The harms that result from Google’s anti-competitive practices are often discussed from a 50,000-foot perspective. But, there are many real-world stories of Google’s practices undermining the work of entrepreneurs and small businesses that produce content online.
Tim Carter, a former home remodeler turned Internet publisher, worked closely with Google for years, only to see an overnight change to the company’s search algorithm reduce by half traffic to his site, www.AskTheBuilder.com, without explanation. Despite many protests to the changes, Carter had no way to bring that traffic back. And Google barely responded to his concerns.
His story is unique because of his once close ties to the search giant. Google asked him to testify on its behalf at U.S. House and Senate hearings on competition on the Internet in 2008 (you can see Tim’s testimony by clicking here), and to this day Google features Tim in an AdSense case study. You can learn more about his story in this video.
For the web and online commerce to continue to grow and thrive, law enforcement authorities at the FTC, European Commission and other agencies investigating allegations of harm from Google need to put a permanent end to Google’s anti-competitive practices with legally binding measures that restore the competitive landscape to search, search advertising and related Internet services. Otherwise, Tim Carter and other entrepreneurs and content creators like him will face a bleak future.