A patent has been recently granted to google that indicates that google maybe using ad data it collects from its advertisers to better understand website and thus improve their search engines rankings which some may argue breaches ftc guidelines, Google have always stood by the notion that websites that run google adsense on their sites do not automatically boost these site in the search results but we are not talking about adsense sites however this patent is not limited to just ad data collected through adwords but also adsense ads served on a site could help the search engines learn more about the site as well…It is all very confusing.
There is no doubt that if google is doing what is stated in this patent means that google instead of displaying what should be unbiased search results but rather starts adding in ad data to rank the search results then you start getting into anti competition grounds as improving sites that either serve internet users with more adsense ads will generate Google with more revenue as opposed to serving what the users really wants or boosting sites with adwords may bring more website to buy into the adwords program.
This recent granted patent was first filled way back in 2003 (It has taken 11 years for the patent office to process this patent) so potentially google may have been using technology using this patent for 11 years. If Google has been using ad data to improve the search engines results it breaks it definitely creates many questions about the credibility of the search results.
Patents cost money and time to create so why would google make a patent that they were not planning on using? And why didn’t the patent office see that this could break many anti competition laws and act in the 11 years they took to process this particular patent?