engine - 5:49 pm on Jun 8, 2012 (gmt 0)
WSJ: "Google's Monopoly and Internet Freedom" [online.wsj.com]
It's a position all business leaders would love to find themselves in—a massive IPO, dominance in the marketplace, and a blank slate from policy makers to do practically anything they please.
Google has enjoyed this unrivaled position for nearly a decade. It is the most popular search engine in the world, controlling nearly 82% of the global search market and 98% of the mobile search market. Its annual revenue is larger than the economies of the world's 28 poorest countries combined. And its closest competitor, Bing, is so far behind in both market share and revenue that Google has become, effectively, a monopoly.
The company has used its position to bend the rules to help maintain its online supremacy, including the use of sophisticated algorithms weighted in favor of its own products and services at the expense of search results that are truly most relevant.
Google's Amit Singhal Responds: Setting the record straight: competition in search
And while we’re always happy to have feedback about how we can improve, it’s more useful if that feedback is based on facts. In today’s Wall Street Journal, the CEO of comparison shopping site Nextag makes several claims that are wrong -- or suggests that Google start doing things that we already do. Let me set the record straight:
Claim: “Most people believe that when they type "convection microwave oven" or "biking shorts" into Google, they will receive a list of the most relevant sites. Not true. That's how Google used to work. Now, when someone searches for these items, the most prominent results are displayed because companies paid Google for that privilege.”
Fact: Let me be very clear: our unpaid, natural search results are never influenced by payment. Our algorithms rank results based only on what the most relevant answers are for users -- which might be a direct answer or a competitor’s website. Our ads and commercial experiences are clearly labeled and distinct from the unpaid results, and we recently announced new improvements to labeling of shopping results. This is in contrast to most comparison shopping sites, which receive payment from merchants but often don’t clearly label search results as being influenced by payment.
You need to read the whole of both articles to get a drift of the position and counter position.