After an extensive two-year investigation, the Federal Trade Commission has determined that the way Google arranges search results is not a violation of antitrust or anti-competition laws.
“While not everything Google did was beneficial, on balance we did not believe that the evidence supported an FTC challenge to this aspect of Google’s business under American law,” Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC, said.
Google has agreed to make minor changes to search practices related to search advertising. This is just “a slap on the wrist, wrote Clare Cain Mill and Nick Wingfield of the New York Times.
Given that Google’s exec. Chairman, Eric Schmidt is a close advisor to President Obama and the fact that they more than doubled their lobbying efforts to the tune of $13.1 million last year, it’s hardly surprising that the investigation dwindled.
Website design & development companies say, “Tell me something I don’t know.
Of course if, you’re an SEO Company, you and everyone else knows that Google is the giant in the search business. “By allowing Google to continue to present search results that highlight its own services, the F.T.C. decision could enable Google to further strengthen its already dominant position on the Internet,” reported Edward Wyatt of the New York Times.
This has little impact if your an SEO Company or a website design & development firm that builds web optimized sites. At Kirk, we’re one website design & development company that looks at Google as the main player in search. So much so that we optimize for Yahoo, Bing and other search engines, mostly because search engines all look at each other to evaluate search positions. In other words, because Google wants to see them on these search engines, we make sure to put them there.
International website design & development companies could be affected.
In Europe, Google is fighting similar anti-competition charges. If the charges stick, Any SEO Company doing business overseas may be affected, because the Search playing field might be leveled, making other search engines more relevant.