Antitrust Probe May Reveal Dark Secrets about Google’s Web Search

A probe being conducted by the US Federal Trade Commission into Google’s search dominance could shed some light on how the search engine giant decides search ranking for websites.

According to PC World, Google experts believe that the probe will expose the relation between free and paid search listings and online advertisement practices.

Google has integrated a lot of its products with its search engine and offers both paid and free search rankings. The FTC probe seeks to determine whether Google uses its dominant position to promote its own services over others and whether it abuses its online advertisement dominance.

Eric Clemons of the University of Pennsylvania believes that the regulators are bound to find evidence about Google abusing its dominant position. Others believe that the company favours paid search results over free ones because it makes money from them.

Basically, everyone is keen to get a look inside Google’s search ranking methods and find out exactly how the company decides the rankings of millions of websites that are indexed by it.

"The whole search process is shrouded in secrecy. It's a big black box, and nobody except Google really knows what's going on in there. Somebody gets to open the black box." said Oren Bracha of the University of Texas.