EU Investigates Google’s Manipulation of Search Results- The European Union’s antitrust investigation has begun asking advertisers if Google suggested any relationship between increased paid-search campaigns and improved organic rankings. The New York Times confidentially obtained a questionnaire of about 120 questions, aimed at determining whether Google manipulates organic results. Some of the questions include:
- Please explain whether and, if yes, to what extent your advertising spending with Google has ever had an influence on your ranking in Google’s natural search?
- Has Google ever mentioned to you that increasing your advertising spending could improve your ranking in Google’s natural search?
- Is your company aware of the existence of the features in Google’s natural search ranking algorithm which, in your view, might penalize the ranking or display of your vertical search Web site pages?
US to challenge Google/ITA acquisition deal- Google may have hit a snag in their $700 million acquisition of ITA software, which develops solutions for airfare search. The U.S. Department of Justice is rumored to be preparing an anti-trust case against Google on the grounds that the deal would leave Google with too much power over the online travel search market. The Justice Department has thirty days to file the anti-trust suit. To read more about the pending litigation, check out The Washington Post.
Google and Facebook announce IPv6 test- Google, Facebook and Yahoo announced this week that they will be performing a 24-hour trial of the Internet Protocol Version 6 on June 8, 2011. The inevitable switch to IPv6 is necessary, because of size restrictions of our current IPv4 system. As Mark Brown explains on Wired.com, “Internet Protocol Version 6 is a much needed successor to the current address list used across the web, IPv4. 32-bit IPv4′s 4.3 billion address space seemed plenty when the internet was first being developed in the 70s and 80s. But now that well is running dry, and all those IP addresses could be used up by 2012.”
Google introduces new translation Android App- Google released a new app for the Android this week, a real-time speech translator, called Conversation Mode in Google Translate. The service can translate what you say into the phone in real time and then read it back to you in your desired language. Check it out.
ComScore releases December search data- ComScore released it December search data this week, showing Google and Bing both increasing their share, while Yahoo experienced another slight decrease. Google’s search share increased .4% from November to 66.6% with a Y/Y increase of 13.1% in December up from 12.0% in November. For more specifics on Bing and Yahoo’s traffic shares, check out Dan Frommer’s article on Business Insider.
Groupon IPO could be valued at $15 billion- This week Groupon discussed the possibility of a public offering with bankers. Rumor has it that the social buying site, which Google attempted to acquire for $6 billion last year, may be valued for $15 billion or more. For more, check out at the DealBook section of the NYTimes.