aleksl - 4:54 pm on Apr 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
A manual penalty or boost can mean millions and even billions (for Amazon for example) since Google controls 70%-95% of the search market. Or it can mean certain death to a young company and that company may never get a chance to change the world.
What's to stop a G employee--they're human after all--from crewing a person's site simply becuase he/she doesn't like them?
Well, first let's not assume Overstock is a "young company". Second, if there's a pattern there of fraud, for instance, and bad at that, you look for pattern, and once it is clearly recognized you can safely assume that this particular site isn't all that white after all. So you let a stronger analytical employee look at its results.
Overstock restated its 2008 and 2009 earnings because of "discrepancies on books" (in other normal speak it is "because of cooking the books").
The DA sued Overstock
People of State of California
Overstock.com Inc.; Does
Complaint for civil penalties and injunctive relief. The defendant makes misleading advertising claims about its prices by listing the comparative “List Price” or “Compare At” price at a level that is actually the “highest price” for a product rather than the prevailing market price. The defendant promises the lowest prices when it actually sells products at higher prices than many merchants.
District Attorney of Alameda County