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Google Uses Search To Push Its Products: WSJ (usatoday.com) 62

Ads for Google and related companies were found in the top spot in 91% of 25,000 searches related to items, according to a report on WSJ. For example, a search for "phones" would produce ads for Google Pixel, which the company launched last year. From a report: Similar results were found for searches on "Watches" or "smoke detector," which produced ads for Android smartwatches and Nest devices, respectively. In a statement, Google says their marketing programs are "carefully designed" to not impact outside advertisers. "All our bids are excluded from the auction when determining the price paid by other advertisers, and we have strict rules and processes -- set to tougher levels than our customers -- to govern the use of our own ads products." The auction is a process deciding which ads will appear for users when they type in certain search queries. Strategies such as using relevant keywords give advertisers a better shot at their ad appearing on a search results page.
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Google Uses Search To Push Its Products: WSJ

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  • Uh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PessimysticRaven ( 1864010 ) on Thursday January 19, 2017 @04:02PM (#53698491)

    So, which drawer of "No shit" should I file this under?

    • yeah, really. go figure that a company that has multiple products, especially when those products are related to the one you are using, suggest you try their others as well. so crazy. so immoral.
    • When Google first started branching out into non-search, they made a huge effort to declare that they didn't give their own products higher search results. The reason, of course, is because they wanted to defend accusations of abusing their monopoly. Maybe you don't remember that.

      Now they are abusing their monopoly, it seems.
      • Re:Uh... (Score:5, Informative)

        by pregister ( 443318 ) on Thursday January 19, 2017 @05:36PM (#53699151)

        Ads are not search results. They never said they wouldn't show you their own ads along with your search results. They said they didn't give their own products higher search results.

      • Which "Monopoly" is Google responsible for? Search? Pretty sure Bing and Yahoo (and other even less popular search engines still exist) Android? Lots of companies making Android devices and even forking the Android OS.
    • I'm not sure you should.
      I search Google for "phones", and the first ad that comes up is a refurb iPhone 6 from Telus. In fact, there are 6 ads: 3 of them for various iPhone products, and 3 for Samsung Galaxy products.
      Then, the organic listings are for various carriers, plus the big box stores that sell phones. Nowhere on the entire first page do I see the word "pixel."
      For "watches" I see ads for "Call It Spring" (WTF kind of name is that for a watch company?), Timex, Ashford, Rosefield. Organic listings

    • So, which drawer of "No shit" should I file this under?

      S for Sherlock please

    • hmmm thought I'd try it so searched for "Mobile Phone" no ads or search results for Pixel Phones were returned so I suspect the article is bull!
  • Wasn't this predicted by everyone?
    • I might notice that more than Google because I actually have Nest products and frequently google for products's interaction with Nest. If Google sees me looking for a thing, it might well assume I'm most-interested in the Google product, because I might be.
  • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Thursday January 19, 2017 @04:24PM (#53698641)
    This is a total non-story. This is like complaining when a TV station airs an ad for a show that it will air.

    Google is using it's own advertising to promote it's own products. They aren't using their search results they are using the paid ads on the search page. Now they are paying themselves for the advertisements but they are also being transparent and honest about it. Also since the ad spots are auctioned every ad google uses is an ad spot that could have been used by a paying customer. So the ads are not free for Google.
  • Try doing a search for Chrome or Firefox on http://bing.com/ [bing.com] while using Windows 10 (using either IE or Edge)...

    This kind of crap really doesn't sit well with me.

    • Both searches return the Chrome/Firefox main site as the top entry.

      The Wikipedia article is 2nd below Chrome, followed by Chrome news. The Wikipedia article is below Mozilla news: because they recently changed their logo, the news apparently has higher saliency just now.

      The "People also search for" shows the other browser in first place; IOW, IE is not given top billing in the "also search for" listing.

      This seems cromulent, I'm not sure why this doesn't sit well with you.

      What about any of this is unacceptab

      • On both Windows 10 boxen I have, whenever I do either of those searches on Bing, I get a big box at the top of the results which is basically an ad for Edge which states that is more secure than other browsers.

      • Another Windows 10 Chrome user. Giant video ad above the search results:

        Microsoft Edge is the recommended browser for Windows 10
        Ad by Microsoft microsoft.com/microsoft-edge

        Longer battery life than Chrome / Fastest browser on Windows 10
        Get up to 45% more battery life than Chrome when streaming video with Microsoft Edge.

  • I've never bought anything that came up in a google search.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    says obvious things..obviously

  • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Thursday January 19, 2017 @05:22PM (#53699037)
    When was the last time a news paper ran adverts for their competitors? I mean, if I'm looking at a newspaper I'm probably interested in news right?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      A news paper gives you the news, google gives you search results. This would be like the wsg tainting their news articles to bad mouth competitors.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford

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