With screenshot out, Google denies ranking hanky-panky

An image with dollar figures next to Google search results prompted speculation that commercial considerations affect Google rankings, but Google denies it.

Google is dismissing speculation that commercial considerations play a role in how it ranks Web sites, as a screenshot of a Google search results list with dollar values for each link makes the blogosphere rounds.

The French-language Zorgloob blog, which focuses on Google issues, first ran the screenshot on Tuesday, prompting discussions in online forums and other Web publications.

Google confirmed that the screenshot is legitimate, but explained that it came from a tool used by members of the company's AdWords sales team for purposes of prioritizing new customer acquisition efforts.

"Our organic search results have always been completely independent from our paid advertisements. We consider the objectivity of our search results to be paramount to our success and would never compromise that in any way," said software engineer Matt Cutts, in a statement sent via the company's public relations department.

The tool isn't used by the company's search quality team "in any way," he said. "We are strongly committed to maintaining the integrity of our organic search results."

Still, some Google watchers aren't completely satisfied by the Google statement, as evidenced by some of the questions and observations posted in discussion threads and blog comments in places like WebmasterWorld, Google Blogoscoped and Valleywag.

For instance, a participant in the WebmasterWorld thread wonders why, if the tool's purpose is customer acquisition, the data would be attached as well to the links of existing AdWords advertisers.

This person also questions whether Google even approaches potential advertisers to get them started on AdWords, which has traditionally been described by the company as a self-service program for which advertisers sign themselves up online.

Others are wondering what some of the data labels in the search results mean, like "GG Score," and how the values are calculated.

Google didn't immediately reply to a follow-up request for comment on these issues.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?