Microsoft unhappy at FTC's Decision...
Google's search engine results rank based on ever-changing requirements. We need only look at the Panda and Penguin penalties for an example of Google's search regulation and new-world approach to SEO. Their 'monopoly' and Google product favouring is surely a natural result of the fact that these are Google products and their ranking requirements will more than likely be spot on because of that fact. Google was initially accused of manipulating search results and misusing it's own patents yet the FTC concluded there was no substantial evidence of these occurring and has ceased it's investigation - much to the dismay of Microsoft.
Nevertheless, the news will no doubt be disappointing for those wishing for a 'fairer' world within Search; fair competition in such an industry would be hard to achieve - even if Google truly wanted too. Google have already agreed to change their business practices to comply with the FTC investigation, however I get the feeling this is only a token effort to change something that, ultimately, cannot be changed.
Facebook Exchange will, no doubt, also feel the sting of corporate backlash at some point as they make steps to dominate the internet advertising sector; but with no suitable alternative or a competitor with access to the vast amount of Social data Facebook holds - their competitive advantage will remain tremendous. Much is this the same for Google; while Google creates products that people and businesses alike rely on, their market segment of Search will continue to be the largest. FTC's Jon Leibovitz concluded that, 'Although some evidence suggested Google was trying to eliminate competition, Google's primary reason for changing its look and feel or algorithm was to improve search results.'
However, the changes Google has made will make online advertising through AdWords a simpler process, especially if you manage multiple campaigns like our PPC team do.
While other regulative authorities in the US are still investigating Google, the FTC have made their decision. The repercussions of the changes made are minimal. Businesses will have to continue to find ways to comply with Google's search algorithms and regulations in order to increase their presence online.