Speaking about unbiased information I would also like to point out ICOMP, a gathering of entities united by “a commitment to a Transparent and Competitive Internet that is responsive to consumer interests and law-abiding” (you might be surprised to find Microsoft being a member … )
Google has always used various penalty filters to remove certain sites entirely from its search results or place them so far down the rankings that they will never be found. Whereas these penalties used to be reserved for low quality sites, Spam, and sites that had been caught cheating, they are now increasingly targeted at perfectly legitimate vertical search and directory services. It may not be coincidence that, collectively, these services present a nascent competitive threat to Google’s share of online advertising revenues. […] These vertical-search-targeted penalties, coupled with a manual whitelisting process that seems heavily biased towards established brands, are a significant barrier to new entrants and inevitably suppress innovation.
Despite Foundem’s strong credentials and proven track record of innovation, since June 2006 Foundem has been suffering from a Google penalty that systematically excludes all of Foundem’s pages from Google’s search results for any and all queries, except for the word “foundem”. For example, none of Foundem’s pages are included anywhere in Google’s search results for “price comparison”, “vertical search”, “apple ipod touch prices”, “compare prices apple ipod touch”, or any other queries for which Foundem’s pages are unquestionably relevant. Before the penalty, Foundem featured and ranked normally in Google searches, as it continues to do in Yahoo and Bing. Because many of Foundem’s services are unique, Yahoo and Bing users will now find services that Google users cannot.
[…] Then, on 14 July 2009, after three years of complete exclusion, and just days after journalists started questioning Google about Foundem’s penalty, Google made a change that meant Foundem suddenly started appearing in Google’s search results for certain select phrases.
A happy end? 😉