Google faces accusations Search isn't fair to all

To further combat Google's long-reach with regard to search, a collective of smaller entities have taken up arms against them. A new website, Focus on the User, has been launched to convince European lawmakers that Google isn't playing fairly. Rather than foster a free and open Internet search engine, the site claims Google is using it to their advantage.

This doesn't have anything to do with ad space, though, which is fair game for Google. The website, and accompanying video (below), instead suggests Google is slipping content from their services into search results.

This search gaming is alleged by the likes of Yelp, TripAdvisor, and various other "consumer advocacy organizations".

The crux of their argument is that Google is taking Google+ results, whatever they be, and giving them a prominent placement in search. This in turn leads to returned information that isn't exactly relevant, but serves Google's bottom line. If the end "results" speak to a reason for businesses to cozy up to Google, they will — via services like Plus.

The group also created a method to take away the Google+ results in search, showing just how much Plus is in search. To let other Developers see how it works, they made their code openly available on Github, too.

The European Union is investigating Google for this very reason, which is why the site and project are so damning. As a new commissioner steps in, Google's rivals are increasing their profile via lobbying efforts such as this one.

The site is interesting, and offers a fresh take on how Google really may be using search, rather than providing it. If you believe the naysayers, Google is taking those items funneled through Google+ and forcing them to the top of search. If you believe Google, they're simply letting the algorithm take effect and do what it will.

Source: Focus on the User

Via: Re/Code