With Google Books Google said it was going to scan any book it could get. Not for private use (permitted under fair use) but to republish huge chunks of them. And, oh, maybe to put a Buy This link next to them.
Like.com made money by using affiliate links when sending people to an online shop. The online shop would make the big bucks and – sale assured – would pay Like.com a percentage: the common affiliate model.
That wouldn’t be so bad or so weird if Google wasn’t the world’s largest search engine – but now we’re talking about a company that controls 80% of Internet traffic, so to say, and they run a “shop” where they ask brands to pay for inclusion in what essentially is a pay-to-play search engine.
That’s not good or at the least worrisome to online retailers everywhere.
And what’s with the whole non-branding thing?
They’re mentioned on the about page but play it off as something a company they bought happens to do but, really, no, it has nothing to do with us as a search engine.
Google Monopoly &
Unfair Online Trade
“With Universal Search, we have chosen a [model], as a vendor of information, that produces the best end-user outcome — sometimes that's a Google source, sometimes that's another source.”
— Eric Schmidt
No, not that knowing Google we would suspect them of promoting their own services through search.
Or that they would put their own services on top of search results and call attention to them.
Or that they would use predictive search paths to lead people down
a slippery slope the road.
Quick, here’s an envelope: how much can you bid on your fashion item Adwords term to outbid Google for those top spots?
Not enough? Awwww, how sad… Oh well, how about you pay Google to be included in their fashion verticals online storefront?
Yeah, pretty amazing, isn’t it?