"If I can Google it and it's written on a Google blog, then it must be true"
It's not surprising that people comment that they're not surprised by Google's business practices. Using analogies to other businesses selling physical goods in a competitive market where a company can't block access to information simply by stocking their shelves differently? Not a surprise either. Holding businesses with a smaller market share or businesses that don't seek to profit off of people that aren't actually involved with their services to a different standard than Google? Nope.
"the economic incentives for bias are overpowering: Search engines can use biased results to expand into new sectors, to grant instant free traffic to their own new services, and to block competitors and would-be competitors. The incentive for bias is all the stronger because the lack of obvious benchmarks makes most bias would be difficult to uncover."
The main problem with search engine bias isn't the bias itself... It's when a massive company controls most of the search market and the online advertising market and use both to their advantage to nearly drive companies out of business. Every business Google has expanded into is a result of this abusive practice. Google looks at another company and says "Hey, they're making a bit of money." The next day they either try to buy out the company (what great a innovator Google is!), use some element of their competitor's service to create their own, or hire college students to use open source software to duplicate a competitors service on a closed source, cloud-based platform.
"[When] we roll[ed] out Google Finance, we did put the Google link first. It seems only fair right, we do all the work for the search page and all these other things, so we do put it first... That has actually been our policy, since then, because of Finance. So for Google Maps again, it’s the first link."
Seems fair to Youtube or Blogspot visitors, but what about content creators? It's true that search engines could drive more traffic to these sites, but at some point in time Google breaks the unspoken agreement they have with the people that let them index their sites. All the traffic that once went to innovative and competitive sites are redirected to Google's servers.
And of course, every time this happens Google justifies it later by claiming their service is "better" and they're doing it for their users. Google can make their services more popular using this type of abuse, but it doesn't change the quality of their services or of their competitors until other businesses start to suffer. Someone said you can still get Map Quest results by typing "mapquest" first, but why should you get the lesser service if you just type "maps"? When Google creates a new service it isn't more popular or (necessarily) better than any of their competitors to begin with, but by using search result manipulation, they can try to take customers from their competitors. In time, the Google service might become more popular and Google can justify linking to sites like Youtube, but if a search for maps defaulted to the original, better service and you had to type "Google maps" to get results from them specifically, you wouldn't have this anti-competition problem. If all of Google's services (including ads, search, and others) were split apart and operated by different companies, you would see much more competition and, as a result, better alternatives to the original sites as well as Google's copies. But things aren't going to get better if Google continues to monopolize more and more online services. I don't want to see Google's alternatives to iTunes, Facebook, gaming websites, or public libraries. Even if the first two mostly lack competition, too, it isn't as bad.