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In Google we Trust? Not on your life, says the WSJ

Google and Wall Streeet Journal

Google and Wall Street JournalCollator or curator? Google has always sold itself as the former, telling us that it orders results in terms of relevance only. But according to a bombshell report dropped by those wily folks at the Wall Street Journal, the coveted first page of Google might be more hand-crafted than the search engine giant would have you believe.

According to the report – which, for those with an allergy to paywalls, is neatly and freely summarized here – Google was discovered to be doing a wealth of things that they pinky-promised they wouldn’t, including:

  • favoring big businesses over small
  • blacklisting certain political content
  • and the giving inside word on algorithms to its powerful buds

An opposing view has been served up by Barry Schwartz in a scathing article that picks apart the Wall Street Journal’s arguments one by one. Schwartz has a number of fair points and raises questions about the credibility of the WSJ report.

The upshot? Whether you believe the revelations and/or take umbrage at them, Google is still the only game in town. I suppose you could try SEO-ing websites for more Ask Jeeves traffic. The real test of the report will come in the form of government anti-trust action, which has the potential to bust up Google and other behemoths into a handful of smaller pieces and introduce some competition.

Stay tuned (to Google News, no doubt)

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