Is Google the (next) Evil Empire?

Following in the history of AT&T, IBM, and Microsoft, the US Department of Justice and several state attorneys general have filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against Google on October 20, 2020. On NPR’s Morning Edition, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said that her concern was “I don’t want what Google says is best. I want the actual best.”

Google does not make recommendations. They do not evaluate products. Search reports what they find. They tell us how to improve search results for free. And they clearly mark paid search results.

Considering everything that Google has reached into these days, I think that wanting “the actual best” search results may be the worst antitrust argument against Google. Is this their best shot?

By Staff of “The Daily Picayune,” New Orleans, September 14, 1891, Public Domain, Wikimedia commons.

Life before Google

A bit of history is important here. Before Google, if looking for products or services, you checked advertisements, the phone book, and your friends. If important, you might check your public library.

Your response to recommendations from friends is one thing. However, did anyone ever blame the local newspaper if you could not find a paid advertisement for a particular store selling shoes you want? Was the telephone company if a company’s display ad in their phone book did not work?

There seems to be a serious disconnect in how the plaintiffs think how search works versus how search really works.

Help to rank better in search

Not only does Google provide help to rank better in search, but they do it for free. Google Webmasters tells you how.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools also gives free advice. It is much the same advice.

What you do for one is what you do for the other. And both tell you for free.

There are tools available to help you manage search engine optimization. If you are in the WordPress ecosystem, Yoast SEO has free and paid versions of their product, along with teaching you how to improve your search engine optimization.

How much more transparent can anyone be in how to rank well in search results?

Someone or a company trying to compete needs to spend resources on marketing though. It never has come for free.

About this antitrust case

Google has been successful in how to deliver search. They say how to rank well in results.

Is Google to blame that Apple Maps do not measure up? Apple has the resources to compete.

Should Microsoft sue Google and Apple since Microsoft mobile devices lost to theirs?

If companies are not willing to spend the effort to make sure they show up well in search results, who is to blame?

This is not to say that there is nothing to discuss here regarding antitrust action. However, how is Google to blame in search results?

There is a matter of personal responsibility on the part of others here.


Google is a registered trademark of Google LLC.

AT&T is the registered trademark of AT&T Properties, L.P.

IBM is the registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

Microsoft and Bing are registered trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation.

Yoast is a trademark of Yoast BV.

Apple is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Robert Chapman’s website 2.0

This is a complete restart for my website. The old one really was not worth saving.

MODX

My previous site, which was over 10 years old, was running on MODX. I did the hand coding of the HTML. I created a subdomain for me résumé and job-hunting material, just to show I could.

I was not mobile friendly. The design techniques and styles in my old site were dated. And MODX had completely updated their software.

The first choice was to prove I could do all the techie stuff to update it, even though it would probably take me longer than a website designer. While I have some understanding of what is under the hood, that isn’t what I do everyday. I handle content creation.

The second choice was to save time and get the job done quickly by switching to WordPress.

I’d rather write content and do a bit of gilding the lily on the side. Which is what I did.

(By gilding the lily, I did things imported a Google web font for paragraph text and played with other things in some of the paragraph styles. Because I could.)

There is nothing wrong with MODX for someone with the time and need to create a high-speed, professional website. That isn’t what I needed.

WordPress

The consumer version of WordPress isn’t perfect, but it quickly gets the job done to push content.

By the way, I do not use the Gutenberg editor. I’ve tried it. I think it makes things more difficult in the long run. When web styles change again, those blocks that Gutenberg adds could be problematic to rejigger.


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