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[edited by: tedster at 8:27 pm (utc) on Sep 16, 2011]
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Google chairman Eric Schmidt is testifying next Wednesday before a U.S. Senate antitrust committee.
The committee is looking into whether Google favors its own sites, like Finance and Maps, in its search results, and whether this might violate fair competition laws.
This business model resulted in an uproar, and OpenText has ceased to be a viable search engine. But less blatant bias are likely to be tolerated by the market. For example, a search engine could add a small factor to search results from "friendly" companies, and subtract a factor from results from competitors. This type of bias is very difficult to detect but could still have a significant effect on the market. Furthermore, advertising income often provides an incentive to provide poor quality search results.