Tuesday, 17 September 2019 08:56

Amazon changed algorithm to favour own listings: claim Featured

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Retail giant Amazon has been allegedly doing what the European Union fined search behemoth Google for – giving prominence to shopping listings that are more profitable for the company.

Quoting people who worked on the Amazon project, The Wall Street Journal, in a long, detailed report, claimed the company had optimised the algorithm that decides how items are listed when a prospective customer carries out a search.

These individuals claimed the change was made after more than a decade of listing the most relevant and best-selling products in a listing, instead of favouring products that resulted in the best returns for Amazon.

In 2017, the EU fined Google €2.42 billion (US$2.7 billion) for allegedly abusing its search engine dominance to give it illegal advantage in its own comparison shopping service.

Google has challenged these findings in court, after offering some remedies which were not very well received.

The WSJ said the changes had taken place after a long tussle between the marketing people in Seattle and the search team which was opposed to the move.

The company claimed it always looks at long-term profitability and takes that into account when making changes to an algorithm.

“We have not changed the criteria we use to rank search results to include profitability,” Amazon spokeswoman Angie Newman told the WSJ by email.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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