EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘Google faces new EU antitrust probe‘:

I would contend that this is a subject on which the EU should not be trying to make a ruling.

As an Internet marketer and occasional search engine optimisation consultant (SEO), I can say from experience that all websites have an equal chance of high natural search rankings in Google when they are launched. Whether websites manage to achieve high rankings relies on many factors that are measured by the Google algorithm.

However, in basic terms, a high Google placement relies on specific knowledge applied to the website, hard work, high quality content, the reactions of users and skill. The level of competition within a niche is also a major factor that many companies and organisations fail to consider fully.

Should a company not manage to achieve high rankings, why should that be the fault of Google?

The public face of SEO at Google, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s anti-spam team, is often quoted as saying that he cannot fix the rankings of his own blog. For a mathematical algorithm to function successfully, this has to be the case.

Your story suggests that the sites have actually been dropped from the Google index, which suggests that they were using strategies that broke Google’s terms and conditions. This suggests that they may have been using strategies which would have provided an unfair advantage over other sites. We cannot know the exact details for obvious reasons.

More importantly, this is a very complex area in which the EU broadly, and judges in particular, are unlikely to have the required knowledge to make a ruling.

If Google were to lose this case, and sites must be listed relative to the level of their complaints, search engines would fail to function. After all, we would all demand that our sites rank at number one and there would no longer be a fair way for a top ten to be selected. This could lead to a situation in which the only firms able to rank highly would be those with a legal team on retainer.

Stuart Langridge

Director of Blogactiv.eu

Author :
Print

Comments

  1. I believe the EU is correct in moving to monitor, regulate and rule on google’s access to EU’s customers. There is little or no regulatory framework in the US regarding Google’s algorithm and its effect on consumers and consumers online property and privacy rights which are largly if not fully ignored by the company.

    There are also multiple civil cases open regarding Google’s participation in potentially harmful business schemes directed at individual consumers.

    It is wholly appropriate for the EU to enter through strident investigation of the company regarding its activities and not turn a blind-eye to the fact that google is in a position to attack and has attacked smaller competitors of competing systems, that Google’s anti-competitive behaviors constitute a threat to consumers.

    US Presidential advisor to Barak Obama, Dr. Eric Schmidt himself has used Google Corporations formidable power to BLACKLIST any media outlet publishing pictures of him or his family. Such is a simple example use of a Network Effects Monopoly with global reach to target consumers without proper legal boundaries enforced upon the company by the EU, which boundaries are wholly lacking in the US. This exposes consumers to potential inappropriate measures by the company that in turn are not properly administered within the Courts because of the lack of appropriate legal tools to regulate and punish, if necessary, Google for Targeting Indescretions regarding Consumers and/or their smaller competition.

  2. I really think that no regulation about Internet can done by politicians alone, most of them have only beeen using Internet for the past 4 or 5 years. Since the 1990’s it has been the vector to completely transform the contacts between human beings globaly and I think that we as global users would be completely against any change in our freedom to contact compagnies or individuals globaly.
    Google is not at fault for the rankings, fully qualified people should be employed to structure the sites and find the necessary key words for a good ranking. I am involved with politics but I am ashamed of the level of knowledge of the people who vote the laws in Europe. We have a great project about the Internet of the Future, this must not become one of our drastic funding reductions. We need more money to cut costs in other domains.

    Lesley Joines
    lesley.joines@yahoo.fr

Comments are closed.