Google has changed the way in which it posts search results, Reuters has reported. Company statements now appear at the top of lists when users search for information about a specific business.
A Google spokeswoman said, “The goal of search is to get users the right answer at any one time as quickly as possible — that may mean returning an article from an established publisher or from a smaller niche publisher or indeed it might be a press release.”
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The new system has its critics. Many feel that Google is simply pandering to corporations and that the move will deny people access to real news about them.
Google already offers preferred ads which appear both above and to the right of its natural search engine results. These are sold through auctions called Google Ad Words.
But Google users know that these are ads and they depend on the search results to be based on the objective work of Google’s algorithms.
Some may say that this is a matter of “let the buyer be war.” But Google seems to have snuck in the change under the radar.
The market, ultimately, will determine if the move will hurt Google in the long term. Users will decide for themselves if they feel that Google’s quality of service has declined because of it.
But given the fact that the company currently holds a de facto monopoly on web searches, it is hard to imagine that the change will hurt its market share.