Google May Be Edging Out Its Competitors Surreptitiously

November 9, 2016

Leading secure email service provider ProtonMail mysteriously vanished from Google’s search results for 10 long months. Though the search engine giant denies any wrongdoing on its part, privacy advocates are crying foul.

ZDNet in an article titled ProtonMail strikes out at Google for crippling encrypted email service searches says:

ProtonMail has accused Google of hiding the company from search results in what may have been an attempt to suffocate the Gmail competitor. The free encrypted email service, which caters to nearly one million users worldwide, has enjoyed an increasing user base and popularity over the past few years as governments worldwide seek to increase their surveillance powers.

This is not the first time that Google has been accused of misusing its dominant position to edge out its competitors. The technology giant is also facing anti-trust lawsuit in Europe over the way it manipulates search results to retain its dominance.

Though ProtonMail tried to contact Google multiple time, all attempts elicited no response from the company. Just as the secure email service provider vanished from its organic search results, it mysteriously reappeared enabling the email service provider to get back on its feet financially.

As stated in the article:

Once Google issued a “fix,” ProtonMail’s search ranking immediately recovered. Now, the company is ranked at number one and number three for the search terms at the heart of the situation.

What caused the outage is still unknown. According to ProtonMail, it might be a bug in the search engine algorithm. Privacy advocates, however, are of the opinion that ProtonMail’s encrypted email might have been irking Google.

Vishal Ingole, November 9, 2016
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