Today, the majority of people searching for information via the Internet are doing so through Google. Google is extremely popular as a search engine because of how simple it is. When people search for things on practically every other engine out there, they have to sit and wait on news stories that they are not even interested in reading to load before they can enter their search terms. Today, however, Google got searched, but it was not by a normal person- it was the Federal Trade Commission, or the FTC.
Those who work behind the scenes in the Internet business (website owners) are not on the best of terms with Google, but people using Google search would never know this. Earlier in the year, Google went through and devastated several websites because the owners were smart enough to figure out how to get listed high on Google, and Google did not like the fact that these sites were taking what they believed should have been paid listings for free.
The FTC tells Google that they do not believe Google is running a fair business practice, and they have accused them of participating in anti-trust activities. If Google has any interest in a product, business or particular promotion, it will typically, ironically, be one of the first ones listed.
While it seems like this is just “hooking a friend up,” it is absolutely illegal in business. Google has also knocked other advertising firms search results down because Google sells advertising as well, imagine that. One of the biggest things that landed Google in trouble was their ‘places’ application on their search engine. This program allowed people to search for a general type of business, and it brought up a map of all of the businesses within a reasonable distance that fell in that category.
The problem, however, is that another website also had the same type of program, which many people actually preferred, but after Google found that their competitor’s version of ‘places’ had outranked Google’s in the listings, that site’s listings were no longer anywhere to be found. Seemingly one should have the write to kick others off their property, but the Internet world is different to where a search engine essentially has to provide equal opportunity to every website regardless of their size and whether or not they offer a service that competes directly with one offered by Google.