Google could face EU antitrust action by April

Antitrust regulators in Europe have Google in their sights. In November 2010, the European Commission opened an informal investigation into the search giant to determine if it is abusing its position in the market.

The investigation covers everything from the company’s treatment of competitors’ search results to its new social network Google+. Normally, antitrust investigations like this take years to complete, but
it appears that the EU may be moving much more quickly than normal.

The EU’s next antitrust jackpot? Google

If you’re a big tech company, chances are the EU isn’t your friend. Why? Just ask Intel or Microsoft. Targeted by the EU for antitrust violations, combined both companies have been forced to pay billions of dollars in fines. Other companies, like Oracle and Qualcomm, have faced EU antitrust scrutiny as well, but who eventually managed to escape with only a few minor bruises.

So it’s probably no surprise that the EU is now eyeing another tech giant: Google.

Foundem vs Google redux: it was a penalty! And search neutrality is at stake, dammit!

In August last year I wrote an article called Foundem vs Google: a case study in SEO fail. Foundem had been complaining about Google, due to its lowly search rankings.

My article was based on a story published in The Guardian, which pretty much sounded like a big bunch of sour grapes to me. As such I called out Foundem, which didn’t appear to be doing an amazing job of SEO best practice.

But Foundem insisted that The Guardian article had been heavily edited, claiming that the newspaper’s lawyers didn’t want it to use words like ‘penalties’ and ‘whitelisting’ in the article, when referring to Google. Big, scary Google.

Foundem vs Google: a case study in SEO fail

Foundem vs GoogleThe Guardian is one of the best mainstream media publishers when it comes to technology. Not only does it do a lot of things right, as far as its website goes, but it has some excellent tech-savvy writers.

However, sometimes it gets things wrong, and an article today by Richard Wray on the search engine optimisation woes of price comparison engine Foundem is badly misguided. 

I read the article on the tube, so wasn’t immediately able to check the website in question, but normally when firms blame Google for their problems it is related entirely to their web strategy (or lack of it), as opposed to some outlandish flaw with Google’s algorithm. As such I reckoned there would be a problem with the Foundem website, and probably relating to unique content, technology, and a lack of quality links.

It turns out that there are problems in all of these areas…