Google has just been handed a 2.4 billion pound fine relating to its shopping service for abusing its dominance, this is potentially the first of many for the US giant. The result of such a fine will have ripple effects across the other services Google offers such as Google Adwords and could also affect the local listings which are displayed when somebody searches for a service within a region.
Over the past few years Google has been squeezing SMEs by increasing the amount of adverts displayed on its search engine. Now to view natural listings on a mobile device you have to scroll down a whole page of adverts, these adverts have been made more subtle also by removing the highlighted colour and removing the adverts from the right of the screen. (An area very few ever clicked on)
Could the squeeze from Google change the way Adwords are displayed in Europe? In time I believe that Europe and the US will have different display methods dependent on search location. The adverts typically displayed at the top for a search result may be integrated and scattered into the organic listings allowing people more choice.
By making this change Google can stay out of trouble with the EU regulations whilst maintaining its income from businesses using its ad services. This could also be true with the local listings displayed when you search for a service within a region, Google is working hard on minimising the need to visit websites such as Trip Advisor and Yell, ultimately leading to Yell having to sell Google ads as a partner to maintain its growth.
Trip Advisor now appears lower on organic rankings than ever before, being pushed down by Google’s own review system, it’s hard to imagine a world where Trip Advisor exists in five years time.
For search engine optimisation companies this spells a period of uncertainty but excitement. This fine could result in SEOs having more transparency around Google Updates in Europe, especially if it is being regulated by a third party organisation. Adverts from search engine competitors could also be shown alongside Google’s own adverts meaning a reduced cost per click on ad spend for businesses.
Of Course Google are appealing the decision but you should pay attention to the search industry in Europe over the next few months to see how this develops and whether Google actually put forward a plan for change within the next 90 days.