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Google Businesses The Internet

Google's Silent Monopoly 425

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-think-about dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Isaac Garcia from Central Desktop Blog writes, 'How much does Google pay *itself* to claim the top ad position for searches relevant to its own products? Google holds the top advertisement (Adword) slot for the following key words: intranet, spreadsheet, documents, calendar, word processor, email, video, instant messenger, blog, photo sharing, online groups, maps, start page, restaurants, dining, and books... ...if you are trying to advertise a product that is competitive to Google, then you'll never be able to receive the Top Ad Position, no matter how much money you bid and spend. How different is it than MSFT placing its products (Internet Explorer) in a premium marketing position (embedded in the OS)?'"
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Google's Silent Monopoly

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  • Obviously, it's no big deal because Microsoft has a lot more power than Google, so for Google to leverage a monopoly to get into other markets is AOK.

    I got that insight from Vellmont [slashdot.org] et [slashdot.org] al [slashdot.org].
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tomstdenis (446163)
      I don't see them as the same thing though.

      Microsoft leverages their monopoly to trap you into using MSFT tools, most of which are in some way or shape flawed compared to alternatives. Microsoft also holds a fairly large portion of the market share.

      Google doesn't force you to advertise with them, nor do they limit your ability to advertise with others. And they're not the only website on the internet. I don't see that Google has a monopoly on "the Internet."
      Tom
      • by eln (21727) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:40PM (#17131350) Homepage
        Microsoft leverages their monopoly to trap you into using MSFT tools, most of which are in some way or shape flawed compared to alternatives.

        So if Microsoft's tools were technologically superior to the alternatives, the behavior would be okay? I don't think so.

        I don't see that Google has a monopoly on "the Internet."

        No, but "the Internet" isn't a product. Google has a near-monopoly on web searches, and it is (allegedly) leveraging that monopoly to gain a competitive advantage in other industries that also happen to be web-based. Just because a product is offered on the Internet doesn't mean the product is "the Internet," and it doesn't mean that product isn't distinct from other offerings on the Internet.

        Leveraging your position in the market for one product to increase your competitive advantage in the market for another product is nothing new. The problem comes when you are so dominant in Market A that leveraging that dominance in Market B would cause others to be unable to effectively compete in Market B.

        The question here is whether Google is sufficiently dominant in Market A, the web search market, to be classified as a monopoly. If they are, then what they are doing could be classified as illegal abuse of that monopoly.
        • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@REDHATgmail.com minus distro> on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:52PM (#17131634) Homepage
          So if Microsoft's tools were technologically superior to the alternatives, the behavior would be okay? I don't think so.

          Monopolies only become a problem when they stop doing what's in the best interests of the customers. If Microsoft produced quality software and listened to the customers, then I suspect most people wouldn't have a problem with them. Oddly enough, a fairly common criticism of MSFT is that they're all closed source. So if they listened to their customers and opened up more of the kernel, file formats, and what not, we wouldn't have this vendor lockin problem and hence no abuse of monopoly.

          BTW there are quite a few natural monopolies like gas, water, telco, cable, etc. Which usually don't get broken up until they start really abusing their customers. (I'm waiting for Rogers to get a bitch slap...)

          As for Google, I guess I can't comment since I'm not in the market to advertise and I mentally block out Adsense advertisements. But that said, I see [or acknowledge] more ads from slashdot and fark than I do from google.

          Tom
          • by rainman_bc (735332) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:05PM (#17131918)
            Monopolies only become a problem when they stop doing what's in the best interests of the customers.

            Make no mistake about it, people who use Google's free services are not Google's customers; they are Google's product.

            Advertisers are Google's customers. They are the ones who pay. Granted they treat their users well with their offerings, but in no way are you a customer of Google's.
            • by e4g4 (533831) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @02:10PM (#17133308)
              This seems a little too cut and dry. Without the users, Google would have no customers - it seems to me that we are customers of Google by proxy. In other words, we pay the advertisers (with eyeball/click through time) and the advertisers pay Google (with money). Remove any link in that chain and it all falls to pieces; therefore I'd say that we are indeed (though indirectly) Google's customers, as it is in Google's best interest to keep both us and the advertisers happy.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by L7_ (645377)
              Yeah, this is analagous to ClearCast using some of its own billboards to broadcast how to advertise with them.

              The services and what not are (bad analogy forthwith) just the roads on which to get people to travel to look at the billboard type advertisements.
        • by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:58PM (#17131730)
          Don't be ridiculous. Google is nothing like Microsoft. Here's a few important differences:

          1) Cost to the average user. When you decide you want to or need to use Microsoft software, it'll cost you. Non-OEM copies of Windows are quite expensive (~$300?). When you decide to use Google to look for a website, it's free, other than having a few ads on the right side of the screen. I've never sent Google a dime, even though I've used many of their services (search, maps, etc.) for years.

          2) Availability of alternatives. If you have a copy of TurboTax or AutoCAD and want to use it, you need a copy of Windows installed on your computer. You might be able to get it to work with WINE on Linux, but don't count on it; most likely it won't work fully. If you work at a company with an internal website that uses ActiveX crap, you're basically forced to use Windows/IE. However, if you want to search for a website, you can choose from Google, Yahoo, and MSN searches. Nothing's stopping you from using one of Google's competitors. The only reason they command the overwhelming majority of search uses is because they have a reputation for returning the best results. But most searches will probably work fine with any of them. Similarly, you can use Google Maps to find directions someplace, or you can use Mapquest or one of several others. People happen to like Google Maps, but the others all work fine, and will probably find your destination for you as well (and the results may actually be more accurate, though the user interface will suck more in my experience).

          Google only has a huge market share because people like them and choose to use their services. This could change at the drop of a hat since several competing services are available which do all the same stuff (just not as well), and there's absolutely no lock-in forcing anyone to stick with Google.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Irish_Samurai (224931)
            1) Cost to the average user. When you decide you want to or need to use Microsoft software, it'll cost you. Non-OEM copies of Windows are quite expensive (~$300?). When you decide to use Google to look for a website, it's free, other than having a few ads on the right side of the screen. I've never sent Google a dime, even though I've used many of their services (search, maps, etc.) for years.

            As I, and other posters, have been pointing out. You are not the consumer, nor the customer. You are the product. Th
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Arctic Dragon (647151)
            Availability of alternatives. If you have a copy of TurboTax or AutoCAD and want to use it, you need a copy of Windows installed on your computer.

            How is it Microsoft's fault that software developers are not interested in porting their software to other platforms? Blame the makers of TurboTax and AutoCAD, not Microsoft.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:01PM (#17131838)
          Google has a near-monopoly on web searches...


          Google has nothing like a monopoly on web searches. There are countless close substitutes. Even if Google has a large portion of the market share, as long as those substitutes exist (or can exist), Google cannot function as a monopoly. (If Google could function as a monopoly, they could charge for their search services and anyone wanting to search would have no choice but to pay.)

          We're talking about their advertising business, though. In that context, whether they have a monopoly on searches is irrelevant because they're competing against the entire internet for eyeballs. In this context we would be even less justified in calling Google a monopoly.

        • by jkauzlar (596349)

          I guess I haven't been made upset or surprised by google's self-advertising, because it's ON THEIR OWN WEBSITE. In a perfect world, they would probably use unseeded, honest algorithms for searches, but...

          Like Microsoft's monopoly, in the case of packaging products along with their operating system, you have to forgive them. It's the Department of Justice that needs to be doing its job to make sure competition is not unfairly stifled, as is obviously the case with IE & Windows Media Player. I can't se

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Google has a near-monopoly on web searches...

          From Dictionary.com:

          monopoly /mnpli/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[muh-nop-uh-lee] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
          -noun, plural -lies.
          1. exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices. Compare duopoly, oligopoly.
          2. an exclusive privilege to carry on a business, traffic, or service, granted by a government.
          3. the exclusive possession or control of

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Irish_Samurai (224931)
            Google has almost 73% world market share in search. [hitslink.com] That gives you 73% world market share in search advertising.

            That's the monopoly. Not search itself.
            • by demonbug (309515) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @03:02PM (#17134374) Journal
              It doesn't matter what their market share is... it could be 99.9%, and there still wouldn't necessarily be a problem. It could only be described as a monopoly (really an abusive monopoly) if they then leveraged that market share to artificially raise the barrier to entry into the market for their competitors.

              For example, if Google started telling it's advertisers that they can't advertise with anyone else if they want to be able to advertise with Google, that would be an attempt to illegally (or at least abusively) leverage their position in order to harm their competitors. Sort of like Microsoft telling computer manufacturers that if they want to be able to sell computers with Windows installed, they better not be selling computers with any other OS (or with no OS) - at that point, they are abusing their market position to build artificial barriers to entry in the desktop OS market.

              There can only be a monopoly if there is a significant barrier to entry in a market. It is only an abusive monopoly if they either use their position to raise artificial barriers, or if significant "natural" barriers exist, when they start abusing their customers.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by QRDeNameland (873957)

            The article is FUD. If Google wants to place its services in the top results, it's their choice to. As long as they are willing to accept that they won't make as much money off of PPC (their only real source of income, outside of partnerships) for those keywords, they can do whatever they want. The law has no place there, because they aren't doing anything illegal, or even questionable.

            While I agree that any "monopoly" argument is out of place and that there is nothing *illegal* happening here, I have to

        • by d_strand (674412) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:23PM (#17132334)
          No, but "the Internet" isn't a product. Google has a near-monopoly on web searches, and it is (allegedly) leveraging that monopoly to gain a competitive advantage in other industries that also happen to be web-based

          I'm not sure it is possible to have a monopoly on something on the internet. There is *no* penalty for using other products. They are not harder to find, they are not more expensive to use, and google can't do anything to prevent you from using them. The definition of a monopoly on a product is that it is the only (or "almost" only, se MS Windows) available one of its type.

          There are plenty of other search engines, the reason people dont use them is that they suck compared to google. I'm not sure that makes a monopoly. If google went around buying up start-up search engines to close them doen or bullying isps to block acces to other engines besides google, then you might have a monopoly.
        • Hardly a monopoly (Score:4, Informative)

          by cwgmpls (853876) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:36PM (#17132604) Journal

          Google has a near-monopoly on web searches

          44 percent [searchenginewatch.com] is hardly a monopoly. Or a near-monopoly.

    • by porkThreeWays (895269) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:38PM (#17131296)
      How different is it than MSFT placing its products (Internet Explorer) in a premium marketing position (embedded in the OS)?'"

      Simple. Microsoft is a convicted monopoly, google is not. Next there will be complaining that Linux distro's bundle media player software. You play by a different set of rules when you are a convicted monopoly.
      • Microsoft has been convicted of abusing its monopoly. Having a monopoly is not something one can be convicted of.

        I wouldn't say that this constitutes an abuse of a monopoly. This is akin to Apple placing iPod adverts in the iTunes installer, a newspaper placing job adverts in its own jobs page, or Microsoft placing an MSN advert on the desktop on a fresh Windows install.

  • by tronicum (617382) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:25PM (#17130988)
    thats an evil monopoly!
  • "Do No Harm" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reverend99 (1009807) * on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:25PM (#17131002)
    Doesn't anyone watch movies? Any company that claims to "Do No Harm" is obviously the most evil vile company of them all.
  • by creimer (824291) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:26PM (#17131008) Homepage
    Maybe you need to find a product or service that doesn't compete with Google Enterprises?
  • by Colonel Angus (752172) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:27PM (#17131036)
    Google is the only way one can advertise a product on the web anymore?

    Last I checked, Google was *one* place where you could buy ads. If you don't like it, advertise elsewhere.
    • Exactly. The analogy to Microsoft isn't accurate because Google isn't a monopoly. And even if they were a search engine monopoly, they're certainly not a monopoly in the online advertising business. Yahoo, for example, is one of the most popular destinations on the web, and they have their own keyword advertising service.
  • by pdabbadabba (720526) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:27PM (#17131042) Homepage
    Consider: When Google grants itself the top ad slot for a search term, it denies itself the revenue of a third-party advertiser who might have paid for that slot. Thus, in a very real sense, Google pays exactly the same rate as everyone else.
    • by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:30PM (#17131090) Journal
      And when I **** my wife, I'm denying myself the revenue of a third-party john who might have rented her for that slot. Thus, in a very real sense, I pay the same rate as everyone else.
    • by Oz0ne (13272)
      You are exactly right. Thank you.
    • Your comment is true in one sense, but then consider that Google does not need to cultivate a customer relationship with itself, provide an externally-accessible website for this service, and it does not need to process payments around the transaction. Looking at the entire picture, Google is getting a better return on its own placements. Besides, those placements send users to other Google services which (potentially) generate additional advertising revenue for the company. It is a sweet deal, to be sur
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RallyNick (577728)
      Consider: When Google grants itself the top ad slot for a search term, it denies itself the revenue of a third-party advertiser who might have paid for that slot. Thus, in a very real sense, Google pays exactly the same rate as everyone else.

      I'm not buying this. Slots are not sold individually with a price tag on each. They are being auctioned in batch. Whoever pays most gets 1st, next guy gets 2nd, etc. When Google takes 1st slot for themselves they don't really lose much since they just shift everyone

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nacturation (646836)

        Slots are not sold individually with a price tag on each. They are being auctioned in batch. Whoever pays most gets 1st, next guy gets 2nd, etc. When Google takes 1st slot for themselves they don't really lose much since they just shift everyone else 1 slot down and still take all their money.

        The top slot almost always has the best clickthrough rate. By pushing everyone else down a slot, not only do they push the bottom slot to the next page of results but the others get a slightly lesser clickthrough rate. Because companies pay per click, Google gets less revenue.

  • Google can do it because it isn't a monopoly.

    End of story, really. MSN Search, Yahoo Search, Ask.com, etc etc, make up a significant part of the search market.
    • by LO0G (606364)
      By that logic, Microsoft wasn't a monopoly either - MacOS, OSX, Linux, etc etc made up a significant part of the OS market.
  • Monopoly (Score:5, Informative)

    by El Lobo (994537) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:27PM (#17131050)
    Two areas of "monopoly" which do concern commentators and commercial organisations are only indirectly commercial. In one sense, although it is a search engine, Google has some of the powers of a major newspaper or periodical. It does and can exercise editorial control and influence.

    Secondly, the power and use of on-line purchase is growing. Google, and other search engines for that matter, have more power to influence the selection, availability and immediacy of purchases in the way it sets the so-called algorithms for prioritising and selection of websites, bringing distinct commercial advantage to some and disadvantage to others. Much of that will invariably be determined by the commercial power of advertising revenues. This could trigger investigation by Competition Authorities.

  • by ShadyG (197269) <bgraymusic&gmail,com> on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:28PM (#17131052) Homepage
    Sounds a lot like a television channels running ads for their own shows. How often do you see NBC airing an ad for a CBS show? Is that wrong?
    • by Triv (181010)

      How often do you see NBC airing an ad for a CBS show?

      As often as CBS wants to pay for it. If CBS sees a show on NBC that attracts a demographic they think their programming can tap, CBS will pay the standard rates for advertising that airs within that show. It works for both networks, really - CBS gets eyeballs and NBC gets ad revenue from a competitor. In a way, it's an acknowledgment that NBC has something that CBS wants and is willing to pay for, ie that NBC is doing something right.

      The catch is,

  • So should google specifically change its system to make sure that it *doesn't* show up at the top of searches? Or does someone have proof that google spoofed its own system to make sure it came out on top. Lets face it, google is the best (or at worst most used) search engine. People link to google with all kinds of words... so it comes up high in all kinds of searches. That's just how the system works.
  • Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hanssprudel (323035) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:29PM (#17131064)
    How much does Google pay *itself* to claim the top ad position for searches relevant to its own products?

    The cost to google is loss in revenue from not being able to sell those top positions, presumably...

    How hard was that?
  • Fine by me.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Entens (983281) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:31PM (#17131106)
    Sure, it has a monopoly, in its own domain. I would only be concerned about it if I started to see Google's ads at the top spot on multiple search engines.

    Its the difference between seeing Mobile ads at a Shell gas station. Of course your going to see ads from Shell rather than Mobile, but if you don't want to see that, just go to a different service station.
  • by moore.dustin (942289) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:31PM (#17131124) Homepage
    This is important like a press release saying the sky is blue is important. Of course a company that is in competition with other companies is going to promote its products before theirs. Google is not trying to launch all these services as individual entities, they are all part of Google. That means that Google will try to cross promote and advertise (for free) its own products. It is common sense as far as I can tell.

    Why don't you go to a cab company and ask to advertise another cab service on their cars. Good luck!

  • it's so different (Score:5, Informative)

    by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:31PM (#17131126) Journal

    It's a lot different, so different it's not a point of discussion, yet. There are so many alternative options for search engines out there.

    I've tried many other search engines. I like that there are so many to choose from and try. And try again. But so far Google for most uses is the best first choice (for me). Google isn't forcing me to use them.

    When I do use Google, I have no qualms they would ratchet up any ad placement or search results in their favor, it's their widget, and as long as it is giving me results that help me get through my research requirements,... hmmmm, not really the issue. Oh yes, abuse of monopoly.

    Google isn't a monopoly. Google is dominant because they are good. They haven't stifled competition, they've created red hot innovation competition. Heck, Google has even gotten Microsoft to look like they're at least now trying to innovate.

    Google's behavior is nothing like Microsoft's.... at least not yet, but additionally Google's beginnings look nothing like Microsoft's. Google emerged from a couple of people putting together cool ways of getting to information and grew that into some pretty amazing technology (do a Google and find and check out how their Google File System works -- it's amazing in its elegance, simplicity, and power). Google caught on in a world technology dominated by others and by dint of excellence have taken top spot.

    As for the author's claim Google holds the top spot for the words:

    I tried a bunch of these -- while I do see google as a top spot ad, it's hardly a dominant position. And there are many other sponsored links. This is nothing like the old Microsoft "don't dare put any icons or links of any competitor on any machine you sell or we won't give you license to sell Windows" fiat.

    I don't care if they hold on to the top spot... I just care that the playing field remains level. I'm sure Google plays tough, but in the big picture I still hold faith Google plays fair.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by supremebob (574732)
      The results for "spreadsheet" are kinda fishy, though... Both the top three search links and the top sponsor links are for Google's spreadsheet product, and I don't see ANY links to Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet sites on the first page of results. Considering that Excel is the dominant spreadsheet product (for better or worse), doesn't it seem odd that it didn't it was excluded?
      • Re:it's so different (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Qzukk (229616) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:49PM (#17131548) Journal
        Considering that Excel is the dominant spreadsheet product

        Maybe Microsoft felt that Excel had already reached the maximum mindshare and that advertising wouldn't do anything for them anymore. After all, if everyone thinks spreadsheet: Excel, then paying google to tell people spreadsheet: Excel doesn't help.
      • by M-G (44998)
        Maybe, but it would be much more fishy if the results for 'Excel' returned a bunch of non-Excel info.
      • by yagu (721525) *

        Fishy maybe. I don't know. Again, I don't have any problem with Google snubbing Microsoft. Google isn't stifling any competition by doing so. It would be different if Microsoft couldn't move their product because of Google's "anti-Microsoft" behavior, but that scenario isn't even on the radar.

        And for those interested in information about Excel, I would guess there isn't anybody anywhere that doesn't have an idea about how to get information on Excel.

        As for not seeing Excel in the first few links, appr

      • by Xentor (600436)
        "Microsoft Excel"
        "Google Spreadsheets"

        Now, which one of these more closely matches the keyword "spreadsheet"?

        That explains why google comes up first in the normal search results. That they come up first in the sponsored ads is more of an issue (With which I don't see a problem), but this doesn't prove that they're seeding the actual results.
    • Excellent post. Amen, brother. You got it right.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aladrin (926209)
      Maybe, just maybe, most of those have the top spot on Google because when people want google maps, they go to google.com and search for 'maps'. And groups. And spreadsheets. I do that quite a lot, rather than go to maps.google.com.

      It's entirely possible that they aren't even affecting these searches AT ALL. That natural tendencies put them at the top.

      BTW, restaurants and dining didn't produce any Google stuff at all, from what I could see.
  • not true (Score:3, Funny)

    by Lehk228 (705449) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:32PM (#17131134) Journal
    I just tested "intranet"

    .Net Office Intranet www.intranetdashboard.com .Net CMS - Over 35 apps included. Free 30 Day Trial - Download Now !
    Intranet www.google.com/a Create a custom start page for all users on your domain. Learn more.


    google's ad comes in at #2 on this one Google Checkout
    • by 6031769 (829845)
      Nor are they top for restaurant or dining (I got bored after two. Further testing is left as an exercise for the reader.).
  • by _iris (92554) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:33PM (#17131166) Homepage
    Microsoft was not at fault for putting their browser in an exclusive position on Windows. They were at fault for using their OS monopoly to stunt competition in the browser market. Every large multi-market company uses their products to enhance their other products (e.g. Apple = iPod + OSX + iTunes). The difference is that Google does not have a monopoly on search or advertising.
  • While I don't have a problem with Google placing it's own services at the top on it's own site I am concerned with the fact that they make it appear as if their adverts are like any other. This may lead people to believe they can in fact compete whereas the reality seems to be that they can't. This could easily lead to people paying far more for ads than is necessary. It would be more acceptable if Google were to indicate that your ad will always feature below their ad so that you can make a more informed d

  • AdSense feature (Score:3, Informative)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte@@@drunksnipers...com> on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @12:35PM (#17131230) Homepage
    In AdSense you can block ads from competitors. Every AdSense client uses it, well most of them anyway, so why wouldn't google use that feature either?

    More on this feature: Competitive Ad Filter [google.com]
  • by maxume (22995)
    Walmart refuses Target's request to advertise in Walmart stores.
  • Comparing Google to Microsoft for something like this is like comparing Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader.

    Oh, wait a second.....
    • by revlayle (964221)
      So.... you are saying that Microsoft is Google's daddy??

      MICROSOFT: No. I am your father.

      [Shocked, Google looks at Microsoft in utter disbelief.]

      GOOGLE: No. No. That's not true! That's impossible!
  • According to Alexa, Yahoo! is the most visited site on the net, followed by MSN* and then Google. You could say then that Google is the third most popular search engine and therefore not a monopoly.

    *This is probably only true because Microsoft attempts to set the default homepage to MSN with every update to IE.
  • I mean... It should be illegal for ABC, CBS, NBC, and all the other networks to decide who gets their key time slots for advertisement, right? Or not.
  • So wait, google needs to bias their search to advertise his own products?

    If they wanted to bias people to use their products wouldn't they clutter instead their front page (the most visited frontpage on the internet) with advertising of their products?

    Haven't you still realized that if google keeps their front page clean is because they want people to use their products based in how users like their products, not in how much google encourages people to use them?
  • Why is it so hard to understand that the rules for a monopoly are different? People are constantly trying to compare what MS does with other company's and they keep saying "well they can do it, why can't MS?"

    What really bothers me is the slashdot editors continue to allow this shit to get posted. They are geeks, they damn well know better. Oh but they have to get ad hits :P

    1) Monopolies have an overwhelming power on the market. They can set prices, muscle suppliers and customers, they can have a "do it
  • If you know you are going to be #2, gear your ad text to your position. Instead of saying, "Innovative Blog Software," say, "Blog Software That Is Better Than Google's." According to some paper about Joe Sixpack's searching habits that I read once and can't find a link to, searchers take the first two results and decide which they think is better, then click whichever they decide. If you know you are one of the first two, and you know who is above you, all you have to do is be better than them. Being nu
  • It is not web searches

    It is web searchers

    And the people who buy advertizing space are the customer, not you.
  • Can I be vendor-locked by google? Can google take control of computer technology standards?

    If so, then maybe the article has a point.
  • by mstone (8523) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:27PM (#17132400)
    Microsoft never got in trouble for putting its own products on its own desktop. It got in trouble for setting up vendor licensing deals that prevented OEMs from putting anyone else's products on the desktop.

    There's absolutely no comparison between that and Google giving itself top billing for specific product searches. In the rare event that your Google search puts a Google service into the #1 slot, all the remaining paid ads appear on the same page. Google isn't shutting off competition by hiding other vendors ads, it's getting right in the thick of competition by showing users exactly what other vendors offer services that compete with its own stuff.

    All we have here is some little bitch whining because there's a theoretical limit to his ability to buy the #1 slot in any category he wants. Boo hoo. If someone can give me a nice, solid financial breakdown of the difference in value between the #1 slot and the #2 slot, I probably still won't give a damn.

    Y'know what else Google moonopolizes? The logo on its search page. Everyone who does a search sees that logo, and our whiny little bitch can't buy that, either, no matter how much he wants to.

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:30PM (#17132466)
    Google appears to have less than 85% [hitslink.com] of the search market, less than what is needed to be a monopoly. (for example, Windows has over 90% marketshare)

    Having failed in proving that Google is a monopoly, the basis for the rest of the article is vacuous.

  • by hacksoncode (239847) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:37PM (#17132622)
    Did anyone else actually *check* the assertions of this article? This guy is so full of it I can't even begin to describe it.

    But that never stopped a Slashdotter before, so...

    Half a dozen of those search terms do *not*, in fact, have Google AdWords, and at least 2 of them have Google AdWords, but Google isn't in the top spot.

    What again, is the complaint?

  • by kajumix (1036500) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @03:59PM (#17135398)
    I did a search on the indicated terms.. for the following searches google's ad was NOT the top ad:

    intranet
    blog
    photo sharing
    restaurants
    dining
    books (amazon's ad comes before google)
  • by tim1602 (1036506) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @05:01PM (#17136406)
    Nobody questions how much the grocery stores charge themselves to put their store brand products on their shelves. This is the exact same situation. If you own the store you don't have to let any product in that you don't want. It isn't so much a dollar amount as it is an opportunity cost. Would they make more by promoting their own product, or by advertising another one?
    As for Google being a monopoly in search engine, do a search for "internet search engines". When I did it MSN came up number one after the paid results.
    Simple, not really a concern in a free market environment. Now whether that exists or not is fodder for another discussion.

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