Google could face a $9bn EU fine for rigging search results in its favour
The EU, of which I am not a fan, gets this one right. Google rigs its search results.
The European Commission’s decision will come after a seven-year investigation into the world’s most popular internet search engine was triggered by scores of complaints from both US and European rivals. The EU competition authority accused Google in April 2015 of distorting internet search results to favour its shopping service, harming both rivals and consumers.
What most small businesses never discover is that Goggle rigs search results 24/7/365. There is ZERO ability of a small or medium businesses to discover the Google bait and switch. The bait is that Google, ad agencies, advertising media and local media all market to local businesses to invest in Google search. What they NEVER reveal is that regardless of how much a local business it is NOT going to appear in a typical search on Google. Keep in mind shoppers rarely get past the first three listings.
The Commission’s tough line is in sharp contrast with the US Federal Trade Commission which settled its own web search case with the company in 2013 by requiring Google to stop “scraping” reviews and other data from rival websites for its own products.
Google is not alone in rigging its searching results. Facebook, Amazon, Yelp, and all the other online companies do EXACTLY the same thing. The local business does not stand a chance when it attempts to reach new customers looking for their product.
One of my favorite examples is a local Italian bakery. This Italian bakery has been in business forty years and is the only one in our local town. Type in local Italian bakery, Italian bakery, Italian bakery in this local town and they do NOT show up until page 3 or 4 depending on what search engine.
Local media companies need to stop attempting to working with Google, Facebook, Amazon and the other tech giants and fight back. Run stories about the corruption of these tech giants. This is not a call for revolution but instead a pragmatic call to fight for the survival of local.