Mind Candy

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Will G+ kill Google? Don’t bet on the FTC to be the executioner!

Posted by mandyf on January 14, 2012

Google has never faced a serious threat before if you think about it. Half billion dollar fines? Not a problem – got that in petty cash! Bing? It’s groovy, but seriously? When was the last time you heard someone say “let me Bing that”., or Bingle it or whatever term would be correct. Everyone Google has faced they have backed down or bought out. It’s the nature of the beast in the business world. Now however, Googlemay have a challenge – them self. Maybe the government too. We know how they can throw money around in inquiries and investigations by the tens of millions for years on end.

Consider this – Gizmodo ran a headline stating “Google just made Bing the best search engine.” You may take that as a joke if you want to, but there is a very serious ring of truth to it. The government could, but likely won’t in any meaningful way, give Google a spanking for antitrust violations. How is it then that the integration of Google + to Google search results just, in some eyes, made Google worse?

In case you haven’t noticed it yet, the integration of G+ into search rankings is not the small tweak so many of us thought it would be. It seriously changes the results you get by going overboard on personal preferences. True enough, I like many others simply opted out of social results. I was tired of getting returns that were from someone in a Google Circle that I barely know that just made a passing mention of what I was looking for over an actual authority site.

I have been a Google user so often during the course of an average day for so long I can’t even remember. I have no idea how many times I use Google to search on a daily basis. What I do know is that I want speed. I want the best returns from whatever source they may be right away. I don’t want garbage that almost matches my query just because it is from a Google product. It creates inefficiency. It makes me use Bing a whole lot more than I did before – and I’m not a big fan of Bing. I just know Bing is getting me closer to what I want than Google is – at least right now.

According to Verge, Bloomberg is reporting that the FTC has expanded their antitrust investigation of Google to include G+. Seriously, if you used Google Plus Your World yet, you understand why. There is no doubt that Google products are getting better returns in search results. Why I doubt this matters is that the FTC and government as a whole is clueless about the technology. Twitter, Facebook, et al.. had a chance to play ball with Google and chose not to. That alone will likely end the argument right there, but it makes you wonder – are we sure we want politicians deciding what is and is not best for consumers in this type of situation?If Google goes down, in any way, it is going to be at the hands of Microsoft – and that is a long shot. Although, many of us said the same about them taking down AOL and Netscape.

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