In other words, Calculator. com may be a casualty of Google’s easy shortcut, but businesses like Genius and Yelp see the same thing happening, only this time it involves content unique to these websites. “Google has long sent large amounts of traffic to third parties,” a company spokesperson told Yahoo Finance. “We strongly believe that by creating the best search experience for people around the world, we will overall be able to deliver more traffic to sites across the web.
A few fabricated celebs that were mixed in with the 25,000 real ones on the website surfaced through Google, proving to the CEO that Google had pillaged data from Celebrity Net Worth. “Traffic immediately crumbled,” its CEO told The Outline. 3: We published 10 net worth pages for conjured fake celebrities. 4: By early-mid 2015 all of our net worth info… “Google refusing citations and rejecting copyright principles b/c they bought data from a third party [e. g. another lyrics site that scraped from Genius] vs. scraped it themselves [from Genius] has gotta make any web creator nervous,” tweeted Fishkin.
But as the Justice Department explores an antitrust probe against Google, companies are being more vocal with their criticism of the tech giant, especially when it comes to snippets. “It’s hard to argue against Google’s right to put a form on the screen when you put in ‘2+2’,” Luther Lowe, SVP of Public Policy at Yelp and one of Google’s biggest critics over the years, told Yahoo Finance. “I would say 2+2 is a commodity piece of information, an immutable fact.
For years, companies like Genius, Yelp, and Celebrity Net Worth have complained that Google has been lifting their content, specifically to replace the very services these companies provide.
Yelp’s Lowe argues that much of the innovative stuff on the internet was specifically born during the time of Web 2. 0 — a term pegged to the rise of user-generated content — precisely because Google fostered it by passing 100% of its traffic through to new, innovative businesses and services. “All the cool stuff was born in these conditions,” said Lowe. “It’s hard to decouple that with the rise of Google.
In a recent blog post, Fishkin demonstrated the level of change in traffic from Google from 2004, by highlighting how the company’s search engine result pages give significant exclusive real estate to its own properties like YouTube and Google Maps, keeping users on its platform.
In a controversial interview that violated the company’s pre-IPO quiet period in 2004, Google co-founder Larry Page told Playboy Magazine that Google had no interest in becoming a walled-garden like AOL (or today’s Facebook), but that it was happy to send you to other sites. “In fact, that’s the point,” said Page.
But as Yahoo Finance has reported, Google de-indexes this content, perhaps to hide the fact that its own reviews are shoddy and would not score high enough on the company’s own search algorithm to make it into the first page of links. But no matter.
Though Google has tried and failed to take share of other online markets — Google Plus, for example, could not dethrone Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn — it often does very well, and often to its own users’ benefits. “It’s a threat to innovation,” Lowe said, who said that stories like Genius’s are making venture capitalists think twice before investing in a new business. “There’s no incentive to create if you have a giant company bulldozing into markets,” he added.
Earlier this month lyrics site Genius accused Google of stealing content from its lyrics websites — and showed what appeared to be convincing proof in the Wall Street Journal.
But the companies didn’t totally comply, according to Google. “We give site owners tools to opt out of snippets or indexing altogether if they wish, and we respect those instructions when site owners implement them on their domains,” a spokesperson said. ”We’re always exploring new ways to engage with and ensure we’re supporting the ecosystem.
Today, in an environment where the search engine game is even more dominated by Google, only around 41% of users make it to non-Google sites, according to Jumpshot data collected by Fishkin.
Genius alleges, with its evidence, that Google is stealing its interpretations of songs (lyric transcription is slightly subjective with “oohs” and “aahs”) — and its business is suffering as a result, with fewer citations, links, and traffic back to the site.
A company blog post explains how Google lyrics appear in search results — “we do not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics.
Fifteen years later, it’s clear that Google has long abandoned this strategy, preferring to keep visitors in its own ecosystem if possible, answering queries quickly with a box, with or without citations of the original content.