The one important thing everybody needs to understand about Google – Silicon Alley

A lot of people think Google Search is like a map: An objective guide to the best and most important material on the internet. It's not. Google Search is the most important product of a very wealthy and successful for-profit company. And Google will use this product to further its own commercial ends.  This became clearer than ever this week when the Wall Street Journal uncovered an internal FTC report saying that Google was illegally using material from other web sites, like TripAdvisor and Amazon, directly in its search results. When those companies complained, Google threatened to remove them entirely from the search listings. The FTC report suggested suing Google for antitrust, but Google made some changes to its practices — importantly, it let companies opt out of letting Google show their content directly in search results — and the FTC commissioners voted to drop the investigation in 2013.  But it's an interesting and rare insight into how Google actually...

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