Jeremy Stoppelman, founder and CEO of Yelp, told the U.S. Senate how Google’s anti-competitive practices are a drag on innovative entrepreneurs when he said he would not start his company over again today knowing what he does now about how Google abuses its monopoly power.
According to a CNET report, Stoppelman told a Business Insider conference this week that the search giant has evil business practices, such as a displaying reviews from Google Places ahead of Yelp and other competitors. Stoppelman said of Google’s biased display preferences for its own products ahead of natural results:
“If you happen to be the gateway for the vast majority of users on the Internet and you restrict information and put your house property ahead of everyone else, you potentially harm consumers … We can all agree that’s probably not a good thing.”
Google controls more than 79% of all the searches in the U.S., and even more in mobile search and in Europe, and uses that tremendous monopoly power to steer consumers on the Web back to Google products. In doing so, the search giant is promoting its bottom-line interests ahead of what are the most relevant search results to consumers’ queries.
Yelp, of course, isn’t the only business that has told a compelling story about how Google’s biased search results make it harder for entrepreneurs and innovative businesses to reach consumers who would benefit from more choices in online services that would result from a more competitive marketplace. Click here to see Tim Carter, founder of AsktheBuilder.com, and John Pike, founder of GlobalSecurity.org, tell their personal story in detail about how Google updates to its algorithm, designed to keep Google users on its sites longer, halved traffic to other sites without explanation or the ability to change the outcome.
By scraping Yelp’s content against its express wishes after the company denied Google’s acquisition bid, and arbitrarily demoting the rankings of home improvement and national security sites that provide Internet users with valuable information, without offering those sites any way to appeal or change the decisions, certainly does not help Internet users.