because everyone wanted to go to http://www.foundem.co.uk/
Google watchers react furiously to ad flinger’s competition case defence
“The data mentioned in Google’s blog is frankly suspicious," or so said Thomas Vinje, legal counsel for FairSearch Europe – a group of organisations lobbying against the ad flinger's online search dominance – in response to Google’s defence of its EU anti-trust case yesterday. FairSearch represents the complainants in the case …
Friday 28th August 2015 12:48 GMT Mystic Megabyte
Friday 28th August 2015 13:23 GMT Anonymous Coward
Sunday 30th August 2015 17:11 GMT tom dial
Re: I tried that
I found Foundem's presentation mildly interesting, especially their omitting any mention or inclusion of the Foundem traffic, suggesting it is too low to show on the chart or so high that it ruins their argument. Having looked at the site, I incline to the first explanation.
Comparison shopping sites, in my opinion, are generally not very useful except in cases in which the specific product, make, and model are known, along with a range of potential suppliers and their reliability, and the only relevant consideration is price. Even then, an "organic" direct search is likely to do as well with lower effort, as a price comparison site. I routinely ignore the likes of Nextag even when it shows up in the results.
Friday 28th August 2015 13:51 GMT Anonymous Coward
Yeah foundem appear to be one of the lowest quality of those type of sites. They really have got a rubbishy website.
They seem to have plenty of money to update their campaign (maybe money from one of their friends? ;-} )
Byt their website and business model is exactly why Google was right to adjust their algorithms to stop the parasite sites that were ruining search engines for everyone.
Friday 28th August 2015 14:22 GMT Paul Shirley
Foundem launched early enough to get decent press coverage (which no launch today would), then failed to turned that into any happy, repeat customers. Today they're riding Microsofts coattails and again getting press coverage, coverage that will stop most even considering them.
The last thing Foundem needs is more exposure, the more the public hear their name, the worse things get. Yet they still cling to the belief that buying rank in search results (this time by paying for lawyers) will magically change their fortunes.
Wonder if they've ever considered just running a better business?
Tuesday 1st September 2015 07:46 GMT Anonymous Coward
@Paul Shirley and other Googleoids
Paul Shirley - the reliable Voice of Google.
Foundem won awards when it launched, it did specialised search better than Google. Its reward for running a better business was to be kneecapped by Google.
The message is clear: don't compete where Google does business.
Friday 28th August 2015 20:05 GMT DavCrav
"because everyone wanted to go to http://www.foundem.co.uk/"
Sorry, but Google Shopping is shit. Completely shit. The only way it could get to the top of the rankings is if someone manipulated it. Google cannot really expect us to believe that Google Shopping is at the top of its rankings naturally. So they are favouring their own other parts of the business, and therefore abusing their domination of search.
Friday 28th August 2015 12:17 GMT graeme leggett
IF found to be in the wrong, google/abc.xyz would probably be happy with a fine and vague promises to be better citizens of the globe in future.
What they wouldn't -even in absence of a fine - like is agreeing to some clearly defined mechanisms for de-favouring their own services, and the burden having to keep records showing that internal meetings/emails/contracts/projects were compliant with the new 'rules'.
Friday 28th August 2015 12:49 GMT jonnycando
What's all the hubbub?
I use Google all the time. I am not aware they that they sell much more than nexus gadgets. Sure if you search for a certain product google will present you with paid sponsors first, and perhaps those sellers that accept google wallet. Fact is, its not hard to find your favorite seller in any given set of search results
Friday 28th August 2015 13:12 GMT sabroni
Friday 28th August 2015 18:18 GMT Dazed and Confused
Re: Fact is, its not hard to find your favorite seller in any given set of search results
I've never once asked google to tell me who can tell me who sells anything.
I've asked google who sells things and they've answered.
If I requested that google give me search sites and they only listed their own then I'd be miffed. If I ask them who sells something and they only listed the names of other people who could tell me I'd also be miffed.
Friday 28th August 2015 13:31 GMT Omniaural
Google just needs to make the shopping feed a matter of choice within it's search results, as search engines are within browsers, and then googlers can decide which feed they want to see.
The default would obviously be google but a simple drop down for other providers would mean they were still offering choice.
As things stand they ARE abusing their position no matter how successful it is.
Friday 28th August 2015 13:39 GMT Rikkeh
Everything or nothing
What's very interesting about this case is that Google tried to settle the case against itself with behavioural commitments, but this was derailed, not by the Commission per se (which was minded to accept them) but by the strength of feeling of the complainants and certain anti-Google politicians.
As a competition lawyer, I'm fairly unconvinced by the theory of harm- why should a dominant undertaking be forced to grant access on a non-discriminatory basis to its competitors when not doing so does cannot be said to foreclose competitors from the market? By opposing the deal, the complainants have taken one hell of a gamble.
Friday 28th August 2015 15:05 GMT Paul Shirley
Re: Everything or nothing
I think they've committed suicide. The most likely outcome now, presaged by the creation of Alphabet, is Google splitting search from the problem services completely destroying leverage for Fairsearch & co.
More worrying for them is my most recent experience of their shopping service. I actually tried Googles travel insurance comparison partly because this whole shitstorm had kicked off again. It was a revelation, an absolutely minimal search, 100% relevant results, enough detail to narrow the choice upfront... and most astonishing, the prices quoted there matched the ones on each sellers site I tried! Easily deserving of a high rank in organic search in the 'level playing field' Fairsearch claim to want.
Comparison sites are so universally bad even Google can put together something better. The complaining competition should be very frightened and they'll go to their bankruptcy without ever considering building a better product. Still, it will be a "fair" bankruptcy for most of them ;)
Friday 28th August 2015 18:45 GMT Brewster's Angle Grinder
Tuesday 1st September 2015 07:48 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: Everything or nothing
Gadget Show 2008:
"When searching for online bargains I reckon your first port of call should be price comparison websites...We took nine of the Gadget Shows favourite Gadgets and searched for the best price we could get for each and every one of them on what we reckon are the twelve best price comparison sites in the UK...So, who does the Gadget Show recommend? The top dog in our survey was in fact Foundem. This site found the lowest price in six out of nine cases, and found the second best price in the other three cases. But I also like their Price History graphs...which chart the cost of your item over time."
Google isn't even a price comparison site. It never has been. You pay to play.
Paul Shirley, trolling for Google as always.
Friday 28th August 2015 13:44 GMT Pascal Monett
Well of course
Obviously Google does no want an open hearing - why allow your competitors to have a voice ? They just might have an argument that sticks.
Google is not about openness, and nothing about the inner workings of Google is open in any way. Google is all about backroom deals, lobbying and whispering softly in the right ears. With a brown envelope if need be.
Anything to avoid proper regulation and oversight. It's such a hassle to find ways around that.
Friday 28th August 2015 14:08 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: Well of course
Because demanding an open hearing isn't about fully presenting arguments and counter-arguments in a judicial context - in an open hearing most of them would hardly have time to be touched on, if discussed at all. It's about grandstanding, which is these shouty groups have been doing all along in the hope of swaying politicians.
Friday 28th August 2015 14:35 GMT jnffarrell1
Friday 28th August 2015 14:54 GMT Durant Imboden
Friday 28th August 2015 15:31 GMT Anonymous Coward
The vast majority of search engines show ads based on search results, users expect adverts as search engines generally have to make money at some point.
Just tried a search (from UK) for same product on Google / bing (usb stick related)
Obvious on google results when something is sponsored / advert. - no attempt to fool you.
Similar if I choose bing search engine (albeit more ads).
The (non advert) results on 1st page from both quite similar - listed in order
Google: currys, amazon, argos, ebuyer, mymemory, maplin, wikipedia, 7dayshop, tesco
Bing: pc world, argos, ebay, amazon (twice - appears later in results too - in addition also has a sponsored ad), tesco, maplin, wikipedia, mymemory, ebuyer
So Bing gave 1 more result (but Amazon twice), majority of "hits" similar, noteable that google did not give ebay - however ebay was there as an advert. Should be noticed ads on both quite similar.
With either of these "major" search engines I would have to refine search / go through several pages of results to get to more obscure retailers - which is what I expect from a search engine: I expect big companies / specialists
Essentially I get same user experience with a major Google competitor as with Google, so really do not see the point of the complaints - presumably similar algorithms used by both search engines.
Friday 28th August 2015 16:12 GMT Queasy Rider
I sidestep paid ads
Those ads that you could barely tell were ads always bothered me when they appeared at the top of search results, but not just because of their deceptive appearance. Knowing how expensive they were to place there, and believing they were also charged again if you clicked on them, I commenced scrolling down till I found the company's unadulterated search result and clicked there. I don't know if I'm saving the company any money but I don't know how else to get around the Google tax, and maybe have the savings trickle down to the customer(not consumer, I really hate that term, like pre-owned car vs used car.)
Friday 28th August 2015 16:15 GMT Anonymous Coward
Sunday 30th August 2015 17:32 GMT tom dial
Unfortunately for those who might undertake something like that, it would be difficult for a competing search engine to gain traction against Yahoo or Bing, let alone Google, unless it produced very noticeably "better" results than each of them. That is very unlikely unless the likes of Fairsearch succeed in their rent seeking and government regulation damages Google's significantly. They may need to approach it with some care, lest the rules hamper their benefactors as well.
Monday 31st August 2015 08:21 GMT Anonymous Coward
Monday 31st August 2015 08:31 GMT Sirius Lee
What a bullshit response from the Turkeys
"under European law, consumers and competitors have a right to expect unpaid and unbiased real search results"
What!? Where is the 'search on-line" directive? FarceSearch represents a bunch of organisations that have failed to compete at all for two decades. Now they want to whine - at my expense. I'm a European and it would be great if there were go to sites that provide a credible alternative to Google. But there isn't. Dreadful technology decisions, lack of imagination, poor marketing, eternal EU political interference means there is no credible alternative. So instead of competing for my attention and money they want to lobby politicians to spend my tax money to prosecute a case against an organization that provides what I want.
No. F*** off.
Tuesday 1st September 2015 07:51 GMT Dr Stephen Jones
Re: What a bullshit response from the Turkeys
Writes a man who doesn't know what the case is about.
People like you basically ensure no European tech company will ever be able to compete with Google.