Google faces antitrust review for its ranking of websites

Google faces antitrust review for its ranking of websites

New York: Google’s methods for Internet search and ranking of websites are being scrutinised by the Texas’s Attorney General — yet another case of authorities closely looking at the core business of the company.

The Attorney General’s move comes in the wake of allegations from small companies that they were not fairly ranked by Google when their names come up during the Internet search.

“We’ve recently been approached by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office, which is conducting an antitrust review of Google," the search engine major’s deputy general counsel Don Harrison has said.

In a blog posted on Friday, Harrison pointed out that the firm works hard to explain its approach to Net search and how its ranking works.

Abbott’s office has asked for information about a number of companies, including British price comparison site Foundem, which claim that Google’s algorithms demote their site “because they are a direct competitor to our search engine".

According to the blog, Foundem is backed by ICOMP, an entity that is largely funded by Microsoft.

“Given that not every website can be at the top of the results, or even appear on the first page of our results, it’s unsurprising that some less relevant, lower quality websites will be unhappy with their ranking," Harrison noted.

Asserting that the company’s success is by “building great products" and not by locking in its users or advertisers, he said that as Google grows, “we’re going to face more questions about how our business works".

He added the company is looking forward to cooperate with the Texas Attorney General’s office.

Going by reports, the European Commission is also looking into a complaint against Google.