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Google search manipulation starves some websites of traffic

Jeremy Kirk | April 16, 2013
Google's placement of its own flight-finding service in search results is resulting in lower click-through rates for companies that have not bought advertising, according to a study by Harvard University academics.

They warned that intermediaries such as Google have a powerful influence over consumers by ordering search results in differing formats. Edelman said it makes it more difficult for "vertical" search engines such as Yelp, which focuses on specific types of search such as restaurants, to compete.

"Google has a massive degree of control and uses that discretion in ways that services Google's interest but much less obviously serves other interests like the public or websites," he said.


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