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back to article Google given a month to wriggle out of Euro antitrust smackdown

Google must convince its rivals that it competes fairly in the web search market or else face sanctions for alleged "abuse of dominance", a European watchdog warned today. And the clock is ticking. The ad giant now has a month to come up with a solution to complaints that it favours its own services over its competitors' …

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I don't understand this

If Google isn't allowed to prefer its products when presenting search results then I assume that when I search for mince pies on tesco.com the site will have to tell me about Aldi's cheaper option and also not prefer its own products when it returns the search results.

I'm not stupid. In google I get a search engine, a portfolio tracker, maps, directions, an (if I wanted) a whole suite of apps -- and all for "nothing". It costs me £50 a year for just the maps element of this with TomTom, and that's for the UK only. If I had to pay the costs for everything Google lets me use for "free" it would be £££ per year - so I accept that Google are getting my data and selling it to pay for these services and to make a tidy profit. I don't begrudge them this and if I have to put up with some bias in the search results then so be it. If people do mind then they can choose not to use Google, or any other search engine -- or maybe the ECHR is about to decide that free internet search is a human right.

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Re: I don't understand this

I'm with you on this. I've used other search engines, yahoo, bing, duckduckgo but none of them compare to google. It isn't like they're blocking out competition, it's just that their results come up top. And like you said I'd expect that of any service, Bing has bing maps, and other microsoft stuff. It's not like you're forced to use google, unlike I don't know how windows used to force you into using IE, and really it still does since you need it to update.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't understand this

The relationship between Tesco and Aldi would be comparable to Google and other search engines. But your compaison should be between Tesco favouring its own brands (Everday Value, regular, Finest,) with Mr Kipling, not Aldi's own brand or German import.

But although Tesco are a very large supermarket group in the Uk, they are not dominant with respect to the vigorous competition from Morrisons (mmm pie stall), Sainsburys (pretend posh), or Asda (insert your own epithet)

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Anonymous Coward

It's not market abuse...

it's capitalism!

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One thing Google could do ...

.. is to put the whiners' sites top of the list for a month for relevant searches. The sites will fall over because they cannot take the traffic. If the whiners do not upgrade their hardware, no-one will look at their sites again. If they do get their sites back up, no-one will look at them again because they are useless. The reason these sites are so low in the ranking is because they are crap. Putting them in the top ten will not fix that.

I use wakipedia for searches that I expect wakipedia to do well on. I started doing this because wakipedia was often the top result, and had the information I wanted. Next choice is duckduckgo - I would give them 9/10. I rate Google 9.9/10, but they are third choice because I like to support competition. I tried Bing for a laugh. I am a dyed in the wool Penguin, so their thoroughly Microsoft biased results are mostly useless to me.

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One prediction: FairSearch will not find Google offer acceptable. Whatever that offer is.

The members either directly want Google's search quality hobbled (hello Microsoft) *or* need it hobbled so their own crappy quality doesn't 'unfairly' affect their search rank. Everything else is just the wrapping they need to attract regulatory attention and mostly fiction.

Quite why the losers here think they can SEO their rank better than the millions of others trying the same is a mystery, it would be easier just improving their own products!

The biggest problem I find with Google is how badly they're losing the war against SEO. It's getting near impossible to craft search terms that find a good result on the 1st page. They're even having trouble keeping link farms out of the results. Letting Fairsearches smaller members fight that without Googles algorithms would be an appropriate result ;)

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Agreed

Google seem to be suffering because they're good. Windows created a bad browser and then tried to kill the good ones with its dominant position. I don't see Google in the same position. I switched to Bing a few weeks ago and I'm about to switch back to Google - tho' I might give the duck one a try first. I used to use Multimap and it had some good features that Google hasn't (e.g. post code at centre of map) but when Bing took Multimap much of the good stuff disappeared; they've still got OS maps, but I expect that to disappear.

People use Google because their services and apps are pretty good and they either accept or are ignorant of the way Google works. I don't see why I should suffer because of the ignorant ones.

BTW - I also agree on the SEO stuff and Google need to up their game. It is getting difficult to find stuff. Google need a "only one instance of a site" button so that the first 30 results aren't all variations of the same hit.

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Maybe as a form of protest google should close down for a week in the EU. Let people choose a new search engine for said week, and then see how many people come back to them at the end of said week.

They could also have a "We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you, this was brought about by the eurocrats. If you have any complaints please send them to XXXXX" and just list the email of whoever is in charge.

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