In Senate hearing, Schmidt says Google’s search results not ‘cooked’

“Google chairman Eric Schmidt defended the company’s business practices before a panel of senators Wednesday as the lawmakers lobbed questions on search rankings and Google’s search algorithm,” Hayley Tsukayama reports for The Washington Post.

“It was the executive’s first time speaking on the Hill, as Google has drawn scrutiny from antitrust officials who are investigating whether the search engine giant is abusing its power.In particular, questions are being raised about whether Google has, in effect, a monopoly in the search market,” Tsukayama reports. “During the hearing before the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, Schmidt stressed that Google will cooperate with the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating the company’s practices. He said that everything the company has done so far is legal and good for its customers.”

Tsukayama reports, “The company does, however, control its own search rankings, which were a key issue in the hearing. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) questioned whether the company was ‘cooking the results’ to ensure that Google-related results appeared consistently in product searches. ‘Senator, I can assure you we have not cooked anything,’ Schmidt said.”

“‘Google’s growth and success is another reason why we need to pay attention to what you’re doing,’ said Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who expressed frustration when Schmidt did not directly answer whether Google’s rankings used an unbiased algorithm when providing search results,” Tsukayama reports. “Schmidt said that he believed they do, but that did not satisfy Franken… Lee said that some of his fears about the company had been confirmed by the hearing and that he hopes Google will take “swift action to resolve these concerns.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. The senators are making the Mole squirm, but aren’t they missing the real point. Google is freely selling everyone of us who searches to the highest bidder. It really pisses me off if I search for something and targeted advertising appears on MDN, Macsurfer, etc. Isn’t the real question one of complete invasion of privacy? While Google isn’t alone in this practice, they are certainly the leaders of the Axis of Evil! They need to change their motto: “We’re Gooogle–Fsck You!”

    1. And every Google product you might use just adds to their profile of you. G-Mail, Google Docs, Sketchup. How much of that info is private? I think not much. Design a house in Sketchup, start getting ads for power tools is your town presented on web pages you look at? Spooky.

  2. I hate the federal government over-regulating the American free enterprise system and the capitalist who make it great. They should eliminate large amounts of existing regs and shut down a few regulatory agencies. Then, use the savings and create a whole new department if necessary, to reign in Google and their mission to dominate the lives of free Americans.

    1. So… You want the federal government to drastically cut back on regulations, and then use the money it saves to regulate predatory monoplists like Google which are the result of lax federal regulations.

      Damn bro, you should go into politics. With solutions like that you’d fit right in.

    2. I’m not sure if you’re being snarky or not, and I should say in general I’m against government getting involved in things; but there is definitely a need for regulation at some point.

      Deregulation is what allowed the creation of the derivatives market so places like S&P could give AAAA credit ratings to toxic loans and then turn around and buy insurance on them knowing they were going to default (it’s more commonly known as the financial meltdown that caused our current, soon to be double dip, recession).

  3. Cooking the search rankings is a very minor part of the anticompetitive behaviors of Google. Its anticompetitive acts lies on its free bundling of its products to dominate its search. Just like Microsoft bundled free web browser to destroy Netscape, etc.

  4. They need to change their motto: “We’re Gooogle–Fuck You!”

    Now now, are you an APM who carries a Google Leash and Collar everywhere you go?

    Android Porch Monkeys (APM) should be the ones complaining about their 1984 style indentured servitude to Google, not the free citizens at Apple.

    Hey, I bet you didn’t realize Microsoft took a page from Google’s and Motorola’s play book which allows locked down Android phones. The new Win 8 Desktop OS computers must be locked down so no OS other than Win 8 Metro can ever run on that new hardware bearing the Win 8 client logo. No Linux or even and no older version of Microsoft Windows will be permitted to be the boot OS. You can rip out your hard drive and your hair but the hardware will never boot anything else. You probably can run old windows in a Virtual Machine on i86 hardware after the new Win 8 Metro boots.

    The new PC Motherboards will had a totally new design. Windows 8 Metro and only genuine Microsoft Windows 8 not a hacked copy will be locked to them. You will never be able to hack one and run it as an Apple Hackintosh.

    Microsoft put a stop to that too with the mandatory UEFI specification.

    Don’t believe me?

    short link to 851 angry comments about this development
    “Windows 8 PCs will use the next-generation booting specification known as Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).

    So Microsoft and Google want to imitate Apple’s wild success, but they simply do not get it .

    The painful path they choose to lock users into Android and the new Windows 8 Metro isn’t going to produce a happy buzz unless some really bad drugs invade the USA.

  5. If Google decides to target a business, no one would be able to resist against the “cooking” of search results in favor of Google’s own services. Some nitwits were very proud to announce that they have no problems with Google’s search results interfering with their businesses. True in a limited way, but if Google decides that it cannot buy or cajole, it will start a competing service. But if your service is competing against Google’s offering, never expect your search results to appear within the first 100 ranking.

  6. This is why you don’t have politicians grilling technology people (even though Schmidt is definitely on the fringe of being qualified as a “technology person”). Cooked? How about “Isn’t it true that Google places search results paid for by advertisers in prominent positions on the first page of results?”

    As long as we have luddites asking the questions, expect more taxpayer money wasting exercises like the farce yesterday.

  7. I watched the hearings and can report the following:

    1) Schmidt made some errors, such as not knowing there was a Yelp app.

    2) Google was proven to cook their results via unmarked top ranking results that specifically promoted services from which Google profit. This was shown on a printed screen capture of results from a specific search. It was undeniable. Oops Google.

    3) Two verified instances of Google blackmailing competitors were presented after Schmidt had finished. One was Yelp. Google insisted upon stealing results from Yelp searches and integrating them into their own. When Yelp complained about the situation, Google laid down a threat of removing ALL references to Yelp from Google searches if Yelp didn’t STFU and put up with Google’s results robbery. This exact same scenario was verified by another company at the hearings.

    IOW: Much to my surprise, Google have been caught red-handed pulling monopolist tactics.

    During the Q&A that followed there was a script-reading Neo-Con-Job blethering about how great it would be if the government didn’t regulate company behavior. Yeah, heard it all before ad nauseam.

    Here we have another sad case of bad biznizz forcing little companies to force regulation of stooopid big bad companies.

    IOW: If dumbass companies like Google screw over smaller companies, YES the federal government has a role in stopping their dumbass behavior. You don’t slap dumbass monopolists on the pinky and expect them to be nice again. It doesn’t happen.

    Deal with it anti-regulation tards. That’s what regulation is for. However, I agree that there are LOADS of garbage regulations I’d enjoy seeing stripped out of our lives. It’s a question of ethics, reason, sanity, situation and practicality.

    Or to delve even deeper: It’s about negative anarchist attitudes of people who REFUSE to take responsibility for their choices. I’d enjoy seeing every one of such people tossed onto the Arc B ship (HHGTTG reference) and rocketed into the sun to make today a little brighter on planet Earth. (Enjoy your trip Rupert!)

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