Advertising Googlocrisy.

Here’s a pretty good reason why you shouldn’t trust companies, even if their ‘motto’ is ‘Do No Evil’: Google seems to be penalising sites that carry paid links, while at the same time AdSense has become one of the most ubiquitous ad-schemes around. Technology aside, whether you carry paid/text links or AdSense is the same thing: advertising on your page. Google’s algorithmic dependency on hyperlinks to determine content quality and relevance is nothing but it’s own problem and while they can do whatever they want to their engine it kind of reflects bad on them (see abuse of market position) to penalise sites this way, especially when they run an extensive ad service too. Think of Microsoft doing the same for all pages carrying AdSense because their engine used Javascript created links to determine the page rank of a site. People would be crying foul before the bytes had settled on the press release (and they’d be right of course). Now, think of Microsoft having anywhere near the search engine market share that Google has and I’m sure someone would probably be contemplating a class action lawsuit about lost visits, profits etc. due to unlawful discrimination.
Will people blink first by removing paid links and sticking to Google’s ad services out of fear of losing traffic, or will the company end up losing market share in the long term as a consequence of mediocre search results and annoyed users?