A so called exclusive Investigation of the Google News service by Patrick Avenell at the Current web site has been slammed by executives at Google Australia who claim that the story is “inaccurate and misleading”. The story came which appeared on the Current web site
The story came which appeared on the Current web sitewhich is also running a story that claims, It is only a matter of time before the Microsoft search engine Bing, beats Google, claims that Google runs negative reports on its rivals while reporting positively on itself.
Ironically when Avenell’s negative Google story was searched on Google it came up #1 in the Google list.
In a blabbering report Avenell writes “The worst case of this breach of its responsibility to its readers – and it does have a responsibility to adhere to the most basic ethics, as it refers to itself as a “News” site – is in its negative reporting of rivals. Currently displayed prominently on the Google News directory are hundreds of stories pejoratively reviewing Google’s search engine competitor Bing. Headlines include “Bug testers prefer Google to Bing”, “Bug testers: Google is clean, Bing is buggy” and “Justice Department further probing Bing-Yahoo deal”.
When ChannelNews searched Google, we found hundreds of negative Google stories in the News search directory, from the reporting of Google ethics issues, to complaints about Google Adword’s to Google faces scrutiny over proposed current book deals.
In all the years that I have dealt with Google I have always found that they have been transparent in their presentation of stories.
They have allowed stories on Google mail service crashes to search engine problems to appear high up in their search enginesFor example on September 9th 2009 CNet posted a story that indicated that “Google Sucks”. The headline read “Recurring problems with Google Checkout”. It then went on to say “Google support sucks! Thankfully you don’t need it that often”.
Lucinda Barlow the Communications Manager at Google Australia said “The story on Current was inaccurate. We are fair and we do not censor stories in our own interest”.
In a statement issued to ChannelNews and SmartHouse Google Australia said “Google News is a news search service that, similar to the Google search engine, collects news information it can find on the web, creates an index with that information, and serves it to users.
“The headlines displayed are those that independent news organisations have chosen to write, and are selected entirely by a computer formula, based on many factors including how often and on what sites a story appears elsewhere on the web.
“Visitors to Google News can easily see where the headlines are coming from (i.e. New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald, etc), and choose whether to click through based on their interest in reading a story coming from that publication.”
One piece of information that is accurate is that Avenell, did attend a Microsoft briefing only days prior to his story appearing.
Currently Microsoft is trying to garnish support for their Bing search engine among Australian journalists.