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Google is under attack from many sides about perceived favoritism in its search results. The complaints say that Google promotes its own properties/sites in the search results at the expense of other sites. The EU has even launched an investigation looking into this. What say you? Our "Discussion of the Week" wants your opinion: Does Google favor its own sites in the search results?
Comments15 Comments  

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Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1406 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I doubt they do anything special to favor them in the natural organic results. Google.com does have a lot of authority/PR tho. (Surprise, surprise!)



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from casieg 1406 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Having watched Google Voice come on the scene and immediately start showing up #2, #3 for "voicemail" over products/companies that have been around a lot longer...I'm inclined to say yes. But I can't fault them, because if I'm Google, I'm putting my products at the top of the results too.



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from nickfb76 1406 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It's not very often Google publishes anything thats not extremely relevant and beneficial to the overall users.  With that said I think they deserve the rankings regardless of whether or not they tweek it so their properties show up first.  It's a benefit of owning the service right? If you build homes for a living are you not allowed to build your own piece of property?



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from Sebastian 1406 Days ago #
Votes: 0

From a searchers POV I often consider Google's favored results, er opinions, irrelevant and spammy; especially when I search for topics where the majority of the Web's content is hosted by easy to scrape sites like forums, blogs and such. In this area Google generally ranks pages that just reprint GoogleGroup threads above the source, if the source (a Google property) makes it on the SERPs at all. So nothing to complain here, besides search quality issues.

As for for the complaints by Microsoft's European outlets that eventually lead to the EU investigation, that's laughable. For the love of the god of search, if she exists at all, why should a search engine send their users to search result pages that just point to indexed content the searcher is looking for?




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from graywolf 1406 Days ago #
Votes: 0

There are lots of times when I'm searching for something and google mixes in local/google places results and I know it's not what I want, and I think the relevancy is debatable at best. I see plenty of youtube results stuffed in and again I know it wasn't what I was looking for. Unless I search for something with the word "twitter" I don't think I should ever be shown a twitter live stream.

I don't know if it's them favoring their own properties, so much as the forced universal results that they just happen to have piece of.



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from MagsSikora 1406 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I agree with Graywolf. I work for an action sports video sharing platform and I can easily see how Google favors YouTube. My client very often has an exclusivity for specific video for a few hours time. Obviously during that time they are on the top of SERP for relevant keywords (usually the video title; and I am talking here about the universal search results, not the video search specifically) . However as soon as the exclusivity finishes and someone upload that video to YouTube, their video is pushed down in SERP... I understand that YouTube's videos will obviously get many more views and that counts, but wasn't my client the first who had this content? Also, Google talks a lot about niche. The client's website t is a real niche, action sport video sharing platform. Yes, the website rank better than Vimeo for example (which is a general video web), however YouTube seems to be impossible to beat in this matter.

Have you noticed any other examples?



Avatar Moderator
from toddmintz 1406 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I'm inclined to believe they don't tweak the algorithm for their own benefit but since many of their own properties are naturally powerful, they rank well regardless of their Google association. Also, I think a searcher is more likely to not only notice but click on a Google listing no matter the rank.

As for when they localize a search, I think they are stacking the deck much more in their own favor (if you consider a Places business listing as a property of Google instead of the actual business).



Avatar Moderator
from Sebastian 1406 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Maybe it makes sense to throw in some 'stats'?



Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 1406 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I tend to think most of the complaining and investigations and such is pretty lame. These same people would be yelling about how Google was broken if it DIDN'T show YouTube videos in the search results -- it's the #2 search engine online and is by far the biggest and most popular video site online.

At the same time, I can't help but wonder how Google Books outranks Amazon.com on a search for "books" ... seems very odd to me.



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from nathanj 1405 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Hi all,

My name is Nathan and I work on the Search Quality team at Google.

Just wanted to chime in and say that we work really hard on making sure any property has to rank on it's own merits. This is a value that lives at the very heart and soul of the search team and will continue to be so.



Avatar Moderator
from Sebastian 1405 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thank you for chiming in, Nathan!

I try to translate your message into SEO gibberish:

If a Google property ranks on Google's SERPs at all, blame the tech bloggers, webmasters and SEOs of this planet for abusing their anchor text and link love, because Google doesn't tweak its own pages for SEO purposes. Also, hand jobs belong to adult entertainment and this industry is responsible for its content. Google just crawls and indexes their output, but prevents mere mortals from viewing hand jobs by applying sensible default values for the &safe-parameter.

Judging from my daily SERP experience, I totally agree. Although I really miss a hand job on the [search engine] SERP.



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from rishilakhani 1404 Days ago #
Votes: 0

This is a pretty Solid Discussion, but I am inclined to think that G may not promote its "web properties", however, it does push its One Box solutions, which I think are th real threat to publishers. http://explicitly.me/google-one-box-results-the-real-threat-to-publishers



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from vgv8 1393 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Why cannot I even ask questions like:

They all are being closed as being a "a commentary on Google's services"!

Is Google a taboo in the West?

How should I masquerade the name of Google's services about which I am asking?



Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 1393 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@vgv8, not sure what you're asking about here. If you're having problems with questions on the other site that you've linked to, you'll need to ask your questions there. We can't help you here, I'm afraid. I've never seen that site before and Sphinn has no relationship to it.



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from vgv8 1393 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@MattMcGee,

"not sure what you're asking about here. If you're"

My questions presented here were on Google, more specifically on Goole search manipulation of results and I understand that you are not Google to answer them.I тогые wanted to know opinion of others about presented facts. For example, why is it prohibited to ask questions on incorrect Google search results.



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