The findings of a newspaper published Friday could further fuel the fire as antitrust investigations led by U.S. state attorneys general expand from advertising to scrutinizing Google’s search practices,media BGR reported. Specifically, this is a report that explores all the ways Google manipulates search results, and examines blacklists and Google’s preference for big business in search results, as well as other adjustments made by company engineers in the background.
The survey, published by the Wall Street Journal, tested its Google search based on more than 100 interviews and what the Wall Street Journal said. The findings could provide more evidence for critics, such as those who argue that the company’s left-leaning political bias affects its search results, and small businesses that don’t rank as well as eBay and Amazon.
Even though Google said in its blog that “we don’t use manual regulation to collect or arrange results on the page,” the Wall Street Journal suggested in its findings that the company did just that. It is usually in response to pressure from governments, businesses or various interest groups around the world.
Google is also manipulating its search algorithms in favor of large companies, and in at least one case favors eBay, a major Google advertiser, according to a Wall Street Journal source.
Other findings of the survey include:
1. Autocomplete search results sometimes “clear” sensitive topics in a way that is not visible in a competitor’s search engine.
2. Google engineers sometimes make changes to search-related information, which is entered into places such as the Google Knowledge section, and who are not subject to the Company’s policy on changing content.
3. Around 2000, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin reportedly clashed over how to deal with spam and hate content. Page wants the company to actively regulate it, and Brin wants to leave these areas alone. At one point, Brin, a Jew, decided to allow anti-Semitic sites to be ranked in search results, and Page told Google executives that Brin would “destroy” the company in his way.
Google issued a statement about the Wall Street Journal article, which read in part: “This article contains many incomplete anecdotes, many of which predate our current processes and policies, but also give inaccurate impressions of how we build and improve searches.” We make changes in the principle of accountableness, including a rigorous evaluation process before starting any changes – we started it more than a decade ago. “