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79% Americans Favor FTC's Investigation of Google

Restricting Fair Competition And Misleading Consumers

     
7:35 pm on Sep 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Suprising Survey by FairSearch.org :

The survey, which was fielded from September 15-18, polled 1,005 adults aged 18 and older across the United States. It found that most Americans are uneasy with Google’s dominance of the Internet in general and the search advertising market in particular.



[fairsearch.org...]

Eight in ten (79%) Americans favor the FTC’s investigation of the company for restricting fair competition and misleading consumers. Half (49%) say they strongly favor the FTC’s actions.

Over six in ten (63%) say it is unfair for Google to use the profits it makes from its dominant position in search advertising to buy smaller, innovative companies at an early stage, preventing them from becoming competitors.

Almost six in ten (57%) feel that Google’s control of 79% of the search advertising market is bad for consumers. Only a third (33%) consider this a good thing for consumers.

7:39 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Maube I'm just not seeing them, but I'd like to see the questions that were asked, as they were asked.
8:21 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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So much for crossing that creepy line, know a few traders personally getting ready for a short on Goog.
8:49 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Brett,
not sure how questions were framed though :).

But I agree with the title. If Google continues copying everyone else's business model, uses search to Pandalize /'thin-content' them out and then fill the SERPs with its own ads and products it will not be pretty. None of those products released by Google would make it on their own, if not for the search monopoly. They can't be allowed to drive everyone out of business.

So much for crossing that creepy line, know a few traders personally getting ready for a short on Goog.

Google will crash, no doubt at least from the $500+. Most of their money does not come from honest practices but from deception, like causing ads to seem like normal links, depending on the monitor, light and resolution. Then we will see that money-printing black-algo-box, I am not buying what the Google chefs and cooks are saying about it. I'm almost certain it has MSG in it [en.wikipedia.org...] .

Three-quarters (74%) say it is unfair for Google to raise prices for advertising without notice and to favor large e-commerce companies over small local businesses.

The Vince update and Panda or 'raising the entry barrier' for Google's own benefit, given that they are the largest advertising agency.

[edited by: walkman at 9:36 pm (utc) on Sep 23, 2011]

8:57 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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SELand's defense of Google in attacking the polling is laughable.

Example:

Google does not “raise prices for advertising.” Prices of both search ads and display ads are set by auction, not directly by Google. Advertisers compete to have their ads displayed by voluntarily raising or lowering bids.


VERSUS

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. antitrust enforcers are investigating whether Google Inc. illegally increased advertising rates 50-fold for rival Microsoft Corp., according to a person familiar with the matter.


[businessweek.com...]

[searchengineland.com...]
9:35 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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They need a top level SEO to facilitate with the questioning. Let's hope their is a positive outcome for the small web site entrepreneur here.
10:04 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Frontpage, obviously SELand has never run an adwords campaign and seen the price of a keyword click jump to $5+ out of the blue after being steady at 9-21 cents for 2 years. That's no true auction, bidders didn't cause the price to spike, GOOGLE DID! (be it by an adwords change, or a search algo tweak that triggers the adwords change)

I agree Watson, they need to have someone(s) extremely knowledgeable in SEO, hopefully not anyone from SELand. No offense but TRUE rankings and TRUE bidding costs just don't fluctuate like we've seen them do lately, not by the actions of visitors anyway, Google's been playing so it's FAIR to find out why. (and who that benefited financially)

Anyway, if Google has nothing to worry about they need to stop the song and dance and answer the questions along with proof to back up their position, not rhetoric like in the video.

Bottom line: this will drag on for many years and eventually Google will come out clean since the intent is to get Google to play fair, not to destroy the company. There is NO WAY anyone who would create new legislation to stop the kinds of things Google is accused of knows enough about the internet to do so effectively.

Besides - Google's got pics of secret drone bases and such, they have good friends who have more influence than any of us suspect, the longer this goes on the less likely anything changes.

At least the people have taken notice now, that's a victory in and of itself. +1
10:30 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Somebody needs to run a larger data sample which is representative of business stakeholders , large and small across the US. YELP would be well placed to do it - if they could possibly avoid the temptation of it being purely self serving.
11:05 pm on Sept 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Most people want Google to tell them what they should be doing next - Eric Schmidt


He still doesn't get it, Google doesn't know what people should be doing next, people only want Google to be the guide to the content they seek. Google isn't the content here, they borrow it(without asking) and Eric should be reminded of that. [fairsearch.org...]

Imagine if the world blocked Google tomorrow and they had no content to create serps with, would they still know what people should be doing next? No. Well, perhaps since they push the creepy line on gathering personal data(without asking) but that's another (rotten) topic.

We expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers - Brin and Page, 1998
12:28 am on Sept 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've now seen the questions as used in the survey and I agree with most of the comments about the survey itself by Chris Shermans' piece over on SE Lane. The survey tee-ups and commentary between the questions crosses so far over accepted polling standards as to be humorous. This survey is not viable.

I don't think I have permission to post the questions, however I will post one as an example. This, is a verbatim quote:

2. Since incorporating in 1998, Google has grown from a small startup company to become the world’s largest Internet company, with revenues of more than $29 billion a year. Google makes almost all of that money by using the personal data it collects about consumers to sell targeted search advertising. Today, Google controls 79% of the search advertising market in the United States.

Do you feel that one company controlling 79% of the search advertising market in the U.S. is good for consumers or bad for consumers?
12:47 am on Sept 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This survey is not viable.

so they asked a sample of adults across the u.s. it was very clear to me that this is faked as joe public has no idea what the problem is or couldn't care less.
i double-checked the initial post as i thought i've maybe overlooked that they asked professionals aka webmasters, but people on the street.. nah. this is ridiculous and by all means counterproductive regarding the underlying serious issue.
1:42 am on Sept 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This, is not a verbatim quote :):

22. Despite a bad economy, last year Google had revenues of more than $29 billion a year, mostly by shadily charging companies for appearing on top of normal search results. This year, their multi-billionaire CEO and multimillionaire programers (seen here laughing about it) have decided to take another $10 billion, mostly from small businesses trying to survive in these troubled economic times. Do you think that single moms, invalid war veterans, poverty stricken retirees and other honest small business owners should suffer because a big corporation like Google is not happy with $30 billion a year? Should Americans pay more money for items they buy online because Google wants to increase their earnings even more this year?
12:32 pm on Sept 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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No moTi, I think they actually did the survey and I do believe they asked the average joe at home. The questions were "Here is how Google is bad - now let me ask you a question to see if you agree about how bad google is..."
10:52 pm on Sept 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hey, Average Joes are complaining to me that search results are bad lately. A friend of mine who owns a computer only to check email and shop online switched to Bing. Average Joes are not as clueless about search engines as they were a few years ago.

"Besides - Google's got pics of secret drone bases and such, they have good friends who have more influence than any of us suspect, the longer this goes on the less likely anything changes. "

Am I alone - and very possibly wrong - in suspecting this is exactly WHY the govt would go after Google right now? To show them they can still slap Google silly, no matter what Google has on them, for they are the government?
4:37 am on Sept 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I imagine that a lot of the same survey questions were presented to the Senate panel before the hearing (along with the results of the public survey). Their thoughts were probably quite similar to the results of the survey. Regardless of whether the questions led anyone to answer in a certain way, I can't disagree with what Sgt_Kickaxe said above:

At least the people have taken notice now, that's a victory in and of itself.


@moTi - No offense intended...I like reading all posts on here. They are much easier to read for those of us with bad eyes when the shift key is used, though.
5:29 am on Sept 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I am not an American but higher authorities should do something about googles' world wide web transactions all the time and every time.
4:18 am on Oct 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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That's no true auction, bidders didn't cause the price to spike, GOOGLE DID! (be it by an adwords change, or a search algo tweak that triggers the adwords change)


Once there was a Quality Score that could be used to justify a hike in costs, and because it is an auction, it's very possible there is some seed of truth in the above statement. Hopefully time will tell.