Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is a very large and diverse company, with billions of dollars invested across a litany of products and services. However, for all its success, its bread-and-butter is what put Google on the map in the first place – Google Search. And with Google Search’s dominance in the search market, the company has made the lion’s share of its revenue through its search-results advertising. The visibility of those ads can certainly not be disputed, as many search ads appear at the top of search results so every inquiry will have eyeballs on some advertisement.
The power of location is true in real estate, and a prime spot on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) search results is a beachside mansion when it comes to location. Those companies that can pay the money will have themselves a prominent and very visible spot when they are on Google Search – and with Google, it doesn’t seem to matter what products are being sold in the ads. And that is something that at least one state attorney general is none too pleased about – and he is now looking for some answers.
Jim Hood, the Democrat attorney general from the great state of Mississippi took to the media this week and called out mighty Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) for its practice of having ads promoting the illegal sale of drugs on its search results pages. He said that the company has, to this point, refused to cooperate and have these websites removed from its search results. Hood, who is a member of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and co-chair of the group’s intellectual property committee, said recently that he wants to invite Google CEO Larr Page to a NAAG meeting June 18 in Boston to explain the company’s advertising practices and its search results indexing.
Hood – and we presume other state AGs as well – has noted that some Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) search inquiries trigger the slotting of advertisements that promote websites which sell drugs illegally, and Hood said that past answers from Page were “evasive” and “overly technical.” He issued a threat that if Page does not come to speak before NAAG, the group may take steps to force the company to produce documents regarding its advertising practices. “I hope the CEO is not aware of what Google has been doing,” he said. Would that be considered NAAG-ing?
What are your thoughts? Should Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) be accountable for the types of advertisers it works with? Should it be Google’s job to screen potential advertisers to ensure their products and services are above-board? We’d love your thoughts on this in the comments section below.