Google Under the Microscope

September 6th, 2011 01:14pm CDT by Nathan Schaad

Recent News in the Center of the SEO Universe
by Nathan S

With different developments such as Google+ and Google’s Panda updates, the SEO world is fascinated with Google’s world. Each new update comes with a great deal of coverage from different blogs and marketing news sources; in fact, it is pretty safe to say that most people know more about Google than they do about any other search engine, and this goes double for online marketers and quadruple for SEO gurus. It’s not hard to see why: Google is estimated to process over 65% of all search queries conducted on the internet today. They are dominating the search engine business, and so SEO marketers are watching very carefully in order to provide the best service possible to their customers.

There is, as a result, much to discuss in the way of current events for the search engine giant. One fascinating tidbit is on the pending anti-trust lawsuit filed against Google.

Microsoft and Others File Anti-Trust Lawsuit against Google

A coalition of search businesses have partnered with Microsoft under the name FairSearch to challenge various practices by Google which the coalition labels “anti-competitive.” The allegations are that Google manipulates its search results to benefit partners of Google, and the lawsuit was filed in protest of Google’s planned acquisition of ITA Software.

ITA Software is the owner of several travel-based websites, including the well-known Kayak and Hotwire, as well as others such as Cheaptickets.com and TripAdvisor. FairSearch points to the buyout of ITA as an example of anti-competitive behavior, and they allege that buying ITA Software would provide Google with a monopoly over the online travel search agent industry. The coalition’s website, FairSearch.com, features several examples of how this might result in higher travel costs for the average consumer.

Google is basically shrugging at the accusations, claiming that the companies which are a part of FairSearch are, to paraphrase, simply jealous that they were outmaneuvered by Google. With any corporation being equally free to attempt to acquire ITA Software for their own uses, Google does not admit any wrongdoing in starting talks with ITA.

Needless to say, people have come out on both sides of this issue. Some are saying that Google is an evil monopoly which needs to be stopped before they become this generation’s Big Brother. By having their hand in every sector, some say that Google is creating such a monolithic presence that many people simply equate the internet with Google. As a result, innovation has a strong likelihood of being squelched and bought out if the company grows too large.

Others are saying that Google, though dominant, is doing so by being the best. These people cite the fact that Google’s products are not anything which users are forced to buy, or even forced to use. In fact, most of Google’s products are free.  The fact that Google is able to dominate in so many industries is a testament to how high-quality their services are, not something which should be punished. Furthermore, Silicon Valley is a place known for its volatile corporate environment. In 1995, nobody in a million years would have dreamed that companies like Apple and Google would ever be competing with Microsoft, yet here we are, less than 20 years later, and the one who is dominating the information industry is Google. Suddenly, it seems laughable to think that Microsoft could compete with Google! But the past has shown that it is highly likely that someone will eventually topple Google: Somebody will figure out a better way to do search and decide to go into business for themselves.

What do you think? Is Google an evil monopoly, imposing its products onto internet users? Or is it all just crocodile tears from companies who were outmaneuvered by some of the most brilliant search engineers in the world? Share your thoughts in the comments section!



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