Ah it seems like such a short time ago that idealistic Stanford students Sergei Brin and Larry Page were righteously proclaiming that Google search results “will be objective and we will not accept payment for inclusion or ranking in them.” Now Google is basically running a search engine shake-down racket charging companies for placement ranking. So Microsoft is running a holiday campaign for its Bing search engine called “don’t get Scrooged.”
Google’s holiday cheer doesn’t stop there. The FTC doesn’t seem to be able to find its ass with both hands these days, but if they’re looking for evidence of Google’s monopolistic behavior they might try DuckDuckGo, the small search engine whose audience Google has been trying poach years. Google went so far as to buy up the company that owned the duck.com domain name so it could point it at its own main page.
I guess “don’t be evil” is a now a quaint anachronism.
Update: According to Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land, Bing has its own problems with disclosure about paid advertising. But as he notes, there’s a bigger issue: Why isn’t the FTC enforcing its consumer guidelines?