I have wrote many times in this blog that Google is trying to take over the Internet world and that they are predominately a marketing and advertising company, not a search tool. Or maybe I should put it this way - they are a search tool but their search results are motivated by the highest bidder and not the quality of the result.
You already know that Google clear puts sponsored links and Adwords pages on your search results page. Fair enough, they have to get paid for their services and they deserve an income. Those areas are clearly marked so the user can decided whether to investigate those companies that showed up as a result of a search. My problem is that the rest of the search results, which are not labeled, are also a result of paid advertisers.
Don't believe me? Here's proof - The tragedy that is occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, as a result of a BP oil rig explosion is a public relations nightmare for BP. As any company would do, they are trying to manage the public relation situation with any modern tools at their disposal. Have you tried to enter the words "oil spill" into Google during the crises? According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, BP has bought the terms "oil spill", "volunteer" and "claims" from Google and other search engines as to direct users to their Web site. Maybe so, maybe this is truly an attempt by BP to funnel people hit hardest by the situation to their Web site, not an attempt to keep people away from other Web sites that perhaps are critical of the situation.
What ever the motivation, this clearly shows that Google and other search engines have the ability to funnel users to any Web site based on any search term. If I have enough money, I would steer users to this blog on the search term "technology" - then I would be famous!! Bottom line is - use search engines wisely. Do not limit your use to just one and certainly go beyond the first page of search results. Do not limit yourself to what Google wants you to see - go beyond the Google propaganda.