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Google braces to pay at least $500-million in ad probe
Anyone see this yet?
peego




msg:4310658
 7:17 am on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here's the link to the news story: [theglobeandmail.com ]

Here's a quote:

[European regulators have opened a wide-ranging probe into whether Google unfairly manipulates its search results to favour its own services and rigs its ad system to drive up prices. The Texas attorney general also has been looking into complaints about whether Google’s search recommendations stifle competition.]

 

Brett_Tabke




msg:4310794
 2:32 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Could they have been any more obscure about it? It will be very interesting to read what the govt has to say - when they get to a resolution.

Strapworks




msg:4310825
 4:18 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

It will be a beautiful day when I can set aside 500million likes its pocket change.

walkman




msg:4310894
 6:02 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Could they have been any more obscure about it? It will be very interesting to read what the govt has to say - when they get to a resolution.


Fake goods ads? (DOJ in a tear on this)
edit: (never mind , read the story more carefully. Bid rigging? Charge competitors more?

Anyway, Google is doing what monopolies and big companies do: ignore laws and what's right and choose to pay a fine--if they ever get caught. Unless some see jail, nothing will be done, this is just cost of doing business.

[edited by: walkman at 6:05 pm (utc) on May 11, 2011]

artek




msg:4310896
 6:05 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Another article headlines about it:

Google accused of driving up prices...


Is Google breaking competition laws by favouring own services in ads?


Google could face a $500million bill if a U.S. Justice Department investigation finds the internet's most powerful company breaches competition laws.

Regulators are examining whether Google unfairly manipulates its search results to favour its own services and rigs its advertising system to drive up prices.

The disclosure was made in Google's quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission.


read more [dailymail.co.uk]

I think this is serious otherwise they would not set aside so much money.

[edited by: artek at 6:23 pm (utc) on May 11, 2011]

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4310911
 6:20 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not sure what to think on this one.

#1 - Google can publish and rank sites as they see fit, there is no fairness rule.

#2 - Google set aside 500 million because they know they've done what they are being investigated for?

#3 - Darned right Google gives itself the #1, #2 and #3 spots on many serps especially if a location is involved (places, maps etc).

#4 - Google doesn't give unfair treatment to sites just because they show adsense, webmasters would have been all over that eons ago.

It will be interesting indeed to see what ripples this causes.

Automotive site




msg:4310919
 6:28 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why would Google treat sites unfairly because they show adsense, a program through which they make billions? If you mean to promote their search ads, then why have adsense for publishers in the first place? Also, this practice would be highly illegal and they can get sued big time.

artek




msg:4310926
 6:45 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Regulators are examining whether Google unfairly manipulates its search results to favour its own services and rigs its advertising system to drive up prices.

I think it is more about AdWords. Did you notice trend in AdWords in the last six months:
impressions way up, CTR way up, conversion way down, it does not look natural to me.

It could be about CTR manipulation and about forcing websites to use paid ads by pushing their organic results below the fold.

kads




msg:4310941
 7:23 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

adwords is totally mismanaged - have you heard about the number of unjustified banned accounts they have handed out just like that?

They should have saw it coming. They ignored their own advertisers and are about to pay the price!

they have a monopoly over online advertising and are abusing it by giving some people unfair treatment over others

votrechien




msg:4310980
 8:30 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Setting aside $500mil is by no means recognition and admittance of guilt. It's smart financial forecasting. Any responsible company would do the same.

chrisuk




msg:4310996
 9:06 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

It is still probably peanuts to them but I hope they get totally Google slapped ( no pun ) they deserve it every last bit.

The Webmaster and affiliate community in large part generated some of the critical mass that allowed Google to become the mismanaged Goliath it now is, only to be burned.

So I hope they pay dearly in dollars, man power and lost productivity for every business they have ruined or crippled.

They must pay in hard coin for every job lost and for their appalling and irrefutable double standards such as their very discretionary application of their quality policies.

Double standards that kill competition and small businesses whilst others may thrive, for example Google search partners who seem to have a different Google rule book to the rest of us.

They have dished it out for long enough, about time they got theirs. Hopefully one small victory for the little guy.

artek




msg:4311024
 9:37 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's smart financial forecasting

Not if it causes your stock to go down.

You do not set aside money for penalty if you feel you are not guilty. You have your attorneys to defend you. They did it because they have or may have a problem.

walkman




msg:4311027
 9:49 pm on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Setting aside $500mil is by no means recognition and admittance of guilt. It's smart financial forecasting. Any responsible company would do the same.
Probably required by accounting rules for reporting it on certain quarters, since all the earnings are technically 'set aside.'

Amazing to see how Google jumped the shark. The book scanning lawsuit, allegations of harming competitors in SERPS, arbitrarily banning adwords /adsense with zero support, using SERPS to cheat webmasters out of visits, privacy violations etc etc. FTC and EU will tie their hands pretty good very soon.

Admit guilt or not if they pay $500 million you can be sure dozens of law firms will rush to sue them, so whatever they pay to the government is probably just a portion of the total bill.

incrediBILL




msg:4311091
 12:47 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is a prime example of how the government raises money without raising taxes :)

Find a deep pocket doing anything mildly questionable, coerce the crap out of them, laugh all the way to the bank.

You gotta love legal extortion, it's a nice profit center!

ponyboy96




msg:4311106
 1:33 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think the Goog is going to have a problem. Yes it is their site, but once you hit a certain threshold, it's not so much your site anymore. Google crossed that one a while back.

Promoting Wikipedia, YouTube, Places, blending Adwords, penalizing certain sites while letting others slide, penalize sites without any recourse or notice of what they did wrong, etc... Yeah, I think they set aside the money to bribe off some politicians b/c they know they are in for it and guilty as charged.

alahamdan




msg:4311202
 7:30 am on May 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

I believe that the problem of those huge companies, such a Google, Facebook...etc, is the lack of solid customer support service.

If a penalized website owner or manager, get a warning and get an opportunity to discuss the issue with a human, and be given enough time to fix issues, no one will be complaining (or at least will see a huge drop in complaining).

Same apply for Adsense and Adwords. (even i feel Google started to listen more, send warnings discuss more than before).

Same apply for facebook and other big companies (As advertiser you cant contact facebook sales team if your budget is lower than 24000$ !).

For many people i think the most important factor is support, the future is for companies listening to audience providing much support in my opinion.

with 500ml you can hire 25000 help desk agents for 2000$ average salary for 10 years!

System
redhat



msg:4311640
 1:35 am on May 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

The following message was cut out to new thread by brett_tabke. New thread at: goog/4311638.htm [webmasterworld.com]
8:36 pm on May 12, 2011 (cst -5)

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