SAN FRANCISCO – Google Inc.’s methods for recommending websites are being reviewed by Texas’ attorney general in response to complaints that the company has abused its power as the Internet’s dominant search engine.

The antitrust inquiry disclosed by Google late Friday is just the latest sign of the intensifying scrutiny of the company as its enters its adolescence. Since its inception in a Silicon Valley garage in 1998, Google has become one of the world’s most influential businesses, with annual revenue approaching $30 billion.

A spokesman for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott confirmed the investigation but declined further comment.

The review appears to be focused on whether Google is manipulating its search results to stifle competition.

The pecking order of those results can make or break websites because Google’s search engine processes about two-thirds of the search requests in the United States and handles even more volume in some parts of the world.

Hence, a website ranking high on the first page of Google’s results will likely attract more traffic and generate more revenue, either from ads or merchandise sales.

On the flip side, being buried in the back pages of the results, or even at the bottom of the first page, can be financially devastating and, in extreme cases, has been blamed for ruining some Internet companies.

European regulators have been investigating complaints alleging that Google has been favoring its own services in its results instead of rival websites.

Google believes Abbott is the first state attorney general to open an antitrust review of the issue.

“We look forward to answering (Abbott’s) questions because we’re confident that Google operates in the best interests of our users,” Don Harrison, Google’s deputy general counsel, wrote in a blog post Friday.

Google says its closely guarded search formula strives to recommend websites that are most likely to satisfy the needs of each user’s request. If it didn’t keep its users happy, Google argues that people would switch to other search engines.