBLIC. Most consumers using google search believe the options listed are the best available. Talk to any casual internet buyer and you will find this belief is well entrenched.

            If google promotes that belief (and it does) and then manipulates results in favor of its own programs (through 'personal search' etc) - that could be hard to explain to regulators.

            kay
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            • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
              Let me get a few things straight:

              • I don't hate Google
              • I love a lot of the 'apps' Google provides me with for free (Google Docs,)
              • I don't rely on Google for traffic (I never rely on 'free advertising')
              • I don't have a problem with Google making a profit (I have a problem with using DECEPTION of the public at large to do it.)
              The argument that 'companies have to keep secrets' is INVALID in this case as because Google claims that 'organic' listings are not profit driven! There is no secret that needs to be kept. Either you make money from this, or you don't. But you can't say you don't if you do, and there's no need for that to be a secret- unless it's illegal.

              If they want to stand up and say.. "ohh k, we admit it, we pulled a fast one... what we really meant is that it's not profit driven for anyone but US..."

              Of course organics are profit driven (just not profit CENTERED- it's a loss leader)...but according to Google, only insofar as to attract 'eyeballs' so they can profit on the PAID advertising...If they are going to claim it's not profit center, then to profit from it directly is a complete contradiction, and an outright LIE...


              CD...


              Once again, Google has always held fast to the 'integrity' of 'organic' to the public. That 'organic' is not a store and cannot be bought.

              Yep, you're right... it's their property so if they want to do that, that's fine.

              But then they can't keep claiming 'integrity.'

              That's the deceptive business practices....


              As far as having a monopoly- I tend to agree that if they aren't 'strong arming' all other website owners into only displaying their sites to Google search engines, then there isn't a monopoly... but of course, this doesn't matter to Google because they have deceived the public into thinking that the Google search engine is the one with the 'integrity' of their 'most relevant' so they don't have to strong arm websites into keeping their content off the other search engines... they've deceived the public into not using the other search engines... but that's not a monopoly IMO.

              As far as 'antitrust' laws- Google has 'inside' information that makes it possible for them to manipulate search results to favor Google products.

              If Google was 'just a website store' this wouldn't be a problem. But Google has claimed it is a search engine, with integrity, returning only the most relevant results and for 'users'...

              Google has used 'paid search' and maintained stoically that 'paid and organic are kept separate' for the integrity of organic, for the users...

              If they can use their inside info to further their own financial gain... then organic no longer maintains the integrity nor is it intended for users anymore...

              It's no longer a 'search engine maintaining integrity of organic for users... it's now just a Google store' and Google should have to state that publicly.

              Everyone else has identify the purpose of it's corporation- honestly.

              When you file your "Articles Of Incorporation", you have to state your business purpose. You can't say your businesses purpose is a hair salon if it's a restaurant.

              But as long as Google is permitted to make the deceptive claims of 'integrity' and 'for users' then they are using "inside information about their search placement algo to profit from a center that they have deceived people into thinking that it isn't."

              -Dani



              P.S. WHAT KAY SAID!
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              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                That's the deceptive business practices....
                What's deceptive about it?

                Look, here's how it goes. Pay attention here.

                Google tells EVERYBODY ON THE PLANET "hey, do this for top rankings."

                Then they go do that, and get top rankings.

                If they have not actually manipulated the rankings, they are not deceiving anyone.

                If you are suspicious because Google is on top of the rankings, then you need to tell me why something else should be on top of the rankings.

                Otherwise, all you're saying is "I don't like Google's search results." Well, fine, go use Bing. I do.

                Speaking of which, let's try an experiment.

                Black Tide recently released their new video "That Fire" exclusively on IGN. So I'd like to go watch it, but we'll pretend I can't remember what the name of it is and which service it's on. I'll go search for it.

                On Bing, I type "black tide video" and get links to articles about the IGN release on results 9 and 10. The video results come between results 2 and 3, and are led by three YouTube videos and one VEVO video. That is the "unbiased by Google" result.

                On Google, I type "black tide video" and get five video links at the top of the search results - before any other results. Three of them are on YouTube, on is on GrindTV, and the fifth is the new video for "That Fire" on IGN.

                These results appear surprisingly similar to Bing's "unbiased by Google" results. So where is the deception?

                And go check out Black Tide's new video on IGN, because they're awesome and everyone should listen to them.
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                • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                  Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                  What's deceptive about it?

                  Look, here's how it goes. Pay attention here.

                  Google tells EVERYBODY ON THE PLANET "hey, do this for top rankings."

                  Then they go do that, and get top rankings.

                  If they have not actually manipulated the rankings, they are not deceiving anyone.

                  If you are suspicious because Google is on top of the rankings, then you need to tell me why something else should be on top of the rankings.

                  Otherwise, all you're saying is "I don't like Google's search results." Well, fine, go use Bing. I do.

                  Speaking of which, let's try an experiment.

                  Black Tide recently released their new video "That Fire" exclusively on IGN. So I'd like to go watch it, but we'll pretend I can't remember what the name of it is and which service it's on. I'll go search for it.

                  On Bing, I type "black tide video" and get links to articles about the IGN release on results 9 and 10. The video results come between results 2 and 3, and are led by three YouTube videos and one VEVO video. That is the "unbiased by Google" result.

                  On Google, I type "black tide video" and get five video links at the top of the search results - before any other results. Three of them are on YouTube, on is on GrindTV, and the fifth is the new video for "That Fire" on IGN.

                  These results appear surprisingly similar to Bing's "unbiased by Google" results. So where is the deception?

                  And go check out Black Tide's new video on IGN, because they're awesome and everyone should listen to them.
                  No CD... the 'deception' that they promote is that 'organic' is about integrity... it can't have integrity if there is any way, for anyone to manipulate it for profit. (Incidentally, how many times have people done everything Google says to do to rank, and still don't? And how many times has it been said that Google considers any manipulation of SEO to gain favor in their search engine rankings a violation of their TOS?)

                  The public 'at large' is duped into believing that Google's organic search results are about 'integrity' and that's based on relevancy to the subject, and not to Google's profits.

                  That is why the public 'at large' trusts Google. And the public 'at large' can't be expected to know any better if Google is permitted to keep shouting from the rooftops about an 'integrity' that they do not actually have.

                  That would be 'false advertising.'

                  The last time I checked, false advertising was in fact, illegal.

                  Now some may want to argue that it shouldn't BE illegal because anyone dumb enough to believe anything said in 'advertising' deserves to have the wool pulled over their eyes (which seems to be the position of everyone in this thread on Google's side) and I won't comment on my own opinion on that matter...

                  Because the fact is, enough people have decided that it SHOULD be illegal, and therefore IS... and that's really all that matters. (Our opinons on it only carry as much weight as we take to the voting booth with us)

                  It IS illegal to engage in false advertising, and by claiming 'integrity' of search results which clearly cannot exist when they are profiting from a system that they alone hold the keys to manipulate...they are engaging in false advertising, which is illegal.

                  Now if you want to lobby to make that 'not illegal', then you're welcome to do so. But until that time comes, the majority of our society has voted that it should be illegal, and so it is, and so it will be treated as such by the authorities through investigations and prosecutions.

                  -Dani
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                  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                    Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                    No CD... the 'deception' that they promote is that 'organic' is about integrity... it can't have integrity if there is any way, for anyone to manipulate it for profit.
                    The system is not designed to be perfect.

                    It is designed to be self-correcting.

                    I think I've found the focus of next week's product and broadcasts.
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                  • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
                    Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                    It IS illegal to engage in false advertising, and by claiming 'integrity' of search results which clearly cannot exist when they are profiting from a system that they alone hold the keys to manipulate...they are engaging in false advertising, which is illegal.
                    -Dani
                    I wasn't sure how to snip your post so I just picked the above paragraph...

                    Dani, you're not making any sense so I have no choice but to turn the tables:

                    1) How would you propose a search engine be designed?
                    2) Do you have an alternative?
                    3)If you answer that there should be no advertising, who do you think should provide such a free service?

                    Most importantly, you have yet to provide any evidence that results are being actively manipulated.

                    You say that search cannot have integrity if there is any way to manipulate results. Think about that for a sec and tell me what that means.

                    The moment that an algorithm is written and executed it's ready to be manipulated. In fact, that's the idea!

                    Search algorithms use data. Data is created by people. Those people have specific self-interests. Some of those people actively use what they consider to be SEO.

                    Now, is that the manipulation you speak of? If not, what? If so, then you might as well give up now because unless you want all results to come from .gov and .edu sites, you're never going to see results that have no manipulation. It's flat out impossible. Not because everyone is out to make a buck, but because you cannot possibly have a search engine without a method of finding results. (I know that's absurdly obvious, but it had to be said.)

                    So what that means is that you need an algorithm, and the search engine circle of life begins.

                    So, one more time. I've provided evidence that google's results are not rigged. I'm waiting for evidence to the contrary.
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                    • Profile picture of the author gefflong
                      Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

                      I wasn't sure how to snip your post so I just picked the above paragraph...

                      Dani, you're not making any sense so I have no choice but to turn the tables:

                      1) How would you propose a search engine be designed?
                      2) Do you have an alternative?
                      3)If you answer that there should be no advertising, who do you think should provide such a free service?

                      Most importantly, you have yet to provide any evidence that results are being actively manipulated.

                      You say that search cannot have integrity if there is any way to manipulate results. Think about that for a sec and tell me what that means.

                      The moment that an algorithm is written and executed it's ready to be manipulated. In fact, that's the idea!

                      Search algorithms use data. Data is created by people. Those people have specific self-interests. Some of those people actively use what they consider to be SEO.

                      Now, is that the manipulation you speak of? If not, what? If so, then you might as well give up now because unless you want all results to come from .gov and .edu sites, you're never going to see results that have no manipulation. It's flat out impossible. Not because everyone is out to make a buck, but because you cannot possibly have a search engine without a method of finding results. (I know that's absurdly obvious, but it had to be said.)

                      So what that means is that you need an algorithm, and the search engine circle of life begins.

                      So, one more time. I've provided evidence that google's results are not rigged. I'm waiting for evidence to the contrary.
                      I think she means that it's hard for Google to have and/or show that they have integrity when they and they alone know the secret formula they use to come up with rankings.

                      They have insider knowledge that no one else on the planet has.
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                      • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                        Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

                        I think she means that it's hard for Google to have and/or show that they have integrity when they and they alone know the secret formula they use to come up with rankings.

                        They have insider knowledge that no one else on the planet has.

                        Partially...

                        That 'insider knowledge' is what I believe the antitrust issue is about. But I actually have not significantly studied the definitions because I know this... that it is going to come down to an 'interpretation' of the law, in a court of law.

                        But as to the false advertising...

                        CD and JD,
                        I'll grant, I have no PROOF they manipulate, but their own products (for profit) being listed at all, completely destroys any portrayal of the 'integrity of most relevant to users.' That's how it is 'falsely advertised'.. But the proof is for the Feds to GET, which now goes back to ...

                        Bill,
                        Ok, you believe that anyone and everyone ever investigated BY the FTC is always found guilty...

                        1.) Most 'prosecutors' won't go after anyone until they have gathered enough evidence, somehow, in some way, to make a case for SOMETHING...
                        2.) You don't want everyone to assume Google guilty without due process, but then you say that the FTC is guilty without giving them the benefit of the same due process...
                        3.) So, what? The FTC should never investigate anyone for anything?

                        -Dani
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                        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                          Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                          I'll grant, I have no PROOF they manipulate, but their own products (for profit) being listed at all, completely destroys any portrayal of the 'integrity of most relevant to users.'
                          So if I want to find something on Google Shopping...

                          I should have to use a non-Google search engine?

                          Are you listening to yourself?
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                      • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
                        Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

                        I think she means that it's hard for Google to have and/or show that they have integrity when they and they alone know the secret formula they use to come up with rankings.

                        They have insider knowledge that no one else on the planet has.
                        Well that's something you'll have to get over.

                        BTW, it's also true with bing and every other search engine.
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                        • Profile picture of the author gefflong
                          Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

                          Well that's something you'll have to get over.

                          BTW, it's also true with bing and every other search engine.
                          Yes, it is.

                          The difference being that Bing and every other search engine does not have any kind of stranglehold on the search market. Then turn that stranglehold into an unfair advantage to destroy anything they choose at any time. This only becomes a problem when one company gets a monopoly stranglehold on any one market that has the potential to affect everyone else.
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                          • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                            Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

                            Yes, it is.

                            The difference being that Bing and every other search engine does not have any kind of stranglehold on the search market. Then turn that stranglehold into an unfair advantage to destroy anything they choose at any time. This only becomes a problem when one company gets a monopoly stranglehold on any one market that has the potential to affect everyone else.
                            This is partially true...

                            See, the only reason that Google has the 'stranglehold' is because the 'general public' gives them that power.

                            Now, the group of egocentric marketers who want to think, (and want the rest of us think too) that 'the general public' should 'know better' are only thinking in the terms of not wanting anyone to tell them what they can do with their website/property.

                            The problem is that 'the general public' decided long before Google came along that they should not have to 'guess' at what 'advertising' to believe in. Hence the reason the laws were passed.

                            Google, with it's own words (integrity, most relevant, for users) has repeatedly and implicitly implied that that the 'organics' were not a source of profit for them when they claimed that rankings could not be bought, and when they insisted that paid search was their profit model and was kept distinctly separate from organic to maintain the integrity of organic.

                            The egocentric 'marketers' know how the model operates, but the general public does not. I repeat... it's about 'the general public'.

                            And so... the law is in place, and as long as Google is permitted to carry on with leading 'the general public' to believe it's unbiased in organic, the general public will continue to believe it, because they trust in the laws that protect them from that kind of deceit.

                            And that's just the false advertising deceptive business practices aspect.

                            The antitrust laws come into play because of Google's ability to create a stranglehold on search, through that deception, and control entire markets at will. (It sounds like RICO to me, but I'm not an attorney)

                            Now, some have said they've seen evidence, some have said they have not.

                            1.) If it happens even once in their 'unbiased' organics, that Google can profit, then organics are not unbiased and Google cannot be permitted to claim or imply that they are, thus continuing a deception that increases their stranglehold.

                            2.) Prosecutors don't start investigations without some form of 'probable cause' to do so.

                            3.) To those who say 'it's ok for them to put 1-2 of their own products in the supposedly unbiased organics:
                            So it's ok, to cheat or a break a law if it's only 1-2 times? As long as what? It's profitable?

                            The main thing here is for marketers to stop thinking this is about them, or about being able to do what you want on your website.

                            This is about 'the general public' and their right to trust in the laws they supported to protect them from deception and moreover... the laws that allow them access to the information and education that is unbiased by agenda, and is the key to the 'freedom' that my countrymen have risked and given their lives to protect.

                            -Dani
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                            • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                              I want to add:

                              To those who say, "You can still go use Bing or Yahoo or Alta Vista..."

                              I say, if you tell anyone in the general public that, the response is:

                              "Why should I? Google gives me the most relevant information to my search"

                              If you try to tell them that that's not always true, they'll tell you "It has to be. If it's not, that's false advertising and the authorities would shut them down."

                              And THAT is how Google gets the stranglehold.
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                              • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
                                Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                                I want to add:

                                To those who say, "You can still go use Bing or Yahoo or Alta Vista..."

                                I say, if you tell anyone in the general public that, the response is:

                                "Why should I? Google gives me the most relevant information to my search"

                                If you try to tell them that that's not always true, they'll tell you "It has to be. If it's not, that's false advertising and the authorities would shut them down."

                                And THAT is how Google gets the stranglehold.
                                [Well, my self-imposed moratorium on letting your posts go didn't last long]

                                Dani, I don't know who you think the general public is or who would respond like that, but you must know a lot of stupid people if you hear enough foolishness like that to believe that's the way people think.
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                                • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                                  Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

                                  [Well, my self-imposed moratorium on letting your posts go didn't last long]

                                  Dani, I don't know who you think the general public is or who would respond like that, but you must know a lot of stupid people if you hear enough foolishness like that to believe that's the way people think.
                                  JD,
                                  The antitrust laws and the FTC exist because enough people decided that they wanted 'Big Brother' to protect them from themselves.'

                                  Did you only skim my posts? Because you address none of the reasons why people made those choices to support those laws in the first place.

                                  -Dani
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                                  • Profile picture of the author tpw
                                    Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                                    The antitrust laws and the FTC exist because enough people decided that they wanted 'Big Brother' to protect them from themselves.'

                                    No. Anti-trust laws were created to protect the public from those entities who desired to crush all competition in the marketplace, through any means necessary.

                                    Anti-trust laws were not designed to keep good companies down.



                                    When the FTC was created in 1914, its purpose was to prevent unfair methods of competition in commerce as part of the battle to “bust the trusts.

                                    Over the years, Congress passed additional laws giving the agency greater authority to police anti-competitive practices.

                                    In 1938, Congress passed a broad prohibition against “unfair and deceptive acts or practices.” Since then, the Commission also has been directed to administer a wide variety of other consumer protection laws, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Pay-Per-Call Rule and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

                                    In 1975, Congress gave the FTC the authority to adopt industry-wide trade regulation rules.

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                                  • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
                                    Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                                    JD,
                                    The antitrust laws and the FTC exist because enough people decided that they wanted 'Big Brother' to protect them from themselves.'
                                    Not exactly.

                                    Did you only skim my posts? Because you address none of the reasons why people made those choices to support those laws in the first place.
                                    Oh yes. I read your points... the first time... and every time you repeat the same thing.

                                    I should be asking you if you're reading.
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                                    • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                                      Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

                                      Not exactly.


                                      Oh yes. I read your points... the first time... and every time you repeat the same thing.

                                      I should be asking you if you're reading.
                                      I guess if I'm repeating them, I'm reading them... even if just while copying and pasting.
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                                    • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
                                      Well over 200 posts in this thread and still, not a single example to justify the case against google.

                                      Interesting.


                                      I also want to comment on the general assertion by some that google results are inferior, and probably due to google's manipulation of results to serve google.

                                      Well, as CD mentioned, relevant results are different for everyone. A search engine knows 1's & 0' like any computer. It is not a mind reader.

                                      The simple fact is that most people do not know how to conduct searches. They don't know how to fine tune. Hell, how many people routinely use advanced search?

                                      I usually have no trouble finding what I want.

                                      The irony, as it pertains to this discussion, is that the worst results are the ones full of crappy article directories and adsense pages that make it through in spite of google's attempts to clear out the riff raff.

                                      The other thing is laziness. Do you only look at what's stuffed under your nose? Do you use advanced search and set the results per page to 100? At the very least, did you notice the "next" link and do you bother to click on it?

                                      It may take a tiny bit of intelligence and sleuthing to get what you're looking for.

                                      You know, God invented scrolling for a reason. It's not that hard to move down past the news, video and shopping results to get to what you're looking for.

                                      Really, it's not hard. Try it sometime.

                                      Now I know that half the population is below average, but does everything have to be spoonfed? And if you do think so, do you think everyone should be fed the same flavor?

                                      Part of this thread is beyond absurd, but I must admit, it's been quite enlightening... although not in the way some of you may think it is.
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                                      • Profile picture of the author tpw
                                        Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

                                        Now I know that half the population is below average

                                        Quote of the Day...
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                                      • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                                        Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

                                        Well over 200 posts in this thread and still, not a single example to justify the case against google.

                                        Interesting.


                                        I also want to comment on the general assertion by some that google results are inferior, and probably due to google's manipulation of results to serve google.

                                        Well, as CD mentioned, relevant results are different for everyone. A search engine knows 1's & 0' like any computer. It is not a mind reader.

                                        The simple fact is that most people do not know how to conduct searches. They don't know how to fine tune. Hell, how many people routinely use advanced search?

                                        I usually have no trouble finding what I want.

                                        The irony, as it pertains to this discussion, is that the worst results are the ones full of crappy article directories and adsense pages that make it through in spite of google's attempts to clear out the riff raff.

                                        The other thing is laziness. Do you only look at what's stuffed under your nose? Do you use advanced search and set the results per page to 100? At the very least, did you notice the "next" link and do you bother to click on it?

                                        It may take a tiny bit of intelligence and sleuthing to get what you're looking for.

                                        You know, God invented scrolling for a reason. It's not that hard to move down past the news, video and shopping results to get to what you're looking for.

                                        Really, it's not hard. Try it sometime.

                                        Now I know that half the population is below average, but does everything have to be spoonfed? And if you do think so, do you think everyone should be fed the same flavor?

                                        Part of this thread is beyond absurd, but I must admit, it's been quite enlightening... although not in the way some of you may think it is.
                                        JD,
                                        I'm truly shocked that you think the 'investigation' into Google is not justified.

                                        "Media" is supposed to have journalistic 'integrity' without a bias toward it's advertisers.

                                        Google has portrayed itself and positioned itself as the same model, with the same 'journalistic integrity'. And the same revenue model of 'advertising.'

                                        So if organic is about 'integrity' then it should be 'reference' only... and any 'advertising pages' should have to be paid for.

                                        They could almost be a library, except for that pesky little problem of wanting to generate income, that's where the become more like a media outlet... but organic is portrayed, by Google, like a giant library of news stories that Google thinks people want access to.

                                        And again, the just cause for the investigation is because if they can do it in 1 or 2 organic listings here and there, how about 3-4? At what point do they cease to become anything of the 'journalistic integrity' they claim and are now just a store, with a search engine in it?

                                        -Dani
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                              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                                Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                                If you try to tell them that that's not always true, they'll tell you "Who cares?"
                                Fixed that for you.

                                Do you remember when Google first appeared? I do. I was using AltaVista for all my searches, for exactly the reason you state: it gave me the most relevant information for my searches.

                                But my girlfriend used Google. I thought Google looked silly. It was all bright and colourful and reminded me of the balloon design on Wonder bread. But AltaVista was from Digital Equipment Corporation, who made the DEC Alpha, the 64-bit architecture on which the AltaVista search engine ran. And the DEC Alpha was awesome. Google was running on crap consumer hardware, WTF. They even used Linux instead of a real, industrial-grade operating system like Digital Unix.

                                And while I could generally find what I was looking for, my girlfriend could find more of it faster and often with better quality results.

                                So over time, I started to use Google. Because Google was better. They didn't come out and rampantly destroy other search engines: they just quietly and consistently did a better and better job, until the other search engines were just not worth using anymore.

                                And do you want to know the funny part?

                                There were pretty much the same grumblings about AltaVista, at the time. That it was starting to be too popular, and would soon control all search on the internet, and then DEC could misbehave and manipulate search results.

                                Google has been designed from the ground up to make it impossible for any human being to productively manipulate meaningful search results in the long term.

                                Let's analyse that, because there's a lot of qualification in it.

                                First, "productively manipulate." This means that you're unable to effectively predict how your website is going to be ranked until after it is ranked.

                                Second, "meaningful search results." Google's algorithm is designed to give MASSIVE importance to the behaviour of users viewing the SERPs. The more people see your site in the SERPs, the more data they give Google on whether you belong there, and the faster your site LOSES whatever it might have "faked" to get into that page of the SERPs.

                                Third, "in the long term." Google's algorithm is iterative. It improves rankings for all sites in the background by classifying and categorising entire swaths of the internet by similarity of subject. That's why every so often, an entire category of stuff like "flogs" or "autoblogs" or "article directories" will dump out of the rankings all at once... usually right around the time our community thinks they've figured out how to make lots of money with no work by tricking Google.

                                There was a recent report in the news about Google manipulating search results to test a theory about Bing stealing their search results, for example. Everyone had a fit, but there are two things they didn't consider.

                                First, the results Google manipulated were not meaningful. They were terms which already had no results available in Google. If there HAD been results available, that would have been a "productive manipulation" and they would not have been able to do it reliably.

                                Second, the results were not long term. Once the story went out explaining what they did, the manipulated search results - formerly the only results for those queries - rapidly dumped to the bottom of the search listings, because that wasn't what people wanted to see.

                                The whole system is designed to have unimpeachable integrity. You can't make search engines do what you want in the long term. SEO is like a bag of water with a hole in it: you keep pouring more water in, but the hole keeps getting bigger, until eventually it won't hold water. Then you have to throw out the bag and get a new one.

                                The brilliance of Google's search engine is that they've built it in such a way that they couldn't be evil even if they wanted to be.
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                          • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
                            Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

                            Yes, it is.

                            The difference being that Bing and every other search engine does not have any kind of stranglehold on the search market. Then turn that stranglehold into an unfair advantage to destroy anything they choose at any time. This only becomes a problem when one company gets a monopoly stranglehold on any one market that has the potential to affect everyone else.
                            I'll respond here because I've gone after my friend Dani enough... for now

                            Stranglehold? Sure, a high percentage of searches go through google, but they are not the only option. They get those searches because most people like what they see. It's no different than CBS getting higher ad rates than NBC because, yep, more people like what they see on the big eye rather than the peacock.

                            Where's the unfair advantage and what are they destroying? Your inability to rank your adsense site?

                            Is that how it effects everyone else? Does CBS prevent NBC from putting better shows onthe air?

                            You need to stop and take your IM hat off for a moment and look at the reality of the situation. Search is nothing more than an advertising platform. There are many other advertising vehicles and based on the numbers I could dig up quickly, google's share of ad revenue is roughly 30% of all online advertising and 10% of all advertising in the US.

                            Those numbers don't jibe with with your assertions.

                            Where's the stranglehold?

                            It's all market-driven and search is results-driven. Like it or not, the sites that rank significantly higher than yours are usually more relevant. And as some examples posted in this thread prove, even google has no problem ranking other products above theirs -- no matter how hard you try to ignore that simple fact.

                            Excuse me for reading between the lines here, but all I continue to hear is sour grapes. What else can it be? The real irony is how many people bitch about their inability to rank, or because they got slapped, when the site they're trying to get traffic to is so often an adsense site... ADSENSE! A google program!

                            Tell me how that makes any sense... "Gee guys, I'm pissed because that f'n google won't let me rank higher so that I can make money by using something they created and allow me to use... for free... to make money."

                            What?!!!

                            How nuts is that logic? Actually, it's completely illogical. In fact, it smacks of the same selfishness that you're trying to pin on google, only worse because they actually created something useful.

                            Now I never dreamed of defending google, but I just cannot stomach a complete lack of common sense and logic.

                            So here we are. A group of marketers, allegedly, and some are hell bent to destroy honest success.

                            More irony.

                            And I'll bet that many of you also bitch about government intervention in your life and business. But you have no problem proposing that google be spanked by the feds because you imagine that they're doing something to keep you from making a buck.

                            This just kills me. If it wasn't so disturbing I'd be laughing.
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                    • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                      Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

                      I wasn't sure how to snip your post so I just picked the above paragraph...

                      Dani, you're not making any sense so I have no choice but to turn the tables:

                      1) How would you propose a search engine be designed?
                      2) Do you have an alternative?
                      3)If you answer that there should be no advertising, who do you think should provide such a free service?

                      Most importantly, you have yet to provide any evidence that results are being actively manipulated.

                      You say that search cannot have integrity if there is any way to manipulate results. Think about that for a sec and tell me what that means.

                      The moment that an algorithm is written and executed it's ready to be manipulated. In fact, that's the idea!

                      Search algorithms use data. Data is created by people. Those people have specific self-interests. Some of those people actively use what they consider to be SEO.

                      Now, is that the manipulation you speak of? If not, what? If so, then you might as well give up now because unless you want all results to come from .gov and .edu sites, you're never going to see results that have no manipulation. It's flat out impossible. Not because everyone is out to make a buck, but because you cannot possibly have a search engine without a method of finding results. (I know that's absurdly obvious, but it had to be said.)

                      So what that means is that you need an algorithm, and the search engine circle of life begins.

                      So, one more time. I've provided evidence that google's results are not rigged. I'm waiting for evidence to the contrary.


                      JD,
                      It is not about HOW the search engine should be run.

                      It IS about Google being allowed to deceive the public about the 'organic listings' purpose.

                      If organic's purpose is to serve as 'advertising', then Google cannot falsely advertise it as: 'not about advertising.'
                      That's all. Nothing else.

                      It is NOT about how a search engine should be designed.
                      It is NOT about an alternative.
                      It is NOT about advertising.

                      The design of the engine is fine with me.
                      Therefore I seek no alternative.
                      Advertising on a search engine is fine with me...

                      What is not fine with me, is Google falsely portraying their 'organic' search engine unbiased. (Regardless of the actual use of that actual word... the words they have used 'integrity', 'for users' has PORTRAYED it as 'unbiased' to: the general public)

                      They have falsely portrayed it as unbiased, which, if they are placing their own products in there at all, it isn't.

                      False advertising is considered a deceptive business practice.

                      If Google is profiting from it, then it ceases to be as 'unbiased' as they PORTRAY it to be.

                      -Dani
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                      • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
                        Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                        What is not fine with me, is Google falsely portraying their 'organic' search engine unbiased. (Regardless of the actual use of that actual word... the words they have used 'integrity', 'for users' has PORTRAYED it as 'unbiased' to: the general public)

                        They have falsely portrayed it as unbiased, which, if they are placing their own products in there at all, it isn't.
                        You still have no evidence.
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                        • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                          Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

                          Well that's something you'll have to get over.

                          BTW, it's also true with bing and every other search engine.
                          Actually, it's not something he just has to 'get over.' That's for the FTC to decide.

                          Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

                          You still have no evidence.
                          And it's still the FEDS job to get the proof.

                          -Dani
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                  • Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                    the 'deception' that they promote is that 'organic' is about integrity... it can't have integrity if there is any way, for anyone to manipulate it for profit.
                    Who on Earth says organic is about "integrity"?!?!

                    Organic is about whatever Google wants it to be about... because it's they website, their algorithm and their product. They can tweak and reprogram their organic search algorithm in whichever way they want, and they don't owe YOU or the FTC a damn thing.

                    Google's organic search is not an NGO... it's a product from a publicly-traded corporation!

                    Does anyone tell you what to display on your website? then why should anyone tell Google what to display on theirs?
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                    • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                      Who on Earth says organic is about "integrity"?!?!

                      Organic is about whatever Google wants it to be about... because it's they website, their algorithm and their product. They can tweak and reprogram their organic search algorithm in whichever way they want, and they don't owe YOU or the FTC a damn thing.

                      Google's organic search is not an NGO... it's a product from a publicly-traded corporation!

                      Does anyone tell you what to display on your website? then why should anyone tell Google what to display on theirs?
                      Are you serious?

                      1.) GOOGLE has said that that 'organic' is about integrity.
                      2.) Correction: Organic CAN be about whatever Google wants it to be about, as long as they are CLEAR on what it's about to the PUBLIC.
                      3.) YES... the FTC DOES tell me what to do on my website! They tell me I can't be deceptive, they tell me I have to DISCLOSE... they tell me all kinds of things I can and cannot do... On my website.. in my business, even on the 'real' property (house, land) I OWN... through LAWS.

                      Why anyone thinks Google shouldn't have to operate under the same set of LAWS that any other business has to operate under is beyond me.

                      Do you actually believe that because you OWN a property, real or cyber, that there are no LAWS you still have to abide by?

                      If you do, try running a casino out of your house, or on your website, if you're in the US... then come back and tell me what you discovered about 'the law.'

                      -Dani
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                      • Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                        1.) GOOGLE has said that that 'organic' is about integrity.

                        2.) Correction: Organic CAN be about whatever Google wants it to be about, as long as they are CLEAR on what it's about to the PUBLIC.
                        The organic search is about integrity AS PER GOOGLE'S UNDERSTANDING of what integrity is.

                        Why, you ask? because it's their damn algorithm. Their mathematical formula, their filters, and thus their choice on what is relevant enough to be displayed on page #1.

                        I repeat: it's THEIR algorithm and their filters. Not the FTC's but Google's. They decide what's relevant to any given search query.

                        Let me see if I get this straight: so you're saying that, since Google owns YouTube, Google is not allowed to deem any particular YouTube video (or a Google map, or any of Google's other products) relevant to a specific search query? are you saying that Google's been deceptive because they post an accurately-matched YouTube video on "how to bake chocolate biscuits" when I indeed type in "how to bake chocolate biscuits" in the organic search? What's that got to do with integrity at all?!?!

                        I can't believe what I'm hearing...
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                        • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                          Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                          The organic search is about integrity AS PER GOOGLE'S UNDERSTANDING of what integrity is.

                          Why, you ask? because it's their damn algorithm. Their mathematical formula, their filters, and thus their choice on what is relevant enough to be displayed on page #1.

                          I repeat: it's THEIR algorithm and their filters. Not the FTC's but Google's. They decide what's relevant to any given search query.

                          Let me see if I get this straight: so you're saying that, since Google owns YouTube, Google is not allowed to deem any particular YouTube video (or a Google map, or any of Google's other products) relevant to a specific search query? are you saying that Google's been deceptive because they post an accurately-matched YouTube video in the organic searches? What's that got to do with integrity at all?!?!

                          I can't believe what I'm hearing...

                          The organic search is about integrity AS PER GOOGLE'S UNDERSTANDING of what integrity is.

                          This is what Google has said:
                          The organic search is about integrity

                          This Google has never 'added' to that- AS PER GOOGLE'S UNDERSTANDING of what integrity is.

                          That's a 'half truth' at best, and laws about deceptive business practices like false advertising exist because most people interpret the withholding of information (a half truth) to be the same as LYING. They didn't want 'half truths' to be a legal way for a business to deceive the public.

                          I am not saying that Google can't display whatever IT deems most relevant. I am saying that I agree they can do whatever they want with their site, as long as they are honest about what they are doing, and they DISCLOSE what they are doing.

                          -Dani

                          P.S. I notice you elected not to address the questions regarding the 'laws' that all businesses have to operate under, whether they own the property or not.
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                        • Profile picture of the author scrofford
                          Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                          The organic search is about integrity AS PER GOOGLE'S UNDERSTANDING of what integrity is.

                          Why, you ask? because it's their damn algorithm. Their mathematical formula, their filters, and thus their choice on what is relevant enough to be displayed on page #1.

                          I repeat: it's THEIR algorithm and their filters. Not the FTC's but Google's. They decide what's relevant to any given search query.

                          Let me see if I get this straight: so you're saying that, since Google owns YouTube, Google is not allowed to deem any particular YouTube video (or a Google map, or any of Google's other products) relevant to a specific search query? are you saying that Google's been deceptive because they post an accurately-matched YouTube video on "how to bake chocolate biscuits" when I indeed type in "how to bake chocolate biscuits" in the organic search? What's that got to do with integrity at all?!?!

                          I can't believe what I'm hearing...
                          Google's understanding as you put it don't necessarily line up with what the laws state. Just because you have an understanding or the lack there of of something doesn't make you immune to the consequences if you have been found to be breaking the law.

                          It may be Google's algorithm, but that doesn't give Google the right to break the law just because it's their property. That would be like me saying it's my car and I can run over anyone I want or run into anyone I want and who is the police and government to stop me?

                          Google is not above the law. They don't have the right (even though they think they do ) to break the law. If they break the law they should pay the penalty. It doesn't matter if it's their algorithm or not. Pretty simple.
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                          • Originally Posted by scrofford View Post

                            Google's understanding as you put it don't necessarily line up with what the laws state. Just because you have an understanding or the lack there of of something doesn't make you immune to the consequences if you have been found to be breaking the law.
                            GEEZ... What law is being broken at all? I mean, seriously, let's keep our heads clear of a sec.

                            This is how Google's organic search works: You type in "how to bake chocolate biscuits" and Google displays whatever THEY THINK relates to that as per their algorithm. And yes, they might toss in a YouTube video on how to bake cookies and a Google Map to your closest cooking school.

                            Do we have to call the anti-trust cops for that?

                            I repeat: what freaking law is being broken there?!?!

                            Seriously, some times I just cant figure out what some people are complaining about... If we want the guvt to stop treating citizens as kids, then we gotta stop whining about nonsense like kids!
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                            • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                              Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                              GEEZ... What law is being broken at all? I mean, seriously, let's keep our heads clear of a sec.

                              This is how Google's organic search works: You type in "how to bake chocolate biscuits" and Google displays whatever THEY THINK relates to that as per their algorithm. And yes, they might toss in a YouTube video on how to bake cookies and a Google Map to your closest cooking school.

                              Do we have to call the anti-trust cops for that?

                              I repeat: what freaking law is being broken there?!?!

                              Seriously, some times I just cant figure out what some people are complaining about... If we want the guvt to stop treating citizens as kids, then we gotta stop whining about nonsense like kids!

                              The LAW that is being broken is the one that says "You can't pretend that this isn't a profit center for you if it is."

                              Aside from the FTC, the DOJ, and the general public... I think that's probably also going to violate some IRS laws too.
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                              • Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                                The LAW that is being broken is the one that says "You can't pretend that this isn't a profit center for you if it is."
                                LOL! Google is a publicly-traded corporation... of course they pretend their products to be a profit center, and of course everyone expects them to try to make money with their products/services.

                                LOL are you truly serious?! Google's search engine is not a NGO, you know? It's a product that's cost BILLIONS to develop and that's been merrily used by millions of people every day. Do you truly expect them to offer such global-scale service without attempting to benefit from it?

                                Millions of people BENEFIT from Google's FREE search engine every day. And you're complaining that they display a YouTube video and a Google Map among the organic listings?!? People should be GLAD that they offer such a fantastic service for free, for Christ's sake.
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                                • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                                  Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                                  LOL! Google is a publicly-traded corporation... of course they pretend their products to be a profit center, and of course everyone expects them to try to make money with their products/services.

                                  LOL are you truly serious?! Google's search engine is not a NGO, you know? It's a product that's cost BILLIONS to develop and that's been merrily used by millions of people every day. Do you truly expect them to offer such global-scale service without attempting to benefit from it?

                                  Millions of people BENEFIT from Google's FREE search engine every day. And you're complaining that they display a YouTube video and a Google Map among the organic listings?!? People should be GLAD that they offer such a fantastic service for free, for Christ's sake.
                                  I'll take this one by one:

                                  Yes, I'm serious. An NGO has NOTHING to do with it at all.

                                  Corporations do not 'pretend' to be 'not for profit.' Do you not realize that when articles of corporation are filed, they have to indicate if they are filing as 'for profit' or 'not for profit'?

                                  No, I don't expect them to provide it without benefiting from it. I expect them not to falsely portray that they don't, to the general public who doesn't realize that the 'organic' is not 'unbiased'. The fact is, the minute the owner of the publication can profit from it, or use it to further any agenda of it's own, the publication ceases to be 'unbiased.'

                                  The fact is, we passed laws that said you can't make untrue claims in advertising. So if Google keeps 'implying' that it's organics are unbiased, then people will believe it to be true because if it weren't Google would be in violation of that law and would be prosecuted for it.

                                  Those laws were enacted so that people don't have to 'guess' whether or not advertising is lying or not. If it is, then it gets prosecuted.

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                                • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
                                  Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                                  Millions of people BENEFIT from Google's FREE search engine every day. And you're complaining that they display a YouTube video and a Google Map among the organic listings?!? People should be GLAD that they offer such a fantastic service for free, for Christ's sake.
                                  Those complaining that youtube appearing high in the results also have short memories.

                                  It wasn't so long ago that google did not own youtube yet youtube still ranked high when warranted.

                                  What's interesting is that the integrity (if I may borrow the popular buzzword used to condemn google in this thread) of search results over a period of time likely cost google hundreds of millions more for the acquisition of youtube.

                                  Yep, that's one hell of a strategy if you're going to manipulate results to increase your own profits at the expense of others. :rolleyes:
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                            • Profile picture of the author scrofford
                              Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                              GEEZ... What law is being broken at all? I mean, seriously, let's keep our heads clear of a sec.

                              This is how Google's organic search works: You type in "how to bake chocolate biscuits" and Google displays whatever THEY THINK relates to that as per their algorithm. And yes, they might toss in a YouTube video on how to bake cookies and a Google Map to your closest cooking school.

                              Do we have to call the anti-trust cops for that?

                              I repeat: what freaking law is being broken there?!?!

                              Seriously, some times I just cant figure out what some people are complaining about... If we want the guvt to stop treating citizens as kids, then we gotta stop whining about nonsense like kids!
                              Well first of all, there is NO proof ANY law is being broken YET. There are complaints that Google isn't being on the up and up when it comes to the "fairness" of their search engine.

                              So, if their ads are always going to the top of the search for instance and it's just pure organic according to their algorithm without them manipulating their system, then I guess they are experts in a lot of different markets for a lot of different products and no law has been broken...Doubtful though.

                              If they ARE manipulating their algorithm and making it to the top of EVERY search for certain products and pushing others down, then it's wrong because it violates the law.

                              I have no problem with beating out other competition fairly, but if Google is manipulating their system and making it so they are at the top every time or only their ads are on the first page of Google because of their their system, then it's wrong.

                              That would be like someone hosting a game of some sort and saying it was a fair game but it's really fixed in the hosts favor so the host can win and benefit. It's deceptive. That's all I'm saying.
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                        • Profile picture of the author gefflong
                          Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                          The organic search is about integrity AS PER GOOGLE'S UNDERSTANDING of what integrity is.

                          Why, you ask? because it's their damn algorithm. Their mathematical formula, their filters, and thus their choice on what is relevant enough to be displayed on page #1.

                          I repeat: it's THEIR algorithm and their filters. Not the FTC's but Google's. They decide what's relevant to any given search query.

                          Let me see if I get this straight: so you're saying that, since Google owns YouTube, Google is not allowed to deem any particular YouTube video (or a Google map, or any of Google's other products) relevant to a specific search query? are you saying that Google's been deceptive because they post an accurately-matched YouTube video on "how to bake chocolate biscuits" when I indeed type in "how to bake chocolate biscuits" in the organic search? What's that got to do with integrity at all?!?!

                          I can't believe what I'm hearing...
                          Then you aren't "getting it". Let me explain with an example from another industry.

                          Let's take the Billboard charts for instance.

                          Billboard's Top 100 songs of the week. They compile sales figures and give us the songs that sold the most that week. That is straightforward.

                          Ok... Now lets say that Billboard acquires its own Record Label. They aren't quite making as much money as they hoped with their record company division so they decide HEY, this is our magazine, let's start listing the songs from our artists higher on the list and see if we can't boost sales.

                          All the sudden, 4 of the top 10 songs in Billboard's Top 100 are now songs from Billboard's own record label. Sales start rising and they start making a lot more money.

                          "Wow", they say... this is really working... Why stop there?

                          Pretty soon the Billboard Top 100 is 50% Billboard Record Division artists and songs. And it goes on and on from there.

                          If you want to have a song get played on the radio and make any money... you better become an artist for Billboard.

                          Is Billboard doing anything "wrong"?

                          They are simply putting the songs on the list that they want to be there. It is their magazine and they can do what they want.

                          Problem is, that magazine has a huge affect on airplay and that in turn drives sales. Billboard becomes the people that can make or break anyone at any time. What is to stop them from taking a song off the list just because they can? What would that do to the artist?

                          Now, is this a conflict of interest for Billboard to be THE chart that radio uses for airplay and to also have their own Record Label?
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                          • Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

                            Then you aren't "getting it". Let me explain with an example from another industry.

                            Let's take the Billboard charts for instance.

                            Billboard's Top 100 songs of the week. They compile sales figures and give us the songs that sold the most that week. That is straightforward.

                            Ok... Now lets say that Billboard acquires its own Record Label. They aren't quite making as much money as they hoped with their record company division so they decide HEY, this is our magazine, let's start listing the songs from our artists higher on the list and see if we can't boost sales.

                            All the sudden, 4 of the top 10 songs in Billboard's Top 100 are now songs from Billboard's own record label. Sales start rising and they start making a lot more money.

                            "Wow", they say... this is really working... Why stop there?

                            Pretty soon the Billboard Top 100 is 50% Billboard Record Division artists and songs. And it goes on and on from there.

                            If you want to have a song get played on the radio and make any money... you better become an artist for Billboard.

                            Is Billboard doing anything "wrong"?

                            They are simply putting the songs on the list that they want to be there. It is their magazine and they can do what they want.

                            Problem is, that magazine has a huge affect on airplay and that in turn drives sales. Billboard becomes the people that can make or break anyone at any time. What is to stop them from taking a song off the list just because they can? What would that do to the artist?

                            Now, is this a conflict of interest for Billboard to be THE chart that radio uses for airplay and to also have their own Record Label?
                            That's totally different, because music charts are calculated on strict sales numbers, which is an unbiased and absolute figure, whereas Google's listing is based on "Google's understanding of relevancy".

                            See, "Relevancy" is not a measurable concept, thus the only thing that matters is "Google's Relevancy". Whether Google believe their own content is more relevant than others is entirely up to them to decide, since it's their algorithm. If people don't like it, use Bing. Problem solved.
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                            • Profile picture of the author gefflong
                              Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                              That's totally different, because music charts are calculated on strict sales numbers, which is an unbiased and absolute figure, whereas Google's listing is based on "Google's understanding of relevancy".

                              See, "Relevancy" is not a measurable concept, thus the only thing that matters is "Google's Relevancy". Whether Google believe their own content is more relevant than others is entirely up to them to decide, since it's their algorithm. If people don't like it, use Bing. Problem solved.
                              They are NOT totally different. How would anyone know if Billboard was fudging the sales numbers or not? They are the only ones who keep tabs on it.

                              That is also the beef with Google. How can we be sure Google isn't manipulating the results in their favor all the time?

                              This is exactly why something like say... the state lotteries do not let lottery employees or their families play the lottery. If an employee of the lottery actually wins the lottery, it doesn't matter one bit if it was legit or not, it would appear to the outside world to be corrupt.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                            Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

                            Then you aren't "getting it". Let me explain with an example from another industry.

                            Let's take the Billboard charts for instance.

                            Billboard's Top 100 songs of the week. They compile sales figures and give us the songs that sold the most that week. That is straightforward.

                            Ok... Now lets say that Billboard acquires its own Record Label. They aren't quite making as much money as they hoped with their record company division so they decide HEY, this is our magazine, let's start listing the songs from our artists higher on the list and see if we can't boost sales.

                            All the sudden, 4 of the top 10 songs in Billboard's Top 100 are now songs from Billboard's own record label. Sales start rising and they start making a lot more money.

                            "Wow", they say... this is really working... Why stop there?

                            Pretty soon the Billboard Top 100 is 50% Billboard Record Division artists and songs. And it goes on and on from there.

                            If you want to have a song get played on the radio and make any money... you better become an artist for Billboard.

                            Is Billboard doing anything "wrong"?

                            They are simply putting the songs on the list that they want to be there. It is their magazine and they can do what they want.

                            Problem is, that magazine has a huge affect on airplay and that in turn drives sales. Billboard becomes the people that can make or break anyone at any time. What is to stop them from taking a song off the list just because they can? What would that do to the artist?

                            Now, is this a conflict of interest for Billboard to be THE chart that radio uses for airplay and to also have their own Record Label?
                            Being in the music business, this is the best example and argument I've
                            heard so far.
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                    • Profile picture of the author gefflong
                      Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

                      Who on Earth says organic is about "integrity"?!?!

                      Organic is about whatever Google wants it to be about... because it's they website, their algorithm and their product. They can tweak and reprogram their organic search algorithm in whichever way they want, and they don't owe YOU or the FTC a damn thing.

                      Google's organic search is not an NGO... it's a product from a publicly-traded corporation!

                      Does anyone tell you what to display on your website? then why should anyone tell Google what to display on theirs?
                      You are still missing the point.

                      Those things are only true before a company get a monopoly and a stranglehold in a certain area. Once Google started getting 60% and more of the search traffic on the planet, the rules changed. Why is that so hard for people to understand?

                      Maybe you would enjoy it if Google became THE search engine and had 99%+ of the searches running through them? Have fun with that. At that point Google would become King and have absolute power over all things search.

                      What they say goes. No arguments, they don't want to hear it. It's Google's way or NO WAY.

                      You will sing a different song at that point... But only because at that point it would affect YOU.

                      Again, yes, it is fine to be a search engine and promote your own things first. It becomes a problem with that search engine starts controlling ALL searches.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post


        Reality: Google is stacking the deck and showing their own sh*t first when it
        suits them and f**k everybody else, including the people who have made it
        so that Google could get to where they are in the first place.
        Steve just in case. I mean If because I don't know if you are getting your blood pressure up but if just remember - Bill really doesn't determine the law, the law states that you cannot do anything you want when you hold a compelling piece of a market and regardless of what anyone here says the subpoena went out and the probe is going forward. The FTC already knows if it finds the evidence then the law would be with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author tdj
    I see it the same way the government brought big oil companies in front of Congress. Just a dog and pony show. They know who butters their bread.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dannyboy12
    FTC after Big G
    oh man, I thought this was gunna be a gangsta rap.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Google gets to display any results they want, like it or not. Maybe we should look at the news media and have the FCC slap them around a bit because they don't report real news. They get to report anything they want and call it news. Much of it is biased in the same way Google delivers search results. That is, for their own benefit be it obvious or not so obvious.

    Or maybe the FDA needs to look at the medical industry and start allowing certain remedies and treatments that are known to compete with the pharmaceutical companies and the AMA cartel. Ain't gonna happen.

    As it's been mentioned many times in this thread already, this Google thing with the FTC is all for show. Once Google gets the once over, they're home free to do even more of what they want (as if they're not doing that right now).

    Virtually everything in the BIG BUSINESS arena is a rigged game. The trick is to learn to play it the best you can.
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    • Profile picture of the author gefflong
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Google gets to display any results they want, like it or not. Maybe we should look at the news media and have the FCC slap them around a bit because they don't report real news. They get to report anything they want and call it news. Much of it is biased in the same way Google delivers search results. That is, for their own benefit be it obvious or not so obvious.

      Or maybe the FDA needs to look at the medical industry and start allowing certain remedies and treatments that are known to compete with the pharmaceutical companies and the AMA cartel. Ain't gonna happen.

      As it's been mentioned many times in this thread already, this Google thing with the FTC is all for show. Once Google gets the once over, they're home free to do even more of what they want (as if they're not doing that right now).

      Virtually everything in the BIG BUSINESS arena is a rigged game. The trick is to learn to play it the best you can.
      The problem with your example is that single news media has the monopoly that Google does. When you become that big, the rules change. Hence, we have antitrust laws.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    You guys are so not getting it.

    You are confusing not wanting to choose with not getting to choose.

    Google is the best place to get free traffic through SEO.

    There are other places to get traffic.

    You can get traffic that is not free.

    You can get traffic that is not from SEO.

    So when you complain that you can't get traffic without Google, you're full of crap. What you're really complaining is that you don't want to get traffic without Google.

    And what you don't want is not Google's problem.

    Grow the hell up.

    What you are ultimately complaining about is that a company does not want to do business with you.

    And your solution to this is to say that this company should be required by law to do business with you.

    That cannot be based on the size of the company.

    It would have to apply to every company.

    And that means when Joe Dipstick serial refunds your products, you can't ban him because you're required by law to do business with him.

    When your competitor signs up to your coaching program and rips you off to make his own cheaper inferior coaching program, you can't stop coaching him because you're required by law to do business with him.

    When you have the client from hell who abuses and berates you for not being a better service provider, but pays his bills on time, you can't stop taking his orders because you're required by law to do business with him.

    You can yell "but that's different!" all you want. From a regulatory standing, no it is not. And if you want those decisions I listed above to stay in your hands, not the government's, then you want them to stay in Google's hands too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      You guys are so not getting it.

      You are confusing not wanting to choose with not getting to choose.

      Google is the best place to get free traffic through SEO.

      There are other places to get traffic.

      You can get traffic that is not free.

      You can get traffic that is not from SEO.

      So when you complain that you can't get traffic without Google, you're full of crap.
      CD

      No one has stated that you can't get traffic anywhere but Google and a strawman argument is by definition always utter crap.
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        No one has stated that you can't get traffic anywhere but Google
        That would be why I never said anyone did.

        and a strawman argument is by definition always utter crap.
        I believe you are right.
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        "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          That would be why I never said anyone did.

          So exactly who was full of crap and the guys not getting it?

          Never mind I sense a version of "it depends on what the meaning of is is" moment coming. I'll pass.
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            So exactly who was full of crap and the guys not getting it?

            Never mind I sense a version of "it depends on what the meaning of is is" moment coming. I'll pass.

            I don't exactly think that he was referring to you, when he said that, although I am actually unable to speak to Caliban's intentions.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by tpw View Post

              I don't exactly think that he was referring to you, when he said that, although I am actually unable to speak to Caliban's intentions.

              No I wasn't saying he was particularly but I don't see anyone saying that google is the only place you can get traffic.
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              • Profile picture of the author tpw
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                No I wasn't saying he was particularly but I don't see anyone saying that google is the only place you can get traffic.

                I made that insinuation, because we see every day in the forums people who say that "the only source of traffic that really matters is Google."

                I am pretty sure that most of the people who say that actually believe it.
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                • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                  Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                  So you're saying that if Google believes this list of ten things makes a store the best possible thing in the world...

                  And they set up their search engine to look for those ten things...

                  And they set up their store to be those ten things...

                  It is somehow deceptive when their store comes up at the top of the search listings?

                  Aren't you basically saying that Google should DELIBERATELY make either their search engine or their store worse, just so it doesn't make all the other stores look bad when they aren't as good?
                  No CD... what I am saying is that Google has always 'held' that their 'organics' are determined from an algo (a mathematical equation, and by the definition of math, cannot be influenced by 'opinon' - except of course the weight the algo gives to other parts of the algo) and that their 'paid' search side has absolutely no relation to their 'organic' results... Google IS making money off it's advertising, and that's FINE with me... Google can make money off their 'organic' listings too.. and that ALSO would be fine with me.... BUT.... then they can't continue to claim 'most relevant' without adding the words 'to our own pocketbooks' to the end of that statement.

                  Google has convinced the general public that 'organic' is based on 'quality' but when the only 'quality' to factor is if GOOGLE stands to make a profit, than 'organics' have no meaning, relevancy to anything other than their pocketbook goes right out the window... and that's all FINE... as long as they DISCLOSE and don't continue misleading the public to think that those results are 'organic or unbiased.'


                  If you want to define 'most relevant' as 'subjective' then without a disclosure, it's a HALF truth.


                  Originally Posted by TCrosby View Post

                  First of all DanielleS, by quoting me and inserting your own statements in bold, you misrepresent me to anyone who reads your post without reading my post first.

                  I am not "Hooked on believing they're the best thing in the world." I am a computer science major currently working for Amazon. I understand the industry. I understand "Do no evil" means crap. Regardless, they provide billions will amazing services for free.

                  What YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, is that google has no divine calling to be the search engine from heaven who seeks no profit of their own and serves the people at their own expense. Their home page doesn't say "These results are 100% guaranteed to be the absolute most relevant results, displayed in the simplest manner, with nothing intruding on your path between searching and finding the result you want." They have no obligation to do that. They are neither imposing the burden on themselves by claiming such, nor are they obligated to by any rules or regulations of the government. They are a business. It is that simple. T

                  Let me draw a comparison for you. If comcast is your internet service provider, they set your homepage to comcast.net. It doesn't have to be, and it is not part of your contract. However, on comcast.net, they will host search, email, and also have options to upgrade to their other products, such as television, or the comcast triple-play. This is essentially what google is doing, but Google not charging you a contract. Instead of getting monthly payments from you, Google advertises for others or for themselves, so that they can stay in business. The end.

                  Caliban DOES get it.
                  Your words about 'not having a divine calling' are exactly my point. Their search engine isn't so great if it only wants to show me what is relevant to THEIR WALLET... and not other choices.

                  They've tried to play 'altruistic' superhero by saying 'organic is separate from paid search' and organic is for the 'users'... but if organic search is still another way for them to profit... then they need to disclose that it's not 'most relevant to quality', except to their opinion that quality is only what they can profit from.

                  I have zero issues with Google making money any way they can. But I happen to think they need to disclose... "most relevant' is to THEM... not YOU.

                  -Dani
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                  • Profile picture of the author TCrosby
                    Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                    Your words about 'not having a divine calling' are exactly my point. Their search engine isn't so great if it only wants to show me what is relevant to THEIR WALLET... and not other choices.

                    They've tried to play 'altruistic' superhero by saying 'organic is separate from paid search' and organic is for the 'users'... but if organic search is still another way for them to profit... then they need to disclose that it's not 'most relevant to quality', except to their opinion that quality is only what they can profit from.

                    I have zero issues with Google making money any way they can. But I happen to think they need to disclose... "most relevant' is to THEM... not YOU.

                    -Dani
                    They can place 1-2 things of their own up top, and still have great search results. Overlook the top item or two if you want, that's your call. It doesn't make it a bad service.

                    Saying that they need to disclose that they are going to try and feature some things that will make them money is like saying a business needs to tell you they are going to try to make money from you. That's what they are. While I understand the public might not view them as a business, and might just view them as a service that should give them the best results, the root of the matter is that they ARE in fact a business.
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                    • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
                      Originally Posted by TCrosby View Post

                      They can place 1-2 things of their own up top, and still have great search results. Overlook the top item or two if you want, that's your call. It doesn't make it a bad service.

                      Saying that they need to disclose that they are going to try and feature some things that will make them money is like saying a business needs to tell you they are going to try to make money from you. That's what they are. While I understand the public might not view them as a business, and might just view them as a service that should give them the best results, the root of the matter is that they ARE in fact a business.
                      Google has always publicly stated that their mission in organic is integrity. They have 'paid' search for profit. If they can exploit their inside information about their own algo to take 1st place rankings, the 'integrity of organic has been compromised.'

                      And because they have 'held it up to integrity' is the reason that have to disclose that they would be making a profit in a center that they have always promoted as 'not for profit.'
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                    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                      Originally Posted by TCrosby View Post

                      Saying that they need to disclose that they are going to try and feature some things that will make them money is like saying a business needs to tell you they are going to try to make money from you.
                      Same thing is done in news reporting every day though. You are acting like something is new. When a company is in a news piece and it has a connection to the company there is disclosure and when theres a review of a product its expected that the reviewer indicates that there are connection between the reviewer and the company whose product is being reviewed.

                      Google does have an obligation to disclose when they rank a site based on money or their financial gain. they rank and rate sites in a way that is in essence a review saying this is the best fit for what you want with the quality of info you are looking for.

                      Anyway I've kicked this around enough. The FTC isn't asking anyone permission to do what they are doing so we'll see how it plays out. Its been a good discussion for the most part though.
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                  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                    Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

                    algo (a mathematical equation,
                    All mathematical equations are algorithms, but not all algorithms are mathematical equations.

                    Similarly, all dogs are mammals, but all mammals are not dogs.

                    When explaining what a hyena is, I might say it's a mammal and someone else might say "What's that?"

                    And I would say "it's like a dog," because a hyena is also like a dog so it will put the right image into your head.

                    But when someone later says "dolphins are mammals," and you say "dolphins are nothing like dogs," they will stare at you more or less the way I would be staring at you right now if we were in the same room.

                    The algorithm of a search engine is a mathematical equation in roughly the same way a seven-course banquet is a cow. There were certainly cows involved, but we are not going to walk a herd of cattle into the room for the main course, and the overwhelming majority of the event does not have anything to do with a cow.

                    Google has convinced the general public that 'organic' is based on 'quality' but when the only 'quality' to factor is if GOOGLE stands to make a profit
                    But you haven't demonstrated it's a factor.

                    All you've demonstrated is that Google thinks their own store is the best.

                    Why would you build something that you thought wasn't the best?

                    And if you honestly think your store is the best, why would you suggest any other store first?

                    You're presuming that Google doesn't believe they're telling the truth. It's entirely possible that they're wrong, but that doesn't mean they are lying - and you haven't even demonstrated that they're wrong.
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            So exactly who was full of crap and the guys not getting it?
            Anyone who does that, or anything like it, because of the underlying thought process I described.

            I am very deliberately not pointing my finger at real people and real events, because it is not productive to do so.

            And complaining that I didn't identify who did what when is, amusingly enough, a straw man argument.

            Which makes YOU full of crap, by your own rules.

            Thank you, drive through.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              I am very deliberately not pointing my finger at real people and real events, because it is not productive to do so.

              And complaining that I didn't identify who did what when is, amusingly enough, a straw man argument.
              More straw but feel free to amuse yourself . I wasn't complaining that you didn't identify any particular person . I complained that there are no "you guys" in the entire thread that fit the made up assertion of yours. have the last word on it. I don't have the time to educate you further on fallacious reasoning or on the proper use of pronouns in a sentence clearly addressed to real people.

              Originally Posted by tpw View Post

              I made that insinuation, because we see every day in the forums people who say that "the only source of traffic that really matters is Google."
              Not seeing that at all . Your entire point has been that you should use other sources and no one has claimed they do not exist.
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              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                I wasn't complaining that you didn't identify any particular person . I complained that there are no "you guys" in the entire thread that fit the made up assertion of yours.
                Oh, I see.

                The problem isn't that you didn't understand my example was not supposed to be something someone actually did...

                But that you didn't understand my example was not supposed to be something someone actually did.

                Most ignorance is willful.

                (Hey, Bill: DID I CALL IT OR WHAT?)
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                  Oh, I see.

                  The problem isn't that you didn't understand my example was not supposed to be something someone actually did...

                  But that you didn't understand my example was not supposed to be something someone actually did.

                  Most ignorance is willful.

                  (Hey, Bill: DID I CALL IT OR WHAT?)

                  I love it man. its like the emperor with the new clothes brilliance and depth instead of bad language skills.
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        • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
          Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

          You guys are so not getting it.

          You are confusing not wanting to choose with not getting to choose.

          Google is the best place to get free traffic through SEO.

          There are other places to get traffic.

          You can get traffic that is not free.

          You can get traffic that is not from SEO.

          So when you complain that you can't get traffic without Google, you're full of crap. What you're really complaining is that you don't want to get traffic without Google.

          And what you don't want is not Google's problem.

          Grow the hell up.

          What you are ultimately complaining about is that a company does not want to do business with you.

          And your solution to this is to say that this company should be required by law to do business with you.

          That cannot be based on the size of the company.

          It would have to apply to every company.

          And that means when Joe Dipstick serial refunds your products, you can't ban him because you're required by law to do business with him.

          When your competitor signs up to your coaching program and rips you off to make his own cheaper inferior coaching program, you can't stop coaching him because you're required by law to do business with him.

          When you have the client from hell who abuses and berates you for not being a better service provider, but pays his bills on time, you can't stop taking his orders because you're required by law to do business with him.

          You can yell "but that's different!" all you want. From a regulatory standing, no it is not. And if you want those decisions I listed above to stay in your hands, not the government's, then you want them to stay in Google's hands too.
          CD,
          No... you're not getting... it's not about marketers vs. Google for rankings, traffic, profits.... It's about Google deceiving the public at large by stating that their organics are 'unbiased.' As soon as THEIR products just happen to override the rankings, then it's not 'unbiased at all'. That is deceptive to the public.

          Originally Posted by TCrosby View Post

          I think there is an aspect to this which no one has yet to broach.

          Some people are saying that google is using their platform to push their own stuff. Sure, It is after all their platform. People can use it or not use it. You can then come up with the argument like "people who pay with adwords are getting snubbed if google shows more of their own stuff." Reasonable point...

          HOWEVER

          It's too bad the government doesn't look at the big picture of where the internet is bringing mankind (I can't expect them to, but I still hate them for it). Google has REVOLUTIONIZED THE INTERNET. Google offers the top product in existence, in several different niches, and it keeps pumping out more. At what cost to the public? FREE.

          Now that they have you hooked on believing they're 'THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD' and convinced that you have to do all your searching through THEM to find exactly what you want, and it just happens to be ONLY products THEY stand to make a profit from... the cost to the public... is THE FREEDOM TO MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES.

          I know I'm not willing to pay that price.


          I can't remember where, but there is a government in Europe that is pushing the internet as a "natural right" that every citizen should have. Sure, this will most likely just end up in some fees, but what is the ultimate punishment in monopoly investigations? Trying to break companies up. Trying to pick apart the monopoly. I know that realistically that isn't what is going to come of this, but the fact that the government is pursuing something in that line angers me. This is the company that provides the entire world with top of the line search, email, images, calendar, collaborative docs, and more... for free.

          Sure Google is going to try and turn a profit. They are a damn business after all. But they provide the entire world with invaluable services for nothing.
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by DanielleS View Post

            It's about Google deceiving the public at large by stating that their organics are 'unbiased.'
            So you're saying that if Google believes this list of ten things makes a store the best possible thing in the world...

            And they set up their search engine to look for those ten things...

            And they set up their store to be those ten things...

            It is somehow deceptive when their store comes up at the top of the search listings?

            Aren't you basically saying that Google should DELIBERATELY make either their search engine or their store worse, just so it doesn't make all the other stores look bad when they aren't as good?
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            • Profile picture of the author gefflong
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              So you're saying that if Google believes this list of ten things makes a store the best possible thing in the world...

              And they set up their search engine to look for those ten things...

              And they set up their store to be those ten things...

              It is somehow deceptive when their store comes up at the top of the search listings?

              Aren't you basically saying that Google should DELIBERATELY make either their search engine or their store worse, just so it doesn't make all the other stores look bad when they aren't as good?
              Well, it certainly is a little fishy that any market that google is in... a search will show that the Google items are the top ones.

              So... Google is #1 at everything it does??
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              • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

                Well, it certainly is a little fishy that any market that google is in... a Google search will show that the Google items are the top ones.
                Fixed that for you.

                So... Google is #1 at everything it does??
                Google certainly thinks so.

                If you are selling, say, blue widgets... and I say "Where's the best place to buy blue widgets?"... isn't the answer to buy them from you?

                No?

                Then you are doing a crappy job of selling widgets, and you should do better. You should improve your blue widget selling until that really is the answer.

                And when you're doing that, you will improve what is important to you, until in your opinion it has become the answer.

                And when it becomes the answer? You had damn well better say it's the answer, or you're giving a crappy answer.

                If Google are just working very hard and doing the best job they can possibly do, hey presto it looks just like what you're seeing.

                Everyone I've met from Google works very hard and does the best job they can do. They tell me all their colleagues do, too. So when you sit around saying Google must be full of lying, cheating scoundrels... I'm sorry, I just don't see it. There's simply no evidence.

                But I've got plenty of personal experience pointing to the idea that they're working very hard and doing the best job they can possibly do.
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                • Profile picture of the author gefflong
                  Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                  Fixed that for you.



                  Google certainly thinks so.

                  If you are selling, say, blue widgets... and I say "Where's the best place to buy blue widgets?"... isn't the answer to buy them from you?

                  No?

                  Then you are doing a crappy job of selling widgets, and you should do better. You should improve your blue widget selling until that really is the answer.

                  And when you're doing that, you will improve what is important to you, until in your opinion it has become the answer.

                  And when it becomes the answer? You had damn well better say it's the answer, or you're giving a crappy answer.

                  If Google are just working very hard and doing the best job they can possibly do, hey presto it looks just like what you're seeing.

                  Everyone I've met from Google works very hard and does the best job they can do. They tell me all their colleagues do, too. So when you sit around saying Google must be full of lying, cheating scoundrels... I'm sorry, I just don't see it. There's simply no evidence.

                  But I've got plenty of personal experience pointing to the idea that they're working very hard and doing the best job they can possibly do.
                  A funny guy I see... A funny guy who is missing the point.

                  Just because Google THINKS they have the best blue widgets does not mean they actually HAVE the best blue widgets... and that is not really the issue to begin with.

                  The issue is that Google has, by most definitions, a monopoly on search traffic and they have the ability to abuse that.

                  Take your blue widgets for instance. It really doesn't matter whether Google has the best blue widgets or if I have the best blue widgets... Google can always put their blue widget site in the #1 spot whether they are the best or if they are actually to worst. I do not have the ability to do that. That in itself makes it a conflict of interest for Google.

                  Even if the organic results are 100% unbiased and Google should actually have the #1 spot for blue widgets, it is still anti-competitive... Google knows the exact formula they use to rank websites and I do not. I will never be able to outrank Google because they have insider knowledge.

                  That is textbook violation of antitrust law.
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                  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                    Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

                    Just because Google THINKS they have the best blue widgets does not mean they actually HAVE the best blue widgets
                    But all Google's search results are what Google THINKS, not some sort of vast cosmic truth.

                    The issue is that Google has, by most definitions, a monopoly on search traffic
                    That's kind of like saying the highway has a monopoly on commuter traffic. There are plenty of smaller roads, but most commuters prefer not to use them. The commuters will still be able to get to work if the highway is closed... they just don't want to.

                    And the highway does not produce or provide the traffic, either. It just happens, because people like the highway. Blaming the highway for how much people like it is just stupid.
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          • Profile picture of the author TCrosby
            First of all DanielleS, by quoting me and inserting your own statements in bold, you misrepresent me to anyone who reads your post without reading my post first.

            I am not "Hooked on believing they're the best thing in the world." I am a computer science major currently working for Amazon. I understand the industry. I understand "Do no evil" means crap. Regardless, they provide billions will amazing services for free.

            What YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, is that google has no divine calling to be the search engine from heaven who seeks no profit of their own and serves the people at their own expense. Their home page doesn't say "These results are 100% guaranteed to be the absolute most relevant results, displayed in the simplest manner, with nothing intruding on your path between searching and finding the result you want." They have no obligation to do that. They are neither imposing the burden on themselves by claiming such, nor are they obligated to by any rules or regulations of the government. They are a business. It is that simple. T

            Let me draw a comparison for you. If comcast is your internet service provider, they set your homepage to comcast.net. It doesn't have to be, and it is not part of your contract. However, on comcast.net, they will host search, email, and also have options to upgrade to their other products, such as television, or the comcast triple-play. This is essentially what google is doing, but Google not charging you a contract. Instead of getting monthly payments from you, Google advertises for others or for themselves, so that they can stay in business. The end.

            Caliban DOES get it.
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  • Profile picture of the author enterpryzman
    This is an unfortunate series of claims being made and google will prevail, I would assure you they will prevail, as they should......end of story.

    Keep in mind that even those who openly talk here on WF about how to charge and what prices they are charging are in clear violation of FTC rules, the same rules and that is as crazy all the same.

    Enterpryzman
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  • Profile picture of the author TCrosby
    And let's make one more thing clear.

    Google was not made to help the "internet marketing" community in our sense of the word internet marketing.

    For the people saying "we make google what it is": get real.

    The only "marketing" that google was made for is companies and adwords.

    Any intermediary like us is just a fly to google. We didn't make them. In many ways we "abuse/use/exploit" the system.

    Sure if we make great content, then we our success in google's rankings might be deserved, but ultimately Google is there to bring searches to destinations that make them happy. If warrior didn't exist, searchers would just get to the end by other means than our websites. Might our "good content" be helpful? Sure, but it's not essential. They don't need us, never did, and don't trick yourself into thinking otherwise.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    This is certainly interesting.

    Was looking at buying a Blue Yeti Microphone just recently and guess what's first result?

    Google Products.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      A year or two of investigation...leaks...charges...attempts to negotiate....maybe court....more negotiations. Enough discussions to sink a mid-sized island.

      Wouldn't it be rich if in the end Google must place a disclaimer on its search results? Man, that'd show'em. "objects in the rear view mirror may be..." sung to the tune "search results shown on this page may not be quite as they appear".
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  • Profile picture of the author Roaddog
    9/10 of the people on this thread are arguing points that have absolutely nothing to do with the point at hand.

    Why they are being investigated.


    edit: whoops my fault put the wrong one in. anyway my point still stands


    An investigation would focus on whether Google search is unfairly driving traffic to its other sites.


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  • Profile picture of the author TCrosby
    Please show me what makes it their legal obligation to not include their own item at the top and I will pay heed to what you are saying.

    I understand it doesn't fall in line with their "motto," but that doesn't mean anything legally
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    • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
      How about the 'insider trading laws' that keep Wall Street in line?
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  • Profile picture of the author BlakeM
    The only google products/services that should appear as the first result are the ones that actually deserve to be there. If it's just there for them to make money then it should appear in the paid advertising section not organic results.

    But the fact is, google will probably end up continuing to do wherever they want because it brings in boatloads of cash. Sad, but true!
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  • Profile picture of the author HigherPrThanGod
    I suppose my way of looking at it is this.

    Google can be as biased as they want with search results.

    However, if they commit fraud then it'd be up to the ad words buyer to bring charges.

    That's how I look at it. It doesnt take a genius that the government would like to have agents stationed at all major search engines and ISP's lol
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by HigherPrThanGod View Post

      Google can be as biased as they want with search results.

      As I am sure you already know, Google will always be biased.

      They set up their algorithms to display the types of results that "management" believes will best represent their product.

      Every week, often every day, they make tweaks and changes to the algorithm to push some websites down in the results and other websites up in the results.

      Often, there is unintended collateral damage, but that is not their concern. They are trying to "improve" the listings, based on what Google's management believes will improve the overall output, based on their own biases and goals.

      Staffers in Matt Cutts group dig through the search results looking for anomalies and results that they do not want to see in the listings, then they try to figure out how to remove the bad stuff without damaging the good stuff.

      They are not always successful in not hurting the good stuff. But as long as the change introduces more positive change than negative change, they will roll-out the change throughout the network.

      Every single tweak to the algorithm introduces more of their bias into the output that their computing systems deliver.

      Anyone who believes that Google "is" or "should be" unbiased doesn't understand the first thing about how search engines are actually designed and built.


      Originally Posted by gefflong View Post

      A funny guy I see... A funny guy who is missing the point.

      Just because Google THINKS they have the best blue widgets does not mean they actually HAVE the best blue widgets... and that is not really the issue to begin with.

      The issue is that Google has, by most definitions, a monopoly on search traffic and they have the ability to abuse that.

      Take your blue widgets for instance. It really doesn't matter whether Google has the best blue widgets or if I have the best blue widgets... Google can always put their blue widget site in the #1 spot whether they are the best or if they are actually to worst. I do not have the ability to do that. That in itself makes it a conflict of interest for Google.

      Even if the organic results are 100% unbiased and Google should actually have the #1 spot for blue widgets, it is still anti-competitive... Google knows the exact formula they use to rank websites and I do not. I will never be able to outrank Google because they have insider knowledge.

      That is textbook violation of antitrust law.

      Having the ability and exercising the ability are two different things.

      Unless the Minority Report is now all the rage, people should be condemned for their actions, not their ability to do something terrible.

      I have the capability to kill my children, and sometimes the thought crosses my mind , but unless I actually do it, you cannot put me in prison for it.

      I think you are among those actually missing part of the point as well.

      I believe that Applebee's is the "best" restaurant in my hometown. And my wife believes that the Japanese restaurant is the "best" restaurant in my hometown.

      That does not mean that I am right and my wife is wrong, or vice versa. It just means that we determine "best" based on our own considerations of what we consider important.

      "Best" is a subjective analysis that is always based on individual preferences and biases.

      How do you know that Google's other properties are not "best" according to the biases programmed into their algorithms?

      You don't.

      You are simply "assuming" that if their properties show up near the top of Google's organic results, that they MUST be doing something wrong, unfair, or illegal.

      Google can always put their blue widget site in the #1 spot whether they are the best or if they are actually to worst. I do not have the ability to do that.
      You are not powerless to outrank a Google website. Anyone can do it, if they can manipulate (SEO) how the Google algorithm sees their website.

      People can outrank a Google property. I have seen it done, although I did not screenshot it when I saw it, so I cannot prove it now.

      Ask anyone who has ever done SEO professionally, and you will hear stories from people who aren't interested in playing the "victim".

      I don't hear anyone crying, in this thread, about how "I" can outrank them in Google, because I have learned how to manipulate Google. No one is complaining about how "Mike" helps his clients outrank their competitors in Google.

      We also have an "unfair" advantage over you, because we know how to manipulate Google to our own advantage too.

      "Best" is subjective, and so is "unfair".

      Google has never been 100%, or any other percentage, unbiased.

      The entire algorithm has been built on the biases of Google managers.

      The only part of Google's natural results that are "unbiased" is that they claim that they let all of their websites sink or swim in the algorithms the same as your site does.

      I for one believe them. You don't.

      You believe they are guilty, and you welcome prosecution because you believe they are guilty of a "textbook violation of antitrust law".

      You have made it more than clear that you believe they are guilty, because they have the capability to be guilty.

      I still believe in "innocent until proven guilty." You and others have already condemned them to guilt.


      Does Google really have the "best" results or the "most relevant" results?

      Well, that depends on who you ask.


      Google management hopes that each individual decides that their organic listings are the "best" and "most relevant", but every individual decides that for themselves.

      And if the individual decides that Google is not the "best" or "most relevant", they are free to go use the competition, and more people are starting to move to the competition. Google has lost nearly 10 points of market share since the roll-out of Caffeine.

      Clearly, Bing is starting to make inroads on Google's market share.


      As to the claims of "anti-competitive", the only area where people claim Google is anti-competitive is on the Google website.

      I am anti-competitive on my websites too, and I am sure you don't link to your competitors either...

      You say that they are anti-competitive, but if you search for Google on Google, they will show you some of their competitors in the left sidebar. If you don't believe me, test it.

      When Microsoft was taken to task for anti-trust violations, they were trying to force OEM manufacturers to carry their software on all systems, or not be able to get the Windows operating system.

      They were trying to use their market share to crush choice in the marketplace.

      Google is not guilty of that kind of behavior at all. They simply allow their own websites to compete with the world in their "organic" listings, i.e. free advertising slots in the "content" part of their website.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
    any company can do what they like in thier own business to increase their market share...until they become so big that just farting will kill other people business

    At that point they are subject to different rules

    The FTC are just bringing google down to a size where their farts wont kill people

    That seems like a senesible thing to do
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  • Profile picture of the author TCrosby
    This is the equivalent of us putting upsells in a free product.

    And then having people bitch and whine that "Omg your product tricked me into paying for something" or "Omg you recomended your own upsell as opposed to someone else's product."

    This is stupid. We put a disclaimer of potential earnings somewhere in our site. Should google do that? Sure. Do they probably already have one somewhere? Probably. This is trivial.
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    • Profile picture of the author zerofill
      It actually doesn't shock me in the least that this is coming up. What actually shocks me is it took that long lol.

      Now do I think Google basically has the right to do whatever it wants with their search results? Basically yes...

      Do I think they favor other companies and manipulate their own rankings of some sites not purely based on algorithm alone? yeah... no doubt they do.

      But what comes into play is... I think FTC wants to claim that Google has the power to make or break a business online, and to change the way large numbers of people actually think.

      So once you become that powerful in comes the Peter Parker, "With great power comes great responsibility." deal...

      So the FTC wants to find out if they are abusing their power now.

      one part of me says... They have the right to abuse it all they want because people are not stuck with Google as the only alternative for search results.

      But then again...

      Google has tried to become the common thread by which the vast majority of ways you find things on the internet have something to do with them in some manner.

      I would think it is a fact that the highest percentage of people that use the internet are not techies of any sort. They only know so many ways to find things on the internet. pretty much it boils down to going to yahoo/bing or Google. They may also find something on a a social site that someone else found on yahoo/bing or Google lol.

      Now when you start making it where your search is powering mobile devices, it is in physical search appliances that corporations use and incorporate in their intranets, it is powering toolbars, installed via software with chrome, etc... You start gaining power to actually have the ability to change the way people think. By providing them the information you want them to see and blackballing the other info out there.

      This is something I said years ago... That Google was going to start making people see what they wanted them to see. The open source goody goody Google isn't the real agenda here. But it is hard to go into what I think the agenda is without sounding like a nut conspiracy theorist lol.

      But I think that is what the FTC is looking at... Google having the ability to sway government elections, building up their joint venture business partners by giving them the edge in search results, pushing video via YouTube, etc... etc... etc... In the end actually being in the big boys club that controls our government anyway... We all know our U.S. government is controlled in large by the big corporations. Google wants in the club...

      If Google was still just a simple search engine that wasn't entwined in virtually everything anymore. They would leave them alone...

      Now they are more powerful then the FTC and the people that sent the FTC after them feel comfortable with. Just like Facebook will be hounded by the FTC soon as well.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by zerofill View Post

        Google has tried to become the common thread by which the vast majority of ways you find things on the internet have something to do with them in some manner.

        As marketers, isn't that the kind of thing we all dream of?

        People coming to our site more often to buy more of our stuff?


        Google has positioned themselves well, and succeeded in becoming a household name like: Coke, Pepsi, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Ford, Toyota, NBC, Fox, and American Airlines.

        The Google brand is synonymous with the Internet and search.

        I agree with most of what you have said Don.

        I just find it baffling that so many marketers want to kick Google in the balls, just because Google has become so successful.

        In the outside world, I would not be so surprised. But this is a forum for marketers dammit.

        It is sort of like I have always said:

        People don't play, "Let's keep up with the Joneses." Instead, more people are concerned with,"'How do we keep the Joneses down to our level."
        Many of the people posting in this thread are celebrating Google getting smacked by the Feds.

        They are not celebrating because they know that Google has done wrong. They are celebrating because they think Google has too much power in the market place.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Bill, let's talk about search results since we're on the subject.

          Being semi retired, lately I am more a customer than a seller. In fact, I do a
          ton of searching on Google.

          Know what I find in the majority of my searches outside of entertainment?
          (IMDB, TV.com, Wiki, etc.)

          Most of the top results DON'T give me what I am looking for.

          In fact, I'm left scratching my head wondering..."Is this the best that's out there?"

          So if Google is indeed giving us the most relevant results, I have to wonder
          just how good their service is in the first place.

          Because for me, way too often, it sucks big time.
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            Know what I find in the majority of my searches outside of entertainment?
            (IMDB, TV.com, Wiki, etc.)

            Most of the top results DON'T give me what I am looking for.

            In fact, I'm left scratching my head wondering..."Is this the best that's out there?"

            So if Google is indeed giving us the most relevant results, I have to wonder
            just how good their service is in the first place.

            Because for me, way too often, it sucks big time.

            Steve: "Best" and "most relevant" are subjective statements, as defined by the person saying them.

            I am with you. If I did not have the Google toolbar installed, I probably would never use them.

            In my own subjective opinion, I have felt that Bing has delivered more relevant results for a long time.

            But we are still in the minority of the global population.



            p.s. In case you are confused, I am defending Google on principle alone.
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        • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
          This is all quite amazing. Chicken little is on the loose but has yet to present a stitch of evidence that the sky is falling.

          Where's the bias in google results?

          Are paid ads proof of bias? Well, for the person who can't distinguish between ads and content, maybe. But who's fault is that? All ads are identified aren't they?

          Are there shenanigans within the organic results? Show me.

          Do you think that shopping results appearing high on the list is proof of bias and manipulation? Well, sure, that's manipulated, but if the search terms indicate a desire to shop, is that improper manipulation?

          Finally, if you honestly believe that google is doing something in an underhanded way, can you show me that bing is not doing the same thing?

          Just for fun, and in an effort to see what chicken little is crying about, I tried a few simple searches.

          Music: music - Google Search=
          Oh no! Could it be? Google let Yahoo take the top spot?!!! Well someone's gonna get canned for that! Or maybe... no, it can't be...
          can it? Is this some sort of collusion? A ploy to keep the regulators at bay?

          And this one is really fun...

          Online advertising: online advertising - Google Search=
          Wow! Did google plaster the top results with adwords promotions? Take a look and judge for yourself.
          I can't help but think that chicken little's sky is falling because he can't get his site on page one.
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by JDArchitecture View Post

            This is all quite amazing. Chicken little is on the loose but has yet to present a stitch of evidence that the sky is falling.

            Where's the bias in google results?

            Are paid ads proof of bias? Well, for the person who can't distinguish between ads and content, maybe. But who's fault is that? All ads are identified aren't they?

            Are there shenanigans within the organic results? Show me.

            Do you think that shopping results appearing high on the list is proof of bias and manipulation? Well, sure, that's manipulated, but if the search terms indicate a desire to shop, is that improper manipulation?

            Finally, if you honestly believe that google is doing something in an underhanded way, can you show me that bing is not doing the same thing?

            Just for fun, and in an effort to see what chicken little is crying about, I tried a few simple searches.

            Music: music - Google Search=
            Oh no! Could it be? Google let Yahoo take the top spot?!!! Well someone's gonna get canned for that! Or maybe... no, it can't be...
            can it? Is this some sort of collusion? A ploy to keep the regulators at bay?

            And this one is really fun...

            Online advertising: online advertising - Google Search=
            Wow! Did google plaster the top results with adwords promotions? Take a look and judge for yourself.
            I can't help but think that chicken little's sky is falling because he can't get his site on page one.

            LOL

            YouTube is #4 on the "music" search.

            And Google is #10 in the "online advertising" search. But Google did buy into the Paid Listings at #4 in the paid results!!



            Murphy's Law maybe?

            "When a theory about unfair bias could go wrong, it usually will?"

            ... proving the bias of the Google haters ...
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            Well, I've read both sides of this argument, yet again. Caliban, I especially
            like your take on it as well as the search examples you came up with. It's hard
            to argue with cold, hard facts.

            So where do I stand?

            Back in the old days (yes, I'm old) Bell Telephone was the only game in town.
            In fact, I don't even know if there WAS another phone service in our area.

            But we were fine with it because the service was good. I never had any
            real problems and the prices were more than reasonable.

            Then came the Bell/AT&T breakup.

            Today, my phone bill looks like my old rent bill.

            WTF?

            Deregulation certainly hasn't helped my phone service any. In fact, I'd say
            it's worse now than it was years ago. I can't tell you how many dropped
            calls I get or calls I don't even receive because I'm in some kind of "dead"
            zone.

            What does this have to do with Google?

            I'm already at that stage where I feel that things can't get any worse.

            They've essentially made it so that I can forget about relying on anything
            to do with traffic in the MMO niche because of their outright war against
            MMO sites and programs. YouTube slammed my account months before the
            actual hammer fell recently. Adwords? I won't even go there. My account
            was slapped silly so long ago, I don't even remember was Adwords looks like.

            And I'm one of the good guys who always played by the rules.

            So what did it get me?

            At least with Bell Telephone, I had good service. That's a monopoly I
            wish they had let alone.

            Over time, Google's abuse of power (forgetting about whether it's legal or
            not) is only going to get worse.

            As I said previously, my only hope is that karma will catch up to them and
            they'll lose enough market share to make them reconsider their business
            model.

            Until then, I'm going to bow out of the legal/illegal debate because I'm not
            a lawyer, and as I said earlier, both sides make good points.

            Personally, I hate Google, and therefore I am biased. But that hatred has
            nothing to do with whether or not they should be fined, regulated or
            whatever.

            I'm just going to leave that to the folks who know what they're doing.

            I'm assuming that somewhere in this messed up world, they still exist.
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        • Profile picture of the author zerofill
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post

          As marketers, isn't that the kind of thing we all dream of?

          People coming to our site more often to buy more of our stuff?
          I wasn't condemning them for it... I was basically just trying to get across what the FTC and the powers that be are probably thinking...

          Heh, I don't condemn anything they have done as far as marketing goes. If I was in their spot I would do the same damn thing lol.

          Just trying to state where I think it all comes from as far as them being looked at under a magnifying glass now.
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          • Profile picture of the author tpw
            Originally Posted by zerofill View Post

            I wasn't condemning them for it... I was basically just trying to get across what the FTC and the powers that be are probably thinking...

            Heh, I don't condemn anything they have done as far as marketing goes. If I was in their spot I would do the same damn thing lol.

            Just trying to state where I think it all comes from as far as them being looked at under a magnifying glass now.

            I realize that Don.

            I understood what you was doing, and was not disagreeing with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    I think Google will probably get out of this relatively scot free, Google has always played it well with the authorities
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