Google may be getting some attention from the US Federal Trade Commission, according to a report in EWeek.com. The search engine giant continues to shut out all rivals, holding 65 percent of the Internet search market in the United States and even higher percentages overseas. While there is competition in the form of Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Ask.com and Yahoo, search engine optimization experts have long known that getting a site visible is all about getting it on Google.
The report claims that the FTC is requesting information about Google’s domination of the market from rival companies. Google recently got even larger, purchasing ITA Software, which is in the online travel market, for $700 million. The search engine giant has also been improving its own services of late, such as with the addition of the “+1″ system, and voting button that works in a similar fashion to Facebook’s “Like” buttons.
Google has long been under the eye of regulators concerned with the company’s command of the Internet market in so many sectors. The acquisition of ITA, for example, was granted under conditions imposed by the US DOJ that were designed to keep competition more livelily in the Internet travel market, according to the report.
Experts speculate that the actions may herald a wider antitrust investigation into the company.
Don’t Be Evil
Google’s oft-reported maxim, “Don’t Be Evil” and a forward-thinking, friendly image have given it good PR. According to the report, however, there are some who are speculating that there may be some instances where the search engine corporation goes out of its way to make life harder.
European investigators are looking into practices by Google that give their advertisements preference over others. The investigation is taking a look at whether Google prevented some advertisers from getting ads in sponsored link slots
The investigation, according to the article, has also expanded to Texas. The Texas State Attorney General is asking for information regarding the pricing of Google’s ad pricing and the rankings of sites in search results. There are other state attorney generals looking into the matter, as well, all of which focus on search engine result placement and advertising issues.
Most of what websites concern themselves with as far as visibility goes is with maintaining their rankings in Google. The other search engines have their place, but Google’s domination of the market is impressive. Microsoft, once the company held up as a representation of one company dominating the entire IT market, lags far behind Google in web services. Google and Microsoft have long been at each other’s throats from a business standpoint and, currently, with Microsoft trailing Google in Internet domination, it seems that the upstart company from Silicon Valley is now having the same public perception problem that once plagued Microsoft.