Google Degrades Third Party Search Results Finds Study

Posted: Jun 30 2015, 10:15am CDT | by , in Technology News


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Google Degrades Third Party Search Results Finds Study
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  • Study proposes Google knowingly degrades third party search results!

A new study by Tim Wu and Michael Luca suggest Google promotes its own services in search results.

Google has been long suspected of manipulating search results to promote its own services. The search giant has always defended itself against such claims, saying the filtering by Google gives users better experience. However a recent study financed by Yelp minces no words in directly accusing Google of promoting its own content in search results.

The research was carried out by Tim Wu, known for having coined the word ‘Net Neutrality’ and his partner Michael Luca, a Harvard Business professor. According to the results of the study Google intentionally degrades other search results to push more of its own services, and inevitable harms users in the process.

The study was carried out by using two tests batches for searching. First test searched Google normally, while the second batch searched with the set of a Plug-in called ‘Focus on the User’.

The second batch showed reviews from third party sites over Google+ and produced more engagement which users chose about 45 percent more than the content from Google+. The study concludes the difference in search by Google is subtle but still damaging and Google promotes inferior content instead of the superior coming from third party sites.

Some critics are not very accepting of the study, according to Motherboard. They are claiming the study itself was unnecessary and stating the obvious. Another analyst stated the study is irrelevant because searching on Google is an individual choice and it’s a self-correcting problem.

Other have also called into question the authenticity and bias nature of the research since it was financed by Yelp a rival of Google. However Wu and Luca argue the study can be used as a precursor to support the ongoing litigations against Google’s anti-competitive exercises.

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