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  • Should Google own anything?

    News that Google is to sell Performics comes as no suprise and is welcomed by pretty much everybody.

    However the rumour that Google might be about to buy Expedia (owners of TripAdvisor) is slightly more worrying. The problem is that TripAdvisor and Expedia get a HUGE amount of traffic from Google and there is bound to be a conflict of interest either real or perceived if Google owns these properties.

    Imagine if TripAdvisor was to start getting higher search rankings, what would their competitors say? It wouldn’t do any good for Google and it certainly wouldn’t be good for the search industry as a whole. Most people are not aware of how Google works and it wouldn’t take much for the rumour that “site x ranks highly because Google owns it” to spread round.

    Personally I think that Google owning any sites that rely on search traffic (such as Expedia) is a mistake.

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    3 Responses to “Should Google own anything?”

    1. The Perfomics sale is great news, but I agree they could undo all of this by buying Expedia.

      Expedia will generate thousands of daily clicks from Google so any inside information they have is likely to be seen by many as unethical.

      For example, at the moment Expedia must spend a fair amount of cash on AdWords directing Google UK brand traffic to their .co.uk site instead of the expedia.com #1 natural listing. Any change to rankings, such as switching the .co.uk/.com organic listings would be perceived as a manual handjob, whether it is or not.

    2. morgan says:

      I’m equally concerned anytime that I hear that Google is going to go for a site that lives off traffic. The thing that always confuses me is why are they doing this? Do they want the money? Their philanthropy is always slightly disconcerting, because while I think that they really want to get search right (because it’s how they make their money), I’m never sure about them owning anything else under the guise of “it’s for the good of the people.” At some point, they’re going to go from always saying they’re helping everyone the Internet out to dictating to us how we should do things to do them correct…then it turns into a scary situation. So no, I don’t think they should own anything else! :)

    3. seo pixy says:

      I agree that Google owning TripAdvisor or any other website like it will arouse suspicions if their ranking goes higher. Maybe they should reconsider this..

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