Apparently Google is getting accused of skewing its search results to favor its own products. To which I say, so freaking what? When did Google suddenly become a common carrier? The implication is that by their very success (evidenced by a high market share) they have imposed on themselves more onerous rules than others operate under. When I stay in the Marriott, and I ask the concierge about local dining options, don't I expect him or her to list the hotel's restaurant options first?
I suppose consumers might have a mild beef if Google is misrepresenting its service, but for gods sakes its free -- if you are suspicious of the results, there are like a zillion competitors.
This complaint is basically coming from businesses. I know from past experience that seeing one's page rank drop with one of the regular Google algorithm tweaks is frustrating, but companies that through good SEO have climbed to the top of the search rankings are not owed anything, and in particular they are not owed that search ranking that they got for free. In fact, these are businesses that are basically free riders on Google whining about Google's actions. If they want to complain Google is not abiding by its terms of service on its paid listings, fine. That is potentially a legitimate complaint. But can't we agree that, as a foundation principle, government consumer protection action is never required for a free service somehow falling short of expectations?