Yelp study claims that Google ‘knowingly’ worsens search results


You can't search Google without magnifying glasses, right?

Yelp really, really isn’t a fan of Google’s search rankings, and it’s making sure that you know it. The location-based service has partnered with net neutrality pioneer Tim Wu on a study alleging that Google is “knowingly degrading” search results by peppering the findings with hits from its own services, such as Google+ reviews. The research project notes that test subjects were 45 percent more likely to click search results when they were purely “organic” (that is, more objective) versus the usual Google-influenced material. This is reportedly proof that Google is compromising the quality of your searches for the sake of helping its own business, and Yelp goes on to liken the Mountain View team to the monopolies of AT&T and Microsoft.

Those are some pretty serious accusations, but it doesn’t take much to poke holes in the study. To start, there’s an elephant in the room: Yelp has a…

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