np2003 - 12:54 am on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0) [edited by: Brett_Tabke at 1:15 pm (utc) on Sep 4, 2010]
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Google Inc.'s methods for recommending websites are being reviewed by Texas' attorney general in an investigation spurred by complaints that the company has abused its power as the Internet's dominant search engine.
The antitrust inquiry disclosed by Google late Friday is just the latest sign of the intensifying scrutiny facing the company as its enters its adolescence. Since its inception in a Silicon Valley garage 12 years ago, Google has gone from a quirky startup to one of the world's most influential businesses with annual revenue approaching $30 billion.
The review appears to be focused on whether Google is manipulating its search results to stifle competition.
The pecking order of those results can make or break websites because Google's search engine processes about two-thirds of the search requests in the U.S. and handles even more volume in some parts of the world. That dominance means a website ranking high on the first page of Google's results will likely attract more traffic and generate more revenue, either from ads or merchandise sales.
European regulators already have been investigating complaints alleging that Google has been favoring its own services in its results instead of rival websites.
Several lawsuits filed in the U.S. also have alleged Google's search formula is biased. Google believes Abbott is the first state attorney general to open an antitrust review into the issue.
Will anything come out of this?
I keep hearing about how Google owes webmasters nothing and how we should be grateful that we're getting traffic for free. Well that might be true years ago but these days, Google has become an uncontrolled monopoly, they have basically become the road authority and GPS provider. If Google decides to shutdown your street then no cars will be able to find you on their GPS and you are toast! How many businesses have gone to the bin from Google manipulating the results?
[edit reason] added link [/edit]
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 1:15 pm (utc) on Sep 4, 2010]