Google fires back at Europe

The company defended its search algorithm as the best way to curate content on the Web in the wake of an investigation by the European Commission.


"After nearly two decades, I’ve lost count of how many times I've been asked why Google chooses to generate its search results algorithmically," Google fellow Amit Singhal wrote in blog post Thursday that dismissed concerns about its searches damaging competition.

"Here's how we see it: the web is built by people. You are the ones creating pages and linking to pages. We are utilizing all this human contribution through our algorithms to order and rank our results. We think that's a much better solution than a hand-arranged one," Singhal continued.

The search engine giant has fielded at least three complaints this week from European companies, promtping the European Commission to probe whether Google has violated any of its anti-trust rules.

Singhal emphasized Google's use of a ranked result system is merely the company's way of ensuring Internet users find the "relevant and useful" content they want.

Google provided no indication of how its much-scrutinized algorithm generates the order of those search results -- long a business secret sought by search engine rivals and tech insiders alike.

But Singhal nonetheless defended it as fair, echoing comments blogged by his colleague on Wednesday that Google's system, while "not perfect," still operates "in the interests of users and partners, as well as in line with European competition law."