There have been clamors from across the pond that the search engine giant, Google, is manipulating search results to push their products to the front of the line and the European Union is in the process of continuing their anti-trust suit against Google. The European Union contends that Google is not only manipulating the system, but polluting the search results to the point where the relevant and irrelevant results cannot be discerned.
As I’m sure you have noticed for specific searches, Google products are the number one result or they show up as a “sponsored” result. For example, when you search flights, the results are presented with the PPC ads first, then followed by the “sponsored” Google flights search tool. Google is presenting the results in a manner that would appear to benefit Google the most due to the fact that Google is profiting from the PPC ads, then potentially garnering the largest market share of viewers based on it’s positioning in the results.
Another example of Google placing their product first in search results is in regard to map related queries. If you query the word “maps”, not only does Google Maps display first, but then in the Knowledge Graph, the only example provided is for Google Maps. Lastly, when the term “images” is searched, the first result unsurprisingly enough is Google images. This is yet another example of how Google is essentially elevating their products to a higher level of exposure. What the European Union is attempting to highlight is that Google is potentially altering their own algorithm to give their products preferential treatment and not providing equal terms for competitors to thrive in the same market place.
Google has been continually updating the search tools they offer and have been rolling them out for heavy volume searches. Queries such as weather, specific currency conversions,sporting events, and even mathematics equations. Google is designing these tools to keep those who use the Google search engine on their own platforms. Some argue that Google is conspiring to lock out competition, but they maintain that is not the case. What do you think???