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Google Inc. increasingly is promoting some of its own content over that of rival websites when users perform an online search, prompting competing sites to cry foul.
The Internet giant is displaying links to its own services—such as local-business information or its Google Health service—above the links to other, non-Google content found by its search engine.
Google, which is developing more content or specialized-search sites in hopes of boosting ad revenue, says that prominently displaying links to them is more useful to Web searchers than just displaying links to sites that rank highly in its search system. But the moves mean Google increasingly is at odds with websites that rely on the search engine for visitors.
We’ve heard from users and businesses that Place pages are a great way to find local information and reach customers. We’ve also heard from webmasters that Place pages help them reach a broader audience when users click through to learn more.
"We built Google for users, not websites, and our goal is to give users answers," a Google spokeswoman said in a statement. "Sometimes the most useful answer isn't '10 blue links,' but a map for an address query, or a series of images for a query like 'pictures of Egyptian pyramids.' We often provide these results in the form of 'quick answers' at the top of the page, because our users want a quick answer."
I doubt their sincerity and intentions. I do not doubt their abilities. .
We’ve also heard from webmasters that Place pages help them reach a broader audience when users click through to learn more.
What if instead you keep the people on your site and don't dilute the traffic value by making them click too many times, give them what they're looking for (a list of restaurants or whatever), and show your own ads there, without having to split them with some "free loader". Not calling you a freeloader but you know... I'm sure that's Google's thought.
you get even 1-2000 webmaster pledging to ban google through robots.txt on a particular day and you'll start to get movement from mountain view.
Oh and by the way - regarding the point earlier as to naming 2 things Google has done that have made any money other than AdSense...I think that misses the point. Look at the DEEP investments G is making. It all seems like silly little functionalities if you're too close to it. Take a step back and look at the early steps they're taking to sew it all together with Chrome and Android. Do you really think their plan is to create a bunch of one off income streams? Or are they taking more from the Microsoft playbook? ;-)
If you take this bigger perspective and look 10 years out, it seems quite foolish to rely upon Google for free traffic as the sole basis on one's marketing plan, me thinks.
Sooner or later antitrust authorities will step in and I wouldn't be suprised if Google ends up like "Standard Oil", broken up into little pieces.