Dear Google, Y U Spam My Search Results?

I use Google search a gazillion times a day and love how Google search evolved over the years.. ahem.. Social Search. While I am totally fine with the idea of Search "Featured Ads" as Google’s primary source of money, I am not okay with them tweaking the actual search results for money.

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See what I found on a casual Google search for the keyword – "saholic coupon codes 2012". Google appears to be tweaking this "Saholic" related search to show over 90% of LetsBuy related results which are totally irrelevant to the original search query.

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At first I thought this might be because of a Google Bomb. But soon realized that Google was doing could be doing this intentionally. Look at the foot note where I "get to" manually click on the link to get the Saholic results that I originally was looking for. For readers outside India, Saholic.com and LetsBuy.com are competitive online shopping portals very popular in India. Showing the competitor search result would have direct impact on earnings for the other company (in this case Saholic.com).

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We think this is cheap.. really cheap doing from Google..  Here’s a hat-tip for the companies involved in there..

Dear Saholic, Take this up with Google …guys, this’ll hurt your business.

Dear LetsBuy, Did you pay for this? If yes, how much?

Dear Google, I am really pissed off right now that you did this.

Looks like they’ve indeed turned on to the dark side. This just adds up to their first and second such evil-doings from the recent past.

[UPDATE 1 -  22nd March 11:00AM] – Some commentors on the Reddit post believe that this could be a "false positive" that Google thinks LetsBuy and Saholic are "related terms" when they really aren’t. We hope that this issue is fixed soon.

[UPDATE 2 - 4th April 11:00AM] – It seems there are other such false positives due to possible bug in Google’s Ranking algorithms.  Google sees a strong relationship between these two keywords (‘Saholic’ and ‘LetsBuy’ here) to think they are synonyms. Thanks @sitakanta for pointing us to these links.

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