I ran across this from Foundem in the UK --> Temporary reduction in the breadth of Foundem's service
That link takes you to a page that talks about how foundem is suspending 9 of its vertical search services because they have been decimated by Panda (which is now the subject of a EC investigation of google for antri-trust practices in Europe). Here's a relevant part --
So far, few have made the connection between Panda and the EC's investigation. But Panda isn't just relevant to this investigation; it is central to it. Despite being widely touted as an attack on content farms—which are almost the polar opposite of vertical search services—Panda's assortment of changes included an aggressive escalation of the vertical-search-targeted, "lack of original content" penalties described in Foundem's EC Complaint. Prior to Panda, Google's anticompetitive demotions of rival vertical search services were primarily reserved for emerging, and therefore still largely unknown, competitors. With Panda, Google has significantly upped the ante by also penalising many established vertical search players.
We are confident that the European Commission will uphold our contention that any Google policy that systematically demotes rival vertical search services for the "lack of original content" that is inherent to all search services (including Google's own) is unacceptable for a company in Google's dominant market position.
Here's an article in the Register that discusses Foundem's position in more detail --> Antitrust nemesis accuses Google of 'WMD program' - Algorithm update 'targets vertical search rivals'
You can find more on this here --> Search Neutrality.org
Note: As I understand it, google has reached an agreement with the EC as of today. It will be interesting to see what they decided.
google say it's their First Amendment right to penalize your site for content issues. Does that mean you don't have a First Amendment right to say as much or as little as you want on the pages of your website?
What do you think -- Should google be able to force the character and quantity of the content on your site? Should google be able to withhold search results from you if you don't comply with their definition of acceptable content? Or should you be free to engage users in any way that you chose?
After all, e-commerce sites have a natural motivation to please users, they want to generate sales. Do we really need google to regulate, penalize and enforce their vision of how it should be done?
Edited by chuckfinley, 18 April 2013 - 12:05 PM.
sp, last 2 paragraphs added