There Is No Such Thing As Search Neutrality, Because The Whole Point Of Search Is To Recommend What's Best
from the can-we-kill-this-myth? dept
It seems that various anti-Google organizations have picked up on this bizarre and misguided notion of “search neutrality” as a key stick with which to attack. The idea is, obviously, a play on the concept of “net neutrality.” It’s been pushed mainly by AT&T and various anti-Google think tankers, but now it appears that Microsoft is getting into the game, suggesting that “search neutrality” is a problem and pointing a finger directly at Google.
This is ridiculous on so many levels that it’s difficult to know where to begin. First, “search neutrality” is not a problem because “search neutrality” makes no sense. The whole point of search is to be biased. The whole point of search is to recommend which sites fit your query best. “Search neutrality” isn’t search at all. It’s a list of unsorted and totally useless links.
Second, Microsoft should know better than to complain about Google’s actions and suggest they’re in some way anti-competitive. Remember that, even if the actual penalties (penalties? what penalties?) made the ruling meaningless, Microsoft was a convicted monopolist. Having big competitors point fingers at each other screaming about “anti-competitive” behavior is just silly.
Finally, Microsoft’s Brad Smith apparently is claiming that “the biggest lack of competition” is in the search space. Really? Well, let’s compare, shall we? According to some recent research, Google has 85% of the market in search. That is a lot, granted. But… what about the operating system? Oh, look. The same research firm shows that Microsoft has 91% of the market. What’s next? Operating system neutrality?