Posted 06/30/2015 at 9:38 AM
Posted 2 years ago
In a study conducted by Internet scholar and law professor Tim Wu, it has been found that Google’s deliberate manipulation of its search results is damaging to both its users and its competitors.
The study was funded by the popular consumer review website Yelp, who has a history of being critical of Google’s practices regarding search results.
A prior complaint was made last year over Yelp’s allegations that Google was purposely undercutting Yelp’s search traffic by 20%, even though papers related to that complaint stated that the move hadn’t hurt Yelp’s bottom line overall.
The results claim that Google’s move to assign prominence on its own content over more organic results found by its search algorithm leads to something termed “social welfare” which summed up means that consumers and competitors alike are harmed by the lack of proper and unbiased search results.
The news comes as Google is grappling with similar allegations made in an anti-trust lawsuit by the European Union.
Yelp has added their voice to the allegations by filing a complaint to anti-trust regulators in Europe.
A spokesperson for Google dismissed the study, stating: “This latest study is based on a flawed methodology that focuses on results for just a handful of cherry-picked queries. At Google we focus on trying to provide the best results for our users.”