Google has turned from a search engine into a jack of all trades. The company started many different en devours ever since its rise to power; Some successful, like Google Maps, others not so like Google Video. Problems related to that became apparent years ago when Google started to include their own properties prominently in the search results. You can test that today by searching for medical, stock or location based information, among others. Those searches usually display a Google property at the top followed by the normal search engine results.
The core problems? This practice is giving Google an unfair advantage over competitors. Lets take a look at health or finance for a moment. Are Google Finance or Google Health the most popular Internet resources for finance and health related topics? No they are not. There are dozens of sites that are more popular. If you look at the search results however you see Google properties at the top, for all related search queries on Google Search.
The second problem is about search quality. If Google pushes its properties into the user's faces, and their properties are not the most popular or informational resources, then it reduces the overall search quality.
You can read a more in depth analyses by Benjamin Edelman if you like. I have taken the following tip from the analysis.
Many Internet users assume that the Google properties are hard coded into the search results, despite Google's claims that they would never manually interfere with the results. During his analysis, Edelman mentioned that adding a comma to the search phrase would remove Google's properties from the results. He saw that as an indicator that the results are hard coded, especially since the remaining results seemed to stay the same.
You can try it out right now. Search for the term "acne", and "acne,", "imb stock, and "ibm stock," (without the ""). Notice a trend here?
Search for IBM Stock
Search for IBM Stock,
The comma trick is a little known option to get rid of Google's own properties in the Google Search engine, at least the hard coded bits in it. This actually works not only with a comma at the end, but with out chars like a dot as well.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.