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FTC moving closer to Google antitrust case
J_RaD




msg:4507645
 11:12 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

[reuters.com...]


Four of the FTC commissioners have become convinced after more than a year of investigation that Google illegally used its dominance of the search market to hurt its rivals, while one commissioner is skeptical, the sources said.


duh...

 

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4507680
 2:58 am on Oct 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Another link - [nytimes.com...]

The government’s escalating pursuit of Google is the most far-reaching antitrust investigation of a corporation since the landmark federal case against Microsoft in the late 1990s. The agency’s central focus is whether Google manipulates search results to favor its own products, and makes it harder for competitors and their products to appear prominently on a results page.


It makes you wonder if Google has seen this coming for some time and anti trust suits are part of the reason Google is quickly re-branding itself from "search engine" to "knowledge". You can't be guilty of favorable search result placement if you're no longer a pure search engine, or in the least it would be more difficult.

The Federal Trade Commission is raising the ante in its antitrust confrontation with Google with the commission staff preparing a recommendation that the government sue the search giant.


The stock price should tell us how serious this is in a few weeks, after the report comes out and a reaction to it is known.

MrSavage




msg:4507698
 4:35 am on Oct 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Good reads. This all makes sense to me. At adsense in your city, I couldn't understand why they were really pushing this new system of controlling ads (technical and I forget the name) and the Google reps were clearly suggesting you can add any other advertiser to the mix and they all compete for that spot. In other words, Google is putting in place a system to make it easier for webmasters to control ads which ultimately will make it more competitive. Yes, that means by their own admission, a Google ad might not show on your site.

If you think that sounds odd, you're right. I was puzzled ever since that meeting. Why would they be asking us to welcome competing ads with Adsense to show up on our site? They are offering the tools to do it. Sounded very counter intuitive.

But it all make sense to me after reading that NY Times article. It clearly makes sense. It's being proactive by Google in showing that they are not corning the ads market and that they are allowing bids to happen etc. They are helping that situation manifest itself.

Not a bad thing. It was just very odd at the time. At least I have some clarity. They are working on making it more balanced and less advantageous in my mind. It makes sense to start in small doses. If Google adsense will create a means by which there is a bidding war for my real estate, how the heck could I criticize that? It's like inviting your enemies to Thanksgiving dinner, but whatever.

At the end of the day if Google helps me make more money, I'm happy. Now, as for the organic traffic...

J_RaD




msg:4507754
 3:22 pm on Oct 13, 2012 (gmt 0)


At the end of the day if Google helps me make more money


just remember, your friend is today is not your friend tomorrow. Don't build your future or income around goog.

scooterdude




msg:4507767
 4:53 pm on Oct 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

So , I presume you have both full knowledge of the said bidding process and its tech, and full control of said process , hmm

having persuaded the world to accept an opaque reward system, now they'd control the real estate on which competing ads could/would be shown

Webmasters are wonderful, really

xcoder




msg:4507849
 12:02 am on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Huge list of Draconian anti competitive "algo updates" this year alone. Millions of destroyed small to medium web businesses all around the world.

Lets just hope goog gets no discounts this time around...

Happy days.

J_RaD




msg:4507865
 1:45 am on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)


Millions of destroyed small to medium web businesses


building your biz around goog is your fault... don't do it.

xcoder




msg:4507872
 3:58 am on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

^ wrong!

Many (me included) built thier business around the internet and thier customers, not goog.

Problem is that the web has been hijacked by this one company using a wide range of software and hardware products. They now horde my customers and send them to check thier own goog properties while my web site is held hostage by their never ending "update" loops.

But hey... dont just take my word for it, check out the FTC findings due to released soon.

diberry




msg:4507875
 5:23 am on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

It makes you wonder if Google has seen this coming for some time and anti trust suits are part of the reason Google is quickly re-branding itself from "search engine" to "knowledge". You can't be guilty of favorable search result placement if you're no longer a pure search engine, or in the least it would be more difficult.


Right. And I still think this is also why the SERPs have gotten so obscure. Google can afford to irritate searchers for a while; they can't afford to have the algo be straightforward enough for the government's probe to figure it out. Even if Google has done absolutely nothing wrong, (a) keeping the algo inscrutable to prying eyes has been their bread and butter so I expect them to protect it at all costs and (b) they're dealing with a government that asks questions like "Can't you just not index pirate sites?" which exhibit very little understanding of how it all works.

xcoder




msg:4507880
 6:19 am on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)


Right. And I still think this is also why the SERPs have gotten so obscure. Google can afford to irritate searchers for a while; they can't afford to have the algo be straightforward enough for the government's probe to figure it out.


Knowledge engine OR search engine, they will still need to answer some very though questions, for example:

1) Why cant one change the default search provider on android systems...

2) Why one must enter a url in a Google box (only) on many android devices, there is no address box on the default browser over these devices... (galaxy S3 for example)

3) How come websites can get penalties and get thrown to page 950 but if they pay enough they can get to page one position one via the paid adwords program…

4) How come google content like images/video/books/shopping never gets any penalties and in 98% of cases is featured in top positions…

5) and many more questions along these lines… slippery slops are exactly what the name suggest.

“Search engine” or a “knowledge engine", with more then 70% web reach (and growing rapidly every day via android) they are still considered a monopole and will continue to be held accountable to their anti competitive practices, regardless of how they may describe themselves… with great power comes great responsibility and unfortunately it seems as they may have been abusing both for far too long…

P.S.
Obscuring the SERPs even further while goog properties are still top positions does not help their argument much either. It just gets much larger sharks more upset.

[edited by: xcoder at 6:50 am (utc) on Oct 14, 2012]

MrSavage




msg:4507882
 6:37 am on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think what is coming to reality is that fact that whatever Google sets its mind to, it can do with ease. Think about it. In terms of business, what is it that another company could possible do better at? Apple maybe with hardware but that's peanuts. For the FCC it's obviously a bigger situation than they have resources for. In my small world it doesn't really matter whether Google can do everything better than anyone else. It's really just a matter if they are willing to do it. I mean they could open their own Amazon like store. Would it beat Amazon to a pulp? How could it not? If they started a wireless provider service, who could compete with their low rates? It kind of goes on and on from there. People always hate the beautiful people. Dang I just want a bit of influence in my household and I'd be happy. Imagine if I had better control of my business! Google is the greatest success story and the chapters just keep writing themselves. I say get the lips puckered up and find somewhere to latch on. It's all about getting some suction on that thing!

diberry




msg:4507951
 2:25 pm on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

The earlier probe - where Schmidt testified before Congress - seemed to focus on stuff like Yelp suddenly falling in the SERPs *after* refusing to let Google Places continue to scrape their content. That this happened is not in question; it's they WHY of it. Google contends the algo just happened to do that, but Yelp contends it was deliberate and retaliatory, and it'll be on Google to disprove things like this.

The point about Adwords being a way for a spam site - or even a dodgy or illegal site - to get to #1 is a good one. Anti-trust suits are less about what the company has/hasn't done wrong and more about the best interests of consumers. That's why we have Congress people asking why Google can't just avoid indexing scam sites and illegal sites. It's not really reasonable to expect Google to know if every website is legit or not, but it is a consumer affairs problem so Google may well get held to some government imposed standard on this issue.

TypicalSurfer




msg:4507962
 3:46 pm on Oct 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

The FTC will be getting a new pro-google commissioner replacing a not-so-pro-google commisioner. The new guy has already made clear that google is not in need of oversight, a clear win for google regarding FTC actions moving forward.

But what seems to be overlooked in much of the coverage of his selection is that Wright has a history of receiving funding for his work from groups supported by Google. And of course, as we know, Google has had some ongoing tussles with the FTC, and will likely have more down the road.


[americablog.com...]

It's not what you know, its who you lunch with :)

“My clients were expecting a fair hearing at the FTC from an unbiased decision maker. It is hard for us in Silicon Valley to understand why our government would make this kind of an appointment with all the jobs and investment at stake in the tech sector. Are unbiased applicants for this position really that hard to come by?”


Read more: [politico.com...]

J_RaD




msg:4508070
 3:06 am on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)


Problem is that the web has been hijacked by this one company


at one point in time have we not all helped this? back when they were the "do no evil" guys? telling all your friends goog search?

doing everything you could for your site using goog tools?

goog this goog that goog anything get on it!


I canned them 100% in 2007 when they started getting abusive with adwords, I saw then these guys were werid... no business operates like they did, especially to PAYING customers. I also sway other customers not to sign up for an abusive smoke and mirrors ad platform, at which in anytime you can be shut down for whatever reason whoever sees fit with no recourse or explanation. If you are lucky you get a do-not-reply email saying see ya sucker.

if you chase everything goog does you are chasing yourself down a hole..... they are not the friend of the webmaster, they want to take your business.. they just show you a shiny toy beforehand and pull the rug out from you.

Feed them the data they need to stab you straight in the back and they'll do it, with a smile.... and another one of those emails.

:-)

xcoder




msg:4508137
 2:24 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Feed them the data they need to stab you straight in the back and they'll do it, with a smile.... and another one of those emails. :-)


Together with a picture of a smiling smuck with a panda doll on his lap...

diberry




msg:4508145
 2:59 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I canned them 100% in 2007 when they started getting abusive with adwords, I saw then these guys were werid... no business operates like they did, especially to PAYING customers.


I was trying to get a fresh perspective on Google this morning - think about them as a business, the way the government should. It occurs to me that if Google got to decide which movies got distributed, which books got published and which TV shows got green-lit, the entire entertainment industry would collapse because there's so much "dupe content" within it. Now, the profit and loss numbers show unequivocally that people pay for dupe content. They want to see essentially the same crap over and over because it's comfortable, and the different cast/author/characters can make subtle interesting differences. And financial backers love it - they know dupe content will make money, whereas original ideas may or may not. It's called "the formula" in entertainment, not "dupe content."

This means one company's worldview is shaping an entire industry (the net). Industries should be shaped by what makes money, not by somebody's worldview.

I don't know if the government will see this as a problem for consumers and therefore a potential anti-trust issue, but it certainly is a case of the free market not being allowed to work like it should. Instead of the customers getting to decide which websites they like, Google is doing it for them.

crobb305




msg:4508146
 3:01 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

This may affect share prices as I see the FTC investigation top news among a number of sources. I'm not saying this is the sole reason for today's price drop, but Google's apparent "do evil" philosophy may come back to bite them.

[edited by: crobb305 at 3:10 pm (utc) on Oct 15, 2012]

backdraft7




msg:4508149
 3:04 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

they could always blame it on the machine...kinda like blaming it on the dog.

scooterdude




msg:4508175
 3:45 pm on Oct 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think it would be a good idea to bear in mind that law applies equally to oppressor and oppressed.

So, if the oppressor is engaged in conduct contrary to the common good, or the consumer :), they should rightly be dinged

however, if the oppressed are engaged in illegal activities like "piracy, miss selling, theft, illegal entry, etc , etc"
they might be disappointed with the laws' view of their own activities

So, ,,,

not2easy




msg:4509471
 5:25 pm on Oct 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Their stock is down by 10% today and they stopped trading for now..

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