Senator Targets Google, Asks FTC To Review Its Business Practices

President Donald Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Reuters the White House would investigate and analyze the way Google's algorithms work in terms of ranking content from publishers in search results. He spoke in an ambiguous tone, without providing further details.

Earlier this week, Trump accused Google’s search engine of promoting negative news articles and hiding fair media coverage of him, which puzzled search engine marketers and Google.

Then on Thursday, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, asked the Federal Trade Commission to examine the potential antitrust developments in Google’s search and digital advertising.

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Hatch’s letter to the FTC Chairman Joseph Simons detailed concerns about Google’s practices, citing several antitrust complaints and reports since the agency’s last investigation in 2013, according to Reuters.

On Wednesday, Trump went from a focus on published content in search results to targeting specific instances. For example, a video published in the president’s Twitter feed reads: “For years, Google promoted President Obama’s State of the Union on its homepage. When President Trump took office, Google stopped.”

Google claims that on January 30 2018, it highlighted the live stream of President Trump’s State of the Union address on the google.com homepage. The company has not historically promoted the first address to Congress by a new President, which is technically not a State of the Union address. 

The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, which documents more than 336 billion Web pages, shows Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address began at 2:10 a.m. GMT on January 31, according to FoxNews.com.

1 comment about "Senator Targets Google, Asks FTC To Review Its Business Practices".
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  1. John Webster from Aim IT, September 1, 2018 at 5:31 a.m.

    Hi Laurie,
    G. tells us, "Ranking in Google News is determined algorithmically based on a number of factors, including: Freshness of content" (https://support.google.com/news/publisher-center/answer/68292?hl=en)

    If all you have is a handful of pro-Trump publishers based in a couple of US time zones fighting for those 10 top search spots, the 1,400 anti-Trump articles published during the 2 US times and the other 22 hours over the course of a day are going to bury the Trump-favoured few.

    It seems there will be only something like 6 minutes in a day when pro-trump news articles will reach their maximum ranking peak before they are buried in the results. This time point will vary depending on a number of factors.

    Perhaps Trump needs a Secretary of Search Ranking who can advise him when to check Google.

    An alternative solution could be for Trump to ban Google from indexing non-USA content and barring its access from the rest of the world. That would only cost the USA around $US45 billion in overseas generated ad revenue.

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