Is Google's Penguin Update a "Cover" for Anti-Trust Violations?

6 replies
A few months ago Google settled an anti-trust probe by the FTC with a minor slap on the wrist. The resolution has been widely criticized and has not been followed in Europe.

One of the anti-trust complaints was Google deliberately not showing the most relevant search results for a query, but instead promoting its own properties and downgrading the rankings of competitors. Ultimately, this could drive competitors out of business and harm consumers.

Since Google controls most of the search market this is a very serious issue, especially as Google leverages its search dominance to compete in more and more categories.

One of the respected names in SEO analysis, SEOmoz, has been analyzing the results from the Penguin 2.0 update, and made this startling conclusion about "winners" and "losers" in the update when comparing the largest search ranking holders:

YouTube picked up the most page-1 rankings, and Yelp was still the biggest loser.

SEOmoz analysis:
It appears the biggest winner was Google itself and the biggest loser was a competitor who has repeatedly complained about Google's practices.

Interestingly, the writer of the SEOmoz article seems to be completely unaware of the legal issue or broader implications of the results. He was narrowly focused on who won or lost rankings.

Given Google's past track record, which is not good (being perhaps the most heavily fined company in the world), it could be that Google is using "Penguin" to obscure its attempt to ratchet up its anti-competitive activities.

#antitrust #cover #google #penguin #update #violations
  • Profile picture of the author RAMarketing
    If they are, it won't work. The FTC doesn't ask questions like 'How does your algorithm work?' They ask questions like "You're violating legal precedent; fix it.'
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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua Lowenthal
      I was wondering if maybe the announcement was made to cover some changes they were making in regards to OUR privacy in searching and other data manipulation.

      The FED is making some HUGE changes in the way things work for our beloved Internet, and unfortunately that comes with collateral damage in regards to Google, being that they are industry leaders.

      I mean they made an announcement about a change, but in that same paragraph they state it will cause a 2.3% ( I think ) change, I mean why even mention it for such a small change.

      Hell, why even make the change. Seems strange.
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  • The government asked them to turn over their searches to them -- but they refused to comply because it would compromise their 'trade secrets'.

    I don't think Google will tell the FTC what they have, nor would the FTC have that access.

    However - it MIGHT be conceivable that a compromise "We'll give you x number of emails without a warrant if we get to keep users' searches private for the sake of keeping our algorithm secret.'

    Seems crooked enough to keep both Congress and Google happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author wordpressmania
    Those information are terrific. It seems we do not have any control over those giants ( Google ) and eventually we will be slave to those giants.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendon Zahrndt
    I remember quite vividly the day I decided that relying on Google for my livelihood was bad business practice.

    Life is so much easier to enjoy these days.

    If I wake up and Google is still there, wonderful.

    If I wake up and Google has vanished, wonderful.

    I suppose this makes me indifferent.

    In reality I wouldn't mind seeing Goliath take a fall though, after all I grew up a Cleveland sports fan.
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    Google surely is abusing of its power, but who can verify the real intention of its actions?
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