Google, Search, and Competition

Gregory Ferenstein recently shared his opinion on Google, semantic search, and the future of competition on the internet. He writes, "In a 2005 interview, Eric Schmidt said that, ideally, a Google search should yield only a single, perfect result. 'When you use Google, do you get more than one answer? Of course you do,' he told public television host Charlie Rose at the time. 'Well, that’s a bug. We should be able to give you the right answer just once. We should know what you meant. You should look for information. We should get it exactly right.' Fast forward to Thursday, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ended its two-year antitrust investigation into the search giant. The FTC found that, contrary to claims made by Google’s detractors, there was not sufficient evidence to show Google unfairly prioritized its own products in search results over those belonging to companies that offer competing services."

He continues, "In a deal with the FTC, Google also voluntarily conceded to change the way it displays portions of content from other sites and make it easier for marketers to move their ads to competing services. Google’s detractors, under the banner issued a statement Thursday calling the deal and the end of the investigation 'disappointing and premature.' But the decision left me thinking about the potential ramifications of what Schmidt described in 2005. Could competition exist in online search if Google was able to deliver a single, perfect result every time? I don’t believe it could."

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Image: Courtesy Google