back to article 'Fatal flaws' in Google's revised search antitrust overhaul, says Foundem

Google calls web search engine results to its own services "triggers". If you ask Google to define the word "trigger", it speedily returns the following result at the top of the page: "noun a small device that releases a spring or catch and so sets off a mechanism, especially in order to fire a gun." The ad giant's rivals may …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Thumb Down

What Google does with "GM"

Type "GM" and click on "I'm feeling lucky".

Sorry, you're out of luck.

You might have expected General Motors, one of the largest companies in the world. Or perhaps Genetically Modified food, a major topic of environmental and political discussion.

No, the best match for GM is Google Mail. And they have an objective Algorithm that decided that. Yeah right.

1
7
Silver badge
WTF?

Huh?

I don't know where you live or what's your search history, but when I type gm, I get in order:

-the General Motors stock price

-the General Motors web site

-the General Motors entry on Wikipedia

-the Yahoo page about the General Motors stock price

-yes, Gmail

3
0

Re: Huh?

I just tried that, from London on the Google.co.uk site; typing in GM got me a load of GMail results (BEFORE I'd hit Enter, and the autocomplete showed GMail) then when I clicked search I got General Motors followed by GMail.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: What Google does with "GM"

You must have personalised search enabled as I get general motors

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: What Google does with "GM"

No, the best match for GM is Google Mail. And they have an objective Algorithm that decided that. Yeah right.

Which of course wouldn't have anything to do with page hits, would it?

I mean it's obvious that General Motors are getting far more page hits than GMail... innit.

0
0
Bronze badge

The best outcome for the general public

would be for horrible parasites like Foundem to disappear.

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: The best outcome for the general public

Shall we think this through?

This is Mary. Mary is 75 years old, something of a "silver surfer". She's not all that interested in how things work as long as they work. Since everything Mary does on her computer is basically use a browser anyway, she might have a chromebook or an android tablet or anything else.

Whatever Mary uses, you can be 91% certain that she's using Google as a search engine because that's their market share.

Mary doesn't remember URLS, she types things into the bar of her variation of Chrome and then follows the links. And she needs a new washing machine so she types that into her browser bar and the first thing that comes up is Google Shopping. Hooray!

Except -

You know and I know that Google Shopping isn't very good. It might show prices from Amazon but it doesn't show the cheapest prices on Amazon or any other retailer. Most of the initial prices it shows are not what it links to. It is a bad search engine for shopping. Given a reasonable selection, nobody would use it.

But they do, because it's first in the list of things you see when you type in your search criteria. It's first so that Google can make money from it. What was once a good search engine is now a bad search engine where Google offer a service that can sort-of meet your needs (however poorly) because that service will receive priority in your search results, regardless of how used it actually is.

So Mary pays more than she needs to. And Google get more money.

This is called "illegally leveraging a legal monopoly beyond its bounds".

The best outcome for the general public would be for Google not to artificially boost search ratings for its own products. If and when they get good enough to compete fairly, they might make it to the top of the search results on their own merits. Until then, showing them at the top of the page is something very close to fraud.

As for Foundem, well, they're competing against a 91% monopoly. Not easy. If that makes you a horrible parasite then perhaps horrible parasites like OSX and ChromeOS should disappear.

7
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: The best outcome for the general public

"You know and I know that Google Shopping isn't very good"

Compared to what? Foundem, who is complaining loudly? Or Amazon, who is not complaining at all?

4
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: The best outcome for the general public

I wouldn't complain if a massive source of click-throughs was highlighting my higher prices either.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: The best outcome for the general public

Actually what happens is as follows.

Mar 75 needs a new washing machine. She heads to the local retail store who charge her way to much for something she doesn't want with features she will never need. They will charge her a stupid amount for delivery and then not take her old machine away or install the new one as Mary didnt move the washing machine out. She will then have to pay someone else even more to fit her new machine and take the old one away. Mary now out of money freezes to death as she cannot afford to heat her home or eat. The salesmen pats himself on the back about his commision that month.

Or she goes online and whilst she may not get the cheapest price its better than teh local retail store

I want the option to block all price comparison sites from my search results. I am so sick of looking for something only to find its such a site.

4
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: The best outcome for the general public

If and when they get good enough to compete fairly, they might make it to the top of the search results on their own merits.

You didn't think that argument through, did you?

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: The best outcome for the general public

Actually, I did.

Perhaps you can explain how you think I didn't though. If nothing else it might be amusing.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: The best outcome for the general public

What's more annoying is that often price comparison sites like foundem produce fake matches indicating they have information on item x which when you follow them you get no matches found.

4
0

Re: The best outcome for the general public

How do you get google shopping? I get many sites, including images and wikipedia... No google shopping. I feel cheated...

1
0
Anonymous Coward

F'Em

F'em are a completely diabolical site that does nothing to enhance a user's search experience. They are a meta search site which is exactly the sort of site that should not be shown if you want a decent search engine.

Before Google changed their algorithm you couldn't search for any product without having pages of listings for these meta-search engines and making it very difficult to get to any real results.

Similarly searching some products results (still results) in pages of "voucher code" sites.

Their whole business is based on SEO to try to trick users into clicking through on their links to get affiliate rates or advertising for redirecting to other sites. They get their listing for free in Google.

So the business strategy is to try to SEO trick Google into providing them a free advertising link to their site to the detriment of the search engine user. If they want their business to appear on the Google search results then buy an advert like every other business has to.

F'Em are parasites and I would not be surprised if Microsoft were using them as a proxy due to the amount of money this ongoing whining must be costing.

1
0
Silver badge

Anything for effect, Reg?

Nice job chopping off the Google definition of trigger - showing readers the next line, "an event or thing that causes something to happen", might have spoilt that dramatic gunshot analogy otherwise.

0
0
Bronze badge

Maybe...

...the best thing would be for Google to have an option that allowed filtering out all the price comparison sites. Then, when looking for information on something, we wouldn't have to wade through pages of comparison sites that tell you nothing.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Or maybe...

Google should use a cookie to establish customers agreement their T&Cs.

First visit:

"We are Google, and we operate as a competitive business"

"Use of our services indicates an acceptance of our business practice"

"If you don't want to accept our business practice click here for links to other providers"

"Click OK to continue to Google"

Then tell the EU commision to go fuck itself.

2
2
Silver badge

Re: Or maybe...

""We are Google, and we operate as a competitive business"

"Use of our services indicates an acceptance of our business practice"

"If you don't want to accept our business practice click here for links to other providers""

Where were you when Microsoft was being dragged over the coals for its destruction of entire industries? Were you cheering them on?

By the way, what you suggest would be illegal in the UK, under the "Unfair terms in consumer contracts" legislation, designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous businesses that want to use their power to force unfair terms in their contracts.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Or maybe...

By the way, what you suggest would be illegal in the UK, under the "Unfair terms in consumer contracts" legislation, designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous businesses that want to use their power to force unfair terms in their contracts.

So Google promoting their own services is "unscrupulous"?

So presumably every other UK business who is doing the same thing (promoting their own business services above those of their competitors, through their own business services) is also acting in an unscrupulous way?

2
1
Silver badge

Re: Or maybe...

"So Google promoting their own services is "unscrupulous"?

So presumably every other UK business who is doing the same thing (promoting their own business services above those of their competitors, through their own business services) is also acting in an unscrupulous way?"

If Ford did a deal with Esso so that you were forced to buy Esso fuel when you buy a Ford car, oh, and Ford bought out GM, Mercedes, BMW, etc., so that over 90% of cars made were Fords, and they were better than the couple of other car manufacturers, then yes, I think that would be counted as unscrupluous.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Or maybe...

If Ford did a deal with Esso so that you were forced to buy Esso fuel when you buy a Ford car, oh, and Ford bought out GM, Mercedes, BMW, etc., so that over 90% of cars made were Fords, and they were better than the couple of other car manufacturers, then yes, I think that would be counted as unscrupluous.

Are you trying to claim Google will only let you use their mapping service? Or their social network? Or their image sharing service? That they're "forcing you" to use their services?

Maybe you should look at the search page again, I'm sure you'll find their competitors services on it, they'll be right there in front of your face, on the first page.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Or maybe...

It's illegal to use one monopoly to create a monopoly in another market. There are criticisms (and lawsuits) claiming that google are attempting to do this by promoting their services via their existing monopoly.

So yes, it can be unscrupulous and illegal to promote your own services like this. Does anyone remember the lawsuit against Microsoft about the bundling of Internet Explorer? Does anyone remember the outcome of that? I think some comparisons can be drawn there...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Or maybe...

It's illegal to use one monopoly to create a monopoly in another market. There are criticisms (and lawsuits) claiming that google are attempting to do this by promoting their services via their existing monopoly.

So yes, it can be unscrupulous and illegal to promote your own services like this. Does anyone remember the lawsuit against Microsoft about the bundling of Internet Explorer? Does anyone remember the outcome of that? I think some comparisons can be drawn there...

And the EU solution to the bundling of IE was... to force Microsoft to offer their customers a choice of rivals... Ummm Google already offer you the choice... they're listed right under Google's own service.

That comparison of yours isn't looking so good.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums