Google Shopping Lists Competitors
Whilst Brexit maybe becoming nearer, the effects of European Commission decisions are still being felt in the UK. Google has been one of the latest businesses to feel the effect of these decisions having recently lost an anti-trust ruling. The company has been seen to be making changes to its shopping results to include competing shopping engines in the results from Google Shopping for UK search users.
Google Fined Over Prominence
Last summer, the European Commission fined Google nearly $3 billion for favouring its own shopping content in search results. The Commission ordered the company to deliver a solution that offers “equal treatment” to competing comparison shopping engines in its results. It would appear that Google has edged it bets by showing additional links to items from other shopping engines but has not given these the same prominence as its own results, something that it promised the EU that it would do.
Items now appearing from Shopping FM are amongst the additional links been shown, but it does not match the promises made to the EU Commission where Google promised to include competitor shopping services in line as part of the same set of results generated by Google Shopping. This has clearly not happened.
Other providers of PLA’s have returned to the EU to complain about the lack of progress. However, little seems to have changed in the meantime.
Research – Most PLA’s Still Google
The scale of the problem is illustrated by work from Searchmetrics. Their analysis found that Google still overwhelmingly dominates shopping ads in the UK and Germany in five key retail segments. More than 99 percent of PLAs across the examined categories in the UK was still “by Google.” This lack of competition is likely to lead to higher costs and poorer services for businesses.
Whilst little has changed in the UK, it could be that Google is playing for time in the hope that the anti-trust legislation will be interpreted more leniently in the UK follow the UK’s looming departure from the EU.
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