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Firefox Creator No Longer Trusts Google

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the watching-the-watchmen dept.

Google 528

watashi writes "Blake Ross the man whose scratched itch became the Firefox browser explains on his blog why he has a problem with Google's policy of promoting their own products over competitors' in search results. His main gripe is that the tips (e.g. "Want to share pictures? Try Google Picasa") result in an inability for other products (perhaps even Parakey?) to compete for the top slot on Google."

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528 comments

Why shouldn't they? (5, Insightful)

mr_zorg (259994) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394632)

Wah. Why shouldn't Google put their own products first? Name me one other company that wouldn't do the same thing.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (-1, Redundant)

c.derby (574103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394662)

agreed... i don't find it unreasonable at all.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17395038)

MOD PARENT UP

This is the most insightful post Ive read all day. The fact some schmo agrees with some other schmo really makes you think.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394728)

dumbass i guess you forgot their "do no evil" policy.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (4, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394834)

dumbass i guess you forgot their "do no evil" policy.
How is promoting your own products over other products evil? Don't open source projects do the same thing? Do you see Open Office recommending MS Office or Firefox recommending IE?

I presently work for Google. (-1, Troll)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394756)

Wah. Why shouldn't Google put their own products first? Name me one other company that wouldn't do the same thing.
I work in the accounting department.

I haven't heard the entire story, but there is a LARGE amount of controversy in the planning/development departments about how "fair" to be the market. Some of the managers want to be more corporate with the Google cause. Most of the developers want to keep it as it has been: fair.

The developers *know* that they can come out with the best products out there--a mixture of "something that works" and "something new"--two "mottos" that I hear a lot, even in my department. So, they can put out the best product, and they can put it side-by-side with competitors, and it is no question what the end-user will pick. Google, of course!

We have these managers who have no trust in the "lower downs," and the result is this. Trying to keep possible competition out even when we are the best. I believe that this is a deep flaw, possibly the hamartia that could bring us down. After thirty years working at Barclays, I will tell you this. I do not like to see how things are going.

***MoDeRaToRs***LoOk*** (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394876)

MOD PARENT UP. I never had the insight before I readed this post. I will NO LONGER consider the invest in Google!

Re:Why shouldn't they? (1, Insightful)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394762)

The problem is that Google has a monopoly on web search, and as such, they cannot simply do what other companies would do. As it is, Google is using its web search monopoly as leverage to promote its non-search products (Picasa, Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Talk, Gmail, Blogger, etc), to the disadvantage of others that produce better products in those areas.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (5, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394864)

The problem is that Google has a monopoly on web search, and as such, they cannot simply do what other companies would do. As it is, Google is using its web search monopoly as leverage to promote its non-search products (Picasa, Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Talk, Gmail, Blogger, etc), to the disadvantage of others that produce better products in those areas.
They do? What about http://www.altavista.com/ [altavista.com] http://www.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] and http://www.live.com/ [live.com] ? Do they not work? Are you confusing popularity with monopolies?

Nobody is stopping you from using those other search engines.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (5, Insightful)

RobinH (124750) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394770)

Wah. Why shouldn't Google put their own products first? Name me one other company that wouldn't do the same thing.

Any company would, and that's why we have anti-trust laws. If Google gets a defacto monopoly on searches (which it hasn't got yet), then manipulating the search results to promote it's own non-search related products would be a clear anti-trust violation. Plus, Google has told us their motto is "don't be evil", and manipulating search results is at the very least naughty.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394824)

I see no naughtyness. Search results are search results. Paid ads are paid ads. We can all tell the difference, and for those a little less intellectually endowed, Google has colored the ad bar and noted it "sponsored link(s)". An ad placed by google has opportunity cost associated with it.

FWIW, a google for "Online Maps" brings up Mapquest in second place. You know who was in first? Multimap.com. Google maps hit the top of the blue bar; Mapquest was the top of the sidebar. Google maps, btw, wasn't in the first two pages of search results. (A Google search for "map" has maps.google.com first, mapquest second, with that order recreated in the blue bar)

Re:Why shouldn't they? (5, Insightful)

blakeross (611172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394874)

> We can all tell the difference

There is opinion and then there is fact [usatoday.com].

> An ad placed by google has opportunity cost associated with it.

A tip does not.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394956)

Dude, most of the flamers haven't even read your blog post - or if they did, they didn't comprehend it. You'll burn out trying to correct them.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (4, Insightful)

ringm000 (878375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395036)

>> We can all tell the difference

> There is opinion and then there is fact.

No one considers banning the lotteries yet. Isn't it fair for stupidity to be taxed?

Re:Why shouldn't they? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394782)

Because Google is a search engine. At least it was. When I search for something I want the end results to reflect the whole net, not just the parts that Google has a vested financial interest in.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (2, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394850)

It still does, though. It's not like Google is being accused of altering the search results -- the results are the same. Nothing at all is preventing someone coming up with a superior product and getting a high page rank to get the #1 slot, is there?

Do you also cry foul when a newspaper puts their name on top of the classifieds section?

Do you cry foul when a yellow pages book from your phone company advertises the phone company?

Do you cry foul when an advertising campaign also advertises the advertising studio that put the campaign together?

Remember, Google is, in a sense, one huge advertising system. However, the entry is free for enterprising individuals with the content and product to back their site up to searchers.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (1, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394870)

Everything is moral, ethical and legal... until your company gets to a certain size. Then it becomes and evil monopoly.

Re:Why shouldn't they? (5, Interesting)

tpv (155309) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394954)

Why shouldn't Google put their own products first?
Because ultimately it may not be in their best interests.

Google relies on trust. I enter my search criteria, and Google returns the "best" results it can find.
If users start to think that Google is manipulating those results for their own gain, then they will stop trusting the results and start looking at other search engines.

Is this "hints" section a sign that Google has crossed the line? Maybe - that's for each person to decide - but there is a line there, and Google needs to walk it very carefully if they want to maintain that trust relationship.

His scratched itch became the Firefox browser (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394634)

My scratched itch became ringworm.

I wish I had more ambition. And less fungus.

Re:His scratched itch became the Firefox browser (-1, Offtopic)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394722)

My scratched itch became ringworm.

You know, you could have gone all week and not cut loose with that particular bit of personal info.

Next time feel like sharing, post something useful like your social and a couple of your credit card numbers.

Parakey? (3, Insightful)

jbarr (2233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394640)

This is the third reference I have seen to Parakey in the past two days, yet when you go to their sight, it's nothing more than a solicitation for an email address for a product announcement. Anyone care to explain what it is? (I know, I know, Google it, but then again, wouldn't that go against the intent of the article? ;-)

Re:Parakey? (2, Informative)

Shazow (263582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394694)

Wikipedia tends to be better for this type of thing. Here's an excerpt from Parakey @ Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:
Parakey is a Web-based computer user interface proposed by Firefox creator Blake Ross. Ross describes it as a "a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do." [...]

That explains the reference to Firefox and Blake Ross. I guess it is kind of on topic... in a strange sort of way.

- shazow

Re:Parakey? (3, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394736)

so, what Blake is complaining about is that when comparing vaporware products to actual products that do what the user wants, google should ignore the actual product and promote the vaporware product nobody else has heard about, because He is the supposed author of said vaporware product.

Got it.

Somewhere deep inside, my view of Firefox just diminished.

Re:Parakey? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394814)

Your view of Firefox should have dminished when you realized it consumed 300MB of memory and that it loads pages dog slow.

Re:Parakey? (0, Offtopic)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394828)

Funny, I'm running FF right now, it shows none of the problems you speak of. Currently FF is 33M, and all the sites I go to load just fine.

IE 7 on the otherhand ....

Re:Parakey? (0, Offtopic)

MaXiMiUS (923393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394972)

I have 9 tabs open, and Firefox is using about 158MB of memory for me. It's also using some CPU (jumping around from 5-22%, and I'm not entirely sure why.. none of my extensions or tabs are doing much of anything). I have about 14 extensions installed, and only frequently use 4 of them. You can get all sorts of fun numbers based on how many tabs are opened, and how many extensions are installed.

Re:Parakey? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394906)

so, what Blake is complaining about is that when comparing vaporware products to actual products that do what the user wants, google should ignore the actual product and promote the vaporware product nobody else has heard about, because He is the supposed author of said vaporware product.

Got it.

Somewhere deep inside, my view of Firefox just diminished.


Wow, pretty strong reaction for someone who hasn't even bothered to read the actual article. Blake doesn't even mention Parakey. Good job jumping to conclusions slashdroid.

Re:Parakey? (1)

14CharUsername (972311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394966)

Nope... Blake is complaining about Google and the article submitter made an offhand remark that its because of this parakey thing. Just continuing the slashdot tradition of injecting flamebait in the article summaries.

Re:Parakey? (1)

mr_zorg (259994) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394710)

It is apparently going to be a "Web OS" by the guy who started Firefox. You can read an interview with him in the IEEE Spectrum [ieee.org] in which he talks a bit about it.

Re:Parakey? (3, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394848)

From Wikipedia: Parakey is a Web-based computer user interface proposed by Firefox creator Blake Ross. Ross describes it as a "a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do."

Uhmm... everything? Like run device drivers and manage memory allocation and multitasking :P?

Have people forgotten that an "OS" comprises more than a shiny GUI? Well let's see how his "OS" performs when it doesn't have a real "OS" to run on top of.

Can't people call it the way it is: Web GUI, Web Desktop, Web Apps...

Re:Parakey? (1)

blakeross (611172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394936)

> Can't people call it the way it is

Can't people give others the benefit of the doubt before attacking them? The quote on Wikipedia is taken out of context. Placed back in proper context [ieee.org], it is (emphasis mine):

As he describes it, from a user's point of view, Parakey is "a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do."

And I was referring to end-users like my mother, who don't know about the memory allocation, etc. facets of an operating system.

Business (4, Insightful)

markalot (67322) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394642)

It's a business. Maybe he should run his own search engine, spend millions+ on hardware and then not profit from it.

In other words, I don't have a problem with this in the least.

Re:Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394688)

Yes. And also, Firefox is not run by a for-profit public company. At least the tip is a tip, not the first search result.

Re:Business (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394696)

If *that* is what he's really concerned with as the #1 reason why he shouldn't "trust" them, then he's fucking retarded.

Seriously, that's the least of the world's problems if Google decides to actually "do evil".

Re:Business (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394888)

he's fucking retarded

well, he did start Firefox

Re:Business (2, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394740)

I agree. And we've seen no proof that Google refuses to put others first. All we've seen is a TON of businesses unwilling to put that kind of cash into advertising on Google. If a business paid enough, I'm sure they could get first place, even over Google apps.

Also, if you go on Google and search for 'maps'... I think there's a pretty darned good chance you are looking for 'Google Maps', and not someone else's. There's every reason to believe that Google's apps are #1 on their search engine because people are actually looking for them when they search on Google.

Re:Business (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394894)

You don't see Yahoo putting up links to itself, Google Maps, and Mapquest when you search for a zip code like when you do it on Google.

Re:Business (3, Informative)

blakeross (611172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394908)

> I agree. And we've seen no proof that Google refuses to put others first.

Actually, that's the crux of the post: by taking itself out of its ad network, Google has guaranteed its own ad positioning--three weeks after reassuring advertisers that it played by the same rules they do. Did you read the post?

Re:Business (1)

SumoRoach (52906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394934)

Huh? Just because I'm using one of their products (either because it's better, but most likely, it has the most brand recognition) doesn't mean that I only want to use their products. If I'm searching for 'maps' on google, I'm probably looking for map providers, not looking for google maps.

Anyway, that's not really what the blog was saying. It was that, rather than promote their own products in 'sponsored links', they promote their own products through a 'tips' section which can say whatever they want, like, 'better than yahoo mail!', as opposed to an ad, which can only say, 'try yahoo mail!'.

Re:Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394744)

The second Google becomes a monopoly in the search engine market, this will become not only questionable but illegal. The fact that, for a certain demographic, Google has a monopoly already does mean that they are walking on thin ice. What is the number one reason for IE dominance on the web? A blue icon on every new Windows desktop. Do you want Google to become the next Microsoft?

Re:Business (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394902)

The second Google becomes a monopoly in the search engine market
You will have nobody to blame but yourselves for putting them there by not using any of the alternatives. But I have to ask this, why should we use other services if they do not offer anything google does not? Should we use inferior services just to keep them alive?

Priorities (4, Insightful)

mikerm19 (809641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394652)

I would rather them concentrate on fixing the memory leaks then who they should trust.

Re:Priorities (1, Insightful)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394742)

I would rather them concentrate on fixing the memory leaks then who they should trust.

Precisely. He doesn't trust Google. I don't trust Firefox. At least I have valid reasons -- it keeps crashing, it's slow and bloated beyond all belief, and the development team don't seam to have much of a clue. And yet, despite all that, it's still the only viable choice for a web browser. That thought in itself is somewhat depressing :-(

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394862)

Firefox is only half way acceptable because at its heart it is primarily a windows product. That's what is wrong with it that people won't admit on the FOSS side-they are wild over a windows product. If it was an open source browser being developed for open source operating systems with zero emphasis on being a MS product it no doubt would be a lot better, or at least a hella lot different.

I keep an updated copy of FF installed, but I don't use it beyond a few minutes every new version-I honestly don't like it. I'd *love* a true open source designated bowser, perhaps under GPL 3 once it is released.

Re:Priorities (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395000)

> an open source browser being developed for open source operating systems with zero emphasis on being a MS product

You mean Seamonkey? It's still available, even. OTOH given the user support *that* received it's clear that ship has sailed a long, long time ago.

Also, here's a point: it's easy to write a purist browser that does only standards-compliant markup, like Amaya. However, no one will use it in the real world, leading to a Metcalfe's Law-driven fall-off in user numbers. And having to deal with the tag soup that's there in the real world is a bitch because none of the rules you learnt in the Dragon Book apply with tag soup. (And no, life's not going to be easier with XHTML, hell, Atom and RSS suffer the same problem -- to the point where you now have 'liberal feed parsing libraries' available to deal with real world feeds.

Re:Priorities (1)

rinkjustice (24156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395054)

Precisely. He doesn't trust Google. I don't trust Firefox. At least I have valid reasons -- it keeps crashing, it's slow and bloated beyond all belief, and the development team don't seam to have much of a clue. And yet, despite all that, it's still the only viable choice for a web browser.

I've found Firefox 2 consistently loads and runs faster than IE 7, hands down. Not as fast as Opera mind you, but close.

If Opera had more plug-ins, it would be game over.

Re:Priorities (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394784)

True. I don't mind the leak, but I do mind that I've had FF crash or stall out on occasion and this is with only two extensions running, Flashblock and Adblock. The Mac version can't show the contents of folders on bookmark toolbars when the program is on the secondary screen. If FF is on the secondary screen, the pull-down menu shows up on the primary screen.

Re:Priorities (0, Flamebait)

LCookie (685814) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394798)

Well maybe YOU should fix them instead of posting stupid google fanboi messages, Firefox is Open Source you know!
Oh well I guess your mouth is bigger than your brain, typical slashbot fool.

Re:Priorities (1)

tpv (155309) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394872)

Given that Blake is no longer the lead developer for Firefox, I don't think it particularly matters what you want him to do.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394880)

I don't mind the memory leaks, I want to know why on a multi-threaded operating system, all my tabs have to hang while it waits for one tab to load some page.

The right to choose. (3, Insightful)

grolschie (610666) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394658)

Google's site, Google's rules. Don't like it? You have other choices. Unlike Microsoft products, it's not like many of us are locked into using Google. Just the way I see it.

Re:The right to choose. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394792)

Actually, it's much more similar to Microsoft's behaviour than you try to pretend. If you're a firefox user, you're stuck with Google's search bar in the toolbar, whether you like it or not.

Sure, you can replace google with another search provider, just like you can change the default browser in Windows to something other than IE. The point is that most people wouldn't know how to do it, and there's no effort put in to make it easy for them to figure out.

Google pays Mozilla for the search box [google.com] (each time somebody types in a search the Mozilla foundation gets a referral fee) and firefox "strongly encourages" people to use Google as a result.

Re:The right to choose. (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394860)

Just checked. I've got eight in that search box, with the promise to manage them. Haven't tried that yet, but it doesn't look like I've been Microsofted yet.

Re:The right to choose. (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394984)

You think because _you_ know how to find and change the search boxes, it makes it easy for most people to do so? If you go to the windows control panel you can change the default browser and mailer too, but it's not _easy_. The proof? Every mailer and browser that you install still opens a window asking explicitly if they can be made the default. Now where's the firefox window that opens automatically and asks the user which search box they'd like to use?

Re:The right to choose. (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394812)

Unlike Microsoft products, it's not like many of us are locked into using Google.

Who exactly locked you into using Microsoft products? Format the drive, install whatever you want. Yes you most likely paid a modest 30-40 USD for the OEM license as part of your PC cost.

Are those $40 bucks what are locking you into Microsoft products? Are there no PC-s with Linux preinstalled?

If the answer to the above is "no" then you're not locked into anything, but Microsoft products have value for you: the interface or features or supported Windows software. And this is value. The same reason we go to Google.

If Microsoft somehow "forces" you to use Windows, then Google "forces" you to use their search engine, since it shows the best results out there, and everyone knows that you gotta "google it", not "live search it".

And we're back to square one.

Re:The right to choose. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394930)

The NTFS filesystem isn't open, and reverse engineering aside, you'd have to use Windows to access it. Google doesn't lock your data into proprietary formats, it doesn't force those formats down everyone's throats so you're forced to be compatible with it...

Google is wrong for using dominance in one market to gain an advantage in another, but to compare it to Microsoft is just cruel.

Re:The right to choose. (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395018)

>Unlike Microsoft products, it's not like many of us are locked into using Google. Just the way I see it.

Bullshit. You dont have to use IE or WMP but lots of people do. Why? Because they have no idea there are alternatives, where to get them, or how to install them. Grandma, grandpa, and technophobe teenage jimmy dont remember why IE has a google toolbar installed (they now piggypack on whoever lets them just like google), why google is the default search, how pagerank violates privacym how to remove it or even why they would remove it. They are google customers until the next upgrade cycle.

This isnt exactly microsoft but its close. Blake's complaint is valid. Fanboyism will most likely win this fight, which is kinda sad.

Re:The right to choose. (1)

s-gen (890660) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395026)

"Google's site, Google's rules. Don't like it? You have other choices."

Sure we do. And one of those choices is: Get pissed off. Loudly. Complain. Say... Fix this shit or we're leaving.

Let's get real... (3, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394672)

It's no longer cool to be whining about Microsoft. That's why everyone is starting to whine about Google.

Re:Let's get real... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394754)

Everybody dumps on the top dog. Until he's no longer top dog, and the new top dog has to take the abuse. There's plenty of whining about Microsoft when it comes to other things, but Google is the perceived top dog when it comes to search. So that's where all the crap flows.

I have a straightforward policy regarding trust: if it comes to my house in a TCP/IP packet I don't trust it. I may find it useful, but I don't trust it. So Google can do what they want, but if they become too untrustworthy (too "evil") then I'll switch to the lesser evil, whoever that might be at the time.

Re:Let's get real... (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394948)

Exactly, a good example could be all the vulnerabilities/virii appearing around the Apple market, now that they have come to the fore, let's all bitch about them and try to bring them down.

I guess the biggest part is, we are geeks of the internet, and most of us spent school being the underdog... it's like I'm getting my own back against that dead-shit bully from high school...

Re:Let's get real... (1)

JoGlo (1000705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395046)

Everybody dumps on the top dog. Until he's no longer top dog, and the new top dog has to take the abuse.

In Australia, we know this as the "Tall Poppy Syndrome", for some reason. The tall poppies being the ones that get cut down first. A well known human phenomenon, where everyone wants to jump on and destroy anyone who has been more successful, or is more popular, or more well known (the Tall Poppy), than the rest of the crowd.

Oh, and we've been very good at it for many years! It's almost our national sport.

so? (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394682)

So he's upset that Google's own product is suggested when he searches for something related to his own project? WTF? Just like everyone else has said, they're a business. I don't blame them at all.

Is he going to stop trusting MS if they suggest Internet Explorer on MSN when he searches for "web browser"? OK, bad example, he probably doesn't trust them anyways... but it's the same idea.

Re:so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394702)

Next we're all going to be aghast that the TV broadcast networks use prime time advertising to advertise their own shows, when PBS could have been advertising the latest episode of Nova!

Re:so? (1, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394746)

The difference as I see it is that Google doesn't display sponsored search results like many of the other search engines out there. The results they display are all based on the PageRank algorithm, which is supposed to be a reflection of how relevant the site is to your search terms. It's very deceptive to users who know that google doesn't display sponsored results to display your own stuff first. If you search for maps, it's hard to tell if Google maps is actually the most popular, or just displayed first because Google decided they want their own stuff first. I'm not saying that they are being evil, but I do find it a little odd they fudge the results just for their own good.

Re:so? (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394844)

Actually, they do show sponsored search results. Here's what Blake was searching for [google.com].

Notice the blue box at the top. That's WAY more confusing than the "Tip" which looks absolutely nothing like a search result. But yes, the results are based on PageRank... and IMO, like I said, the Tips they include don't even look similar to a search result so not too deceptive at all to me. Of course, I don't consider myself an "average user" whom might find it to be just that.

Re:so? (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394866)

OK, wtf... I click the link and no sponsored results now. I swear I'm not crazy, but they were there. I don't know what determines if they show up or not, but they do exist for some searches.

Re:so? (3, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394938)

You simply don't get it. There's no issue that Google can do (within reason) whatever they like with their own assets. The issue is that Google is biased, and people who use Google should know that when they do searches, so they aren't being duped. It's information, it's newsworthy, it belongs on slashdot, digg and other places.

This is not about telling Google what to do or not, it's about telling Google's _users_ that they are being duped when they search for particular types of software. It's Google's right to do so, and it's people's right to know.

Sigh...nothing to do with Parakey (3, Interesting)

blakeross (611172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394706)

Some people seem to find it incomprehensible that a person might genuinely put others' interests above his own. This has nothing to do with Parakey, which won't even exist for some time. You would think this statement from the post would defuse conspiracy theorists: "I believe, for instance, that shipping Internet Explorer with Windows was a good move." Hmm, doesn't that hurt Firefox?

I wrote about the issue because I believe it's important. You are, of course, welcome to disagree.

Re:Sigh...nothing to do with Parakey (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394810)

"I believe, for instance, that shipping Internet Explorer with Windows was a good move." Hmm, doesn't that hurt Firefox?"

No. Why you might ask. Simple, Firefox didn't exist when the decision was made to bundle IE with windows. I think what you mean is didn't it hurt Netscape? To which the answer would be yes.

Firefox has thrived, after coming to the party late, and in spite of MS bundling IE with Windows. First thing I do on a new computer is DL Firefox, then I disable IE on Windows Machines.

Sometimes, just sometimes the best product for the job gets the marketshare it deserves.

Personally, I don't think M$ Windows or Google are necissarily bad. I doubt Linux would be where it is today if 3 or more viable options were available for desktop OS. I doubt that windows would be imploding under its own weight if there was real competition.

Patience is a virtue because eventually nature will equalize the environment.

Re:Sigh...nothing to do with Parakey (3, Informative)

blakeross (611172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394826)

> Simple, Firefox didn't exist when the decision was made to bundle IE with windows.

"Shipping Internet Explorer with Windows" is not a moment in time. It is ongoing, and I still support it.

Re:Sigh...nothing to do with Parakey (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394994)

I neither support nor deride the decision to ship IE with Windows. That is a simple business decision. I don't support IE because of the problems associated with it, and its integration with Windows OS.

Like I said before, the natural course of things requires competition, in all ecosystems. Where there is no competition, there is failure, until there is equilibrium and balance in competition.

Google will have competition, or it will end up eating itself, just as M$ is beginning to show this result.

Compete and build a better product, very small niche markets in a monopolistic environment can be profitable.

Re:Sigh...nothing to do with Parakey (1)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394920)

I suppose they are linking their services first with the notion that people who like and currently use google's other services would like to be informed of it. I know a lot of people that use many of their services and might enjoy another.

Fair? Probably not. But since it's their product, I suppose they are welcome to do as they like. If it becomes a big problem, someone else may step in and people will switch.

I don't see it. (1, Interesting)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394720)

Google might be capable of the same kind of shenanigans (e.g.) Microsoft or Real are capable of, but they haven't demonstrated it in the same palpable manner.

(Disclaimer: Didn't RTFB.)

Re:I don't see it. (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394776)

... but they haven't demonstrated it in the same palpable manner.

Only because Emperor Palpatine hasn't taken over at Google yet.

Re:I don't see it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394808)

go to any majoy ivy league school, like harvard, princeton, or yale, and look at the ads on their daily online newspapers.

All the adwords ads are google ads to hire "talented adwords" staff.

I tried outbidding them with $10 cpm's and failed, and I sell a product marketed towards students.

this is what is known as a "conflict of interest".

Uh.... (4, Insightful)

scapermoya (769847) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394780)

Google isn't some public service that needs to be "fair." If consumers start to feel like google's self-promotion degrades the quality of the (free, bear in mind) service they provide, then they will stop using it.

People need to stop treating really good ideas like something that we have a right to have.

Re:Uh.... (1)

RobinH (124750) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394842)

Google isn't some public service that needs to be "fair." If consumers start to feel like google's self-promotion degrades the quality of the (free, bear in mind) service they provide, then they will stop using it.

To clarify that a bit... IF Google actually had a defacto monopoly (which it doesn't) AND there was a significant barrier to entry into the search engine market (which I doubt there is), ONLY THEN would anti-trust laws start to apply which would force Google to be fair about not promoting their other products artificially.

For instance, if Google has a service that cleans your gutters for you and it competes with my gutter cleaning service, and Google artificially promotes their gutter cleaning service over mine, it would still be very easy for me to create a specific "gutter cleaning service search engine" that accurately rated our services, and there are other advertising channels to promote it in other than Google Adsense, so anti-trust laws probably wouldn't apply.

Re:Uh.... (3, Interesting)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394958)

Great post. I was going to post something similar, but I'll add to it.

It's like owning a hockey team. For many many years, the Molson beer company (a Canadian beer company which merged with the American beer company Coors a few years ago) was the majority (or complete?) owner of the Montreal Canadians. Because of this, the only beer you could buy at the forum was Molson beer. Even more, it was the only beer you could see advertised or sold during Montreal Canadian hockey games or Montreal Canadian related events. Molson had a monopoly over beer consuption during the hockey games. It truly was a monopoly since no other beer company could advertise there. Who in their right mind would allow advertising from a competitor in their own distribution or promotional channel?

I see Google's situation the same. They own the space and the distribution channel. They have the right to advertise anything they want in there.

(On an unrelated note, now that Molson sold the hockey team to George Gillet, an american interrest, they are still the only beer company associated with the team. Why? They offered the best advertising dollars to the team and became one of the biggest sponsor)

Uh....WOOSH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17395040)

"People need to stop treating really good ideas like something that we have a right to have."

Scapermoya, meet Thomas [slashdot.org] Jefferson [slashdot.org].

How's this from default search engine of IE7 (2, Interesting)

Astarica (986098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394806)

Didn't Google object having Microsoft put their own site as default search engine of IE7?

Of course, Google lost that one too, though in this case, as I understand it, there is no way to ever get the top spot from the ones Google wants their stuff at the top, whereas you could configure IE7 to use another search engine.

Google or God oglers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394838)

I remember people here screaming about Microsoft placing their results first. Oh, it's okay now for Google to do it. You bitches.

Blake Ross, Step Down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17394912)

Blake Ross recently took a payment of nearly $100,000 USD from "The Independent Institute", a well known lobbyist firm that has represented both Enron, and Microsoft. This article is merely Blake Ross shedding his credibility prior to changing Firefox's default search to MSN.com, and a substantive reason for us to demand that he step down from the Firefox board.

Re:Blake Ross, Step Down (4, Informative)

blakeross (611172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394978)

Okay, I'll take the bait: no, none of this is based on any atom of truth.

Re:Blake Ross, Step Down (1)

truth_revealed (593493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394990)

If you want to slander someone with unsubstantiated crap, please tell us who you are to add credibility to your claim.

Those sons of bitches (2, Interesting)

briancnorton (586947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394926)

Can you believe an ad-supported free service would be SO BOLD as to put THEIR OWN ADS into the results? What a bunch of Nazis, I bet they vote republican and sacrifice fuzzy animals to lord satan. That's just criminal, like an organization putting their own preferred [google.com] home page on a new browser installation.

Not Trademark Infringement (3, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394942)

> Google can make a Picasa ad say "Easier to use than Kodak," but Kodak cannot
> create an ad that reads "Easier to use than Picasa."

Where is the support for this claim? Neither would be trademark infringement.

Re:Not Trademark Infringement (1)

blakeross (611172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394960)

Where is the support for this claim?

The support for the claim is linked directly from the post, but here it is again [blogspot.com]. If you'd actually like to verify the claim yourself, go to AdWords right now, try to create a U.S. ad containing "Picasa", and read the resulting error message.

Google's Opportunity Cost (3, Insightful)

SocialWorm (316263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394976)

One thing that I haven't seen anyone else mention yet is, regardless of if Google dominates search and search advertisement or not, they have an opportunity cost in that they could be advertising something for someone else in the space they take for themselves. This is true even if it's in a space of the page that isn't used for AdWords (Seriously, what would YOU pay to place a link to your site on Google's front page? What do you think Amazon, Netflix, or WalMart would pay, given the chance?). If Google gives up a click that they would get money for in order to promote something of their own, so be it. They are, after all, paying for it!

Might as well be paranoid of everything (4, Insightful)

moochfish (822730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17394992)

Last time I checked, Mozilla owed a huge debt of gratitude to Google. Wasn't it Google that helped them get off the ground by making browser development a financially viable business model, and even helped distribute the browser with the Google Pack? In fact, they even describe Firefox as helping you "browse the web quickly and securely [google.com]." I didn't see Yahoo, MSN, or Ask pushing Firefox the way Google did. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

Yeah, some stuff google does might justify a feeling of distrust. But ad placement for their in-house products? Not having ads for Outlook on Mozilla's homepage doesn't make Mozilla less trustworthy.

Re:Might as well be paranoid of everything (5, Interesting)

blakeross (611172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395048)

> I didn't see Yahoo, MSN, or Ask pushing Firefox the way Google did.

And you believe those engines (with the exception of MSN, perhaps :) wouldn't similarly support Firefox if *they* were the default? We made Google the default in Firefox long before Firefox was popular because we believed Google provided the best service to our users. Perhaps that's why I'm upset with the company now. It was only once Firefox started getting big and driving significant traffic to Google that a deal was cut.

> Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

I criticize Google because I want to see them improve.

Mommy!! (1)

Guey_X (931597) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395016)

Mommy, mommy, Google is advertising his products instead of mine again, scold him!!! Damn that google.

It's not our decision (1)

dmsuperman (1033704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395022)

It's not up to us how google returns it's results, it's google's. Why must you argue a point that cannot be changed by you anyhow?

General Motors starts selling Fords, News at 11 (3, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17395044)

Okay, so Google pushes their own products ahead of everyone else's. Would someone please name me a company that produces a product but pushes someone else's product ahead of their own? I guess you expect Ford to start selling Chryslers, eh? I bet you think Apple will start positively advertising the availability of Windows Vista, too.

Grow up. Google is a company. It can preach all the "do no evil" it wants to. But ultimately it will behave like a corporation. And putting your own product first is not "evil".
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