Interesting enough, SIGTARP (the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program) noted that 125 mortgage scam companies (which were connected to over 400 advertisers) were shut down by Microsoft according to an article in Search Engine Watch. This is on the heels of Google doing much the same.
Now I’m sure there will be some lawsuit (there always is) coming because of the engines “culpability”. However, this goes against the core of business model (having a human scrub each and every listing before it goes live) of Google and Microsoft.
Maholo.com, ChaCha (mobile), Jumper 2.0 are a few search engines that claim to use actual folks to respond to a query (as their unique value proposition). However, I’m not seeing any (or all of them combined) take any market share away from anyone. Do people using search engines really believe they would get better results having a human provide them with the answers? Of course, these folks need to advertise and wouldn’t the companies willing to pay the most be listed at the top as well?
What do you think? Should the engines be responsible for manually scrubbing each listing? Or, is there a responsibility of the consumer to finally get it, “if it’s too good to be true, walk away”.
Managing Director Search and Media Strategy