Google runs the risk of a serious and potentially damaging investigation into monopolistic or anti-competitive practises. The search engine has been careful not to fall foul of the strict American rules but will a careless slip with eBooks cost them dear?
In April of this year I wrote about the types of websites Google doesn't like. The search giant recommends that the following types of sites are only advised "with caution", the concern that these sites struggle to offer useful and unique content.
- 'Get rich quick' sites
- Comparison shopping sites
- Travel aggregators
- eBook sites
Just to be clear: Google suggests that sites selling eBooks might struggle with low quality scores and might find it difficult to advertise in the search engine.
If we pop over to an Econsultancy article written by Patricio Robles on June the 2nd of this year then we'll discover news that Google plans to sell eBooks.
Google will allow publishing partners to sell eBooks through Google Book Search. Retailers like Amazon (with their Kindle) will be affected.
At a glance it certainly looks like Google is simultaneously in the business of making money by selling eBooks through its book search engine while making it difficult for other eBook retailers to advertise book search engines via AdWords.
The fix is simple; Google can simply revise the list of site types on its "caution list".
The days of eBooks belonging almost exclusively to the realms of MLM marketers have gone. eBooks are going mainstream and it looks like there will be a fair few battles on the way.
The battle Google needs to avoid, at all costs, is the one against American regulators concerned about restrictive market practises.