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Google Faces EU Probe Over Doped Search Results 193

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-doesn't-sound-nice dept.
Barence writes "The EU has launched an investigation into whether Google is deliberately doctoring its search results to favour its own services. The search giant stands accused of artificially lowering the search ranking of competing price-comparison sites in organic and paid-for search results, in favour of Google Shopping. 'There is a growing chasm between the enduring public perception of Google's search results as comprehensive and impartial, and the reality that they are increasingly neither,' said Shivaun Raff, CEO of British price comparison site Foundem, which lodged the complaint with the EU. Google has denied any foul play. 'Those sites have complained and even sued us over the years, but in all cases there were compelling reasons why their sites were ranked poorly by our algorithms,' it claims."
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Google Faces EU Probe Over Doped Search Results

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @10:02AM (#34387672)

    I shop online all of the time. I've never heard of this "foundem". Furthermore, the last two paragraphs are pretty telling:

    Addressing Foundem's allegations specifically, Google said: "We built Google for users, not websites, and the nature of ranking is that some websites will be unhappy with where they rank. Those sites have complained and even sued us over the years, but in all cases there were compelling reasons why their sites were ranked poorly by our algorithms.

    "For example, Foundem, one of the sites that has complained publicly and to the European Commission, duplicates 79% of its website content from other sites, and we have consistently informed webmasters that our algorithms disadvantage duplicate sites."

    You're not ranked high because you're not relevant to the users' interest. 'Nuff said.

  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @10:09AM (#34387746)
    I've heard the "Pro-europe" argument once or twice. The best response I found is that Opera is Norwegian which isn't in the EU.
  • by dclozier (1002772) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @10:17AM (#34387850)

    Ciao was bought by Microsoft in 2008 for nearly $500m (£324m) and is now called Ciao Bing, after Microsoft’s search engine. Foundem is a member of ICOMP, an internet pressure group which receives funding from Microsoft.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/7301299/Google-under-investigation-for-alleged-breach-of-EU-competition-rules.html [telegraph.co.uk]

    This is just more of the same from Microsoft when trying to compete.

  • Likely outcome (Score:3, Informative)

    by RevWaldo (1186281) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @10:54AM (#34388256)
    1) Google makes it explicitly clear that its services are being pushed to the top of the results - say a section labeled "Google services" on an off-white background, much like it does with sponsored results.

    2) End users aren't bothered by this in the least, and Google profits go up another notch.

    .

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