When you search for a local venue, hotel, information about a city, or even a health condition on Google.com, you may find a result from Google.com itself at the very top. TripAdvisor, Yelp, CitySearch, and WebMD are not happy with the way that the links are displayed. With Google.com being the top result, it makes it even more of a challenge for the aforementioned websites to compete for ad revenue.
“There is no denying that today Google is competing [with many websites] for the same Web traffic and the same advertising dollars,” stated CityGrid CEO Jay Herratti. Traffic to TripAdvisor.com has been dropped by about 10% on a seasonally adjusted basis since mid-October due to the shift in Google’s displayed links. These complaints also showcase how much Google search is important for almost every business online. I can empathize with some of these businesses since about 55% of our visits are from search engines.
The European Union is now working on a formal investigation on whether Google is manipulating search results for their own advantage. Google said that they have never intentionally intended to hurt competing services. They also said that the complaints to the EU were led by companies with ties to Microsoft.