Google has been considered the best search engine in America and many other parts of the world. The argument for this is that it brings back more pertinent answers to questions people “ask,” and this makes it the most useful search product available. However, new antitrust charges claim the “best” search results may be, at times, the ones that favor Google’s other products and services the most. This bias, if it exists, takes away a perceived advantage.
The charges that may be brought by the U.S. antitrust authorities, and perhaps similar authorities in other countries, are that, as CNET points out: “Google has been accused of hurting competitors by prioritizing its own products, like shopping ads or local business listings, over the listings of rivals in its search results.”
Google also sends people to Google Maps and for video to YouTube, which is also owned by parent Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL). YouTube is the second-largest source of revenue for the tech giant. Thus, Google uses search to increase its income, perhaps by as much as several hundred million dollars.
This bias, if it does exist, means that Google’s algorithms have not been designed solely to serve the people who use it as their preferred search engine. The water has been fouled. Alphabet faces more than potential antitrust charges. It also has to deal with a hit to the belief that Google is the best search service.