As Google expands into car insurance searches, an in-depth package from The Wall Street Journal cites a previously undisclosed FTC staff report documents how Google skewed search results to favor its own shopping, travel and other services.
“How Google Skewed Search Results,” The WSJ repored. “FTC staff report details how Google favored its own shopping, travel services over rivals.”
Results were skewed “even when they weren’t most relevant for users,” the newspaper said.
“The report’s insight into Google’s business practices is still relevant as Google expands its own offerings. Just this month, it launched a search tool for car-insurance quotes, which competes with similar tools offered by Allstate Corp.’s Esurance, among others. It has beefed up hotel listings that compete with TripAdvisor Inc. and Expedia Inc.,” The Journal added.
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has faced such complaints for years.
In a statement, Google responded to the report, noting the FTC had decided not to “take action.”
“After an exhaustive 19-month review, covering nine million pages of documents and many hours of testimony, the FTC staff and all five FTC Commissioners agreed that there was no need to take action on how we rank and display search results,” Google General Counsel Kent Walker said.
“We regularly change our search algorithms and make over 500 changes a year to help our users get the information they want … “We created search for users, not websites—and that focus has driven our improvements over the last decade.”
Read more at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-google-skewed-search-results-1426793553