Foundem has criticised Google's recent changes to its online marketing services strategy that has seen results from other vertical search engines and price comparison sites further downgraded.

While Google has said its efforts are about reducing the amount of spam generated by copied content, Foundem is concerned that it will further disadvantage rivals, PC Pro reports.

Chief executive officer of Foundem Shivaun Raff said: "The notion that Google can penalise a search service for a lack of original authored content has very serious anti-competitive implications for the future of innovation in search."

She added that Google itself may be responsible for increased levels of spam through its AdSense program, which she claimed can allow any site to gain revenue by simply copying and pasting a few lines of Javascript.

Foundem is one of a group of companies that have complained to the European Commission that Google is using its dominant position to illegally penalise smaller rivals by intentionally downgrading their sites in search results.

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