A consumer watchdog is taking Google Australia to court over allegations of misleading search engine marketing.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has alleged that in 2005 Google links were directing searchers to unrelated websites.

The ACCC claims that links entitled ‘Kloster Ford’ and ‘Charlestown Toyota’, which should have taken users to their respective online car-dealership sites, instead redirected potential customers to rival company Trading Post Australia.

Rob Shilkin, of Google Australia said, "Google Australia believes that these claims are without merit and we will defend against them vigorously."

He added: "They represent an attack on all search engines and the Australian businesses, large and small who use them to connect with customers throughout the world."

Google also came under fire recently over its takeover bid for Doubleclick, an online advertising and marketing provider.

Some critics have advised that the proposed merger could monopolise the market and limit customer choice.

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