Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Michael Bissell's Blog

Google isn't the bad guy... this time

2010-11-30 14:09:14
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The European Commission announced today that it will carry out an investigation into Google's business practices mainly spurred by a number of smaller search engines complaining that their websites don't show up on Google.

Let's think this through for a moment... You're a search engine, and you're going to complain that Google is "abusing its dominant position" because Google doesn't think your content is valuable. Google says it's because it isn't really your content -- why would Google show the results of another search engine rather than just show the original content when you type in, say, "Anti-trust behavior?".

Because Google is big enough to be a verb, you can sue them. And it's a complicated enough subject, that you can even get the EC to investigate Google.

Now, don't get me wrong. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, Google is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to Google.

In other words, Google is big enough to hide a truckload of nefarious behavior in, with a few truckloads to spare. So, sure, Google might be doing something to keep its dominant position in search and advertising.

But, if your business relies on copying other people's content and posting it on your site, even if you're a shopping comparison engine (copy prices for blue widgets from 10 different retailers), how can you possibly complain the Google ranks those retailers sites above yours? You do it by mixing in all the big complicated things Google does and confusing the issue.

And this is why I need to vent -- if you have a valid complaint, by all means complain. But when you complain that your feeble attempt at copying other people's successes failed and then confuse the matter with all sorts of legal and technical crap, it makes it that much harder to hear and deal with real, legitimate issues with corporate dominance.

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