Search Engine Objectivity in Question as Google Publishes Owned Content Above Competitors

In addition to being a popular search engine, Google Inc. has also increased its content ownership online over the past several years – and that content is now being highlighted in search results.

Reports indicate that Google is showing favoritism for its own content properties and, in the process, is displacing relevant results from competing companies.

Travel site, local business review site and medical website are among the group of executives and web property owners that has noticed the favoritism. Executives and owners claim that Google’s practices are in direct competition with its position as a search engine.

For example, Google’s Place pages show details about local businesses and contact information for specific keyword terms. Recent changes to the way results are displayed put Google’s own resource on top of the search engine results, displacing the non-Google local review websites and even local company websites.

For its part, Google has not responded directly to the allegations but claims that its focus is on users, not on websites, and that the search results answer questions for those users.

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