awall19 - 9:25 am on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
If you have repeatable empirical evidence that Google is "manipulating" (whatever that means, it would be nice to have a definition) search results to increase adwords revenue, that would be interesting.
does adding a 4th ad slot for Google vertical ads like Google advisor count?
how about the time they ran a test search result with extra white space in the left column (to drive down the organic search results) and less than normal white space in the right column (to keep all the ads above the fold)? other than user manipulation, what justification would they have for needing more whitespace in one column AND less in the other?
what about Compete.com showing Google downstream traffic to Youtube up 30% then 18% month over month? That is great growth for a new site, but is unheard of for a site the size of Youtube.
People still give Google a pass even *after* 3rd parties saw them put monetary values in the search results next to the listings, not once, but twice
Before Google Instant, Googlers mentioned that 20 to 25% of Google queries were new. After Google Instant Eric Schmidt recently put that number at 15%. And it not only consolidates search query volume against fewer keywords (that are more likely to have ads), but the interface of Google instant drives down the organic search results while it is open.
There was also the time that Google bought BeatThatQuote, was highlighted for it being spam, and then restored it to the search results only 2 weeks later *without* fixing *any* of the paid links that were highlighted.
At some point the results & such observations become more than sufficient evidence to highlight a trend.
Even after the illegal drug ads, Google *still* has a "get rich quick" AdSense ad category. When you hover over the category they describe it as "SCHEMES promising fast earnings"
And when they cleaned up the drugs ads (after the sting campaign) they announced that they disabled 50,000 AdWords advertisers who they thought were selling counterfeit goods. How does it get to that scale unless they are intentionally looking the other way?
And, as Brett mentioned with Google+ as a signal, Forbes published then pulled an article titled "Stick Google Plus Buttons On Your Pages, Or Your Search Traffic Dies"