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• The Wall Street Journal reports that while Google sells advertising on its site to a wide variety of companies, it also is "among the biggest buyers of those ads, promoting products from its music service to its app store.

"These days, Google often pushes its growing list of hardware products, from Pixel phones to Nest smart thermostats, in the top ad spot above its search results. A Wall Street Journal analysis found that ads for products sold by Google and its sister companies appeared in the most prominent spot in 91% of 25,000 recent searches related to such items. In 43% of the searches, the top two ads both were for Google-related products ... The results show how Google uses its dominant search engine to boost other parts of its business and give it an edge over competitors, which include some of its biggest advertising customers."

According to the story, "a Google spokesman said the company has 'consciously and carefully designed' its marketing programs not to affect other advertisers." And Google maintains that "its house ads appear on a significantly smaller portion of searches than in 2010, but declined to say whether the total number has declined or increased. Google says it handles trillions of searches a year, significantly more than in 2010."
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