Wow … I got an inkling regarding Google’s stealing of page views from discussions regarding the new image viewer. Instead of the old mechanism -- where they loaded the originating page behind the thumbnail and you got to that originating page by dismissing the thumbnail -- they in fact now keep you inside their viewer, doing everything in their power to not show you the originating site.
That really sucks and some people are reporting massive drops in traffic. Of course, that they drove their traffic primarily through images might be their tough luck, but still, it means that Google is no longer a search provider pure and simple, but is now a proxy for others’ content.
But that isn’t all … I went to look up some local movie times and was shocked to see that the providers we used to be able to choose from – Cinemaclock, Movie Tickets, Famous Players, Cineplex, and so on – show up after Google’s own service shows up. I would bet that stats show that the top link is clicked if it looks like it works
And once you are in Google’s service, you are stuck there. It does not act like a search provider that fronts for the other sites any more. It has two contexts -- theater mode and movie mode. In theater mode, you see one or more theaters and the movies they each show with times. All you really need.
In movie mode, they simply reverse it and show you all the theaters in your area with movie times. Again, all you really need.
The service providers must have nearly choked in apoplexy when this service appeared. Now they suddenly have to compete with the 800 pound gorilla of searches using their own search. And Goggle gets to be the #1 result, despite being a new service. Anyone else would not even get a sniff of the top result with a brand new service.
Is this fair? Google potentially cripples a half dozen service providers in one fell swoop, and that from a position of huge power. Is this monopolistic behavior? I wonder …