What’s this EU vs Google Shopping business about?

As discussed in the weekly SEO update TWIS SEO Update 09 June 2017, and the separate snippet EU Ready to Fine Google Billions, the EU has now handed down a balance-sheet-busting €2.4 billion fine to Google for anti-competitive behaviour in surfacing its paid-for Google Shopping service ahead of other search results. Google is appealing the judgement.

If you would like to discuss ways this judgement and its ramifications could impact your web business, please feel free to contact me.

#Google #GoogleShopping #OrganicSERPs #DigitalMarketing

EU Fines Google €2.4bn for Anti Competitive Google Shopping

Key Information:

  • The EU has fined Google €2.4 billion for the anti-competitive behaviour of its paid-for Google Shopping service. This is a record fine from the EU.
  • Google has 90 days to stop the behaviour, in areas under the EU’s jurisdiction or face daily fines of €10 million (estimated at 5% of turnover).
  • This EU case against Google has been going on for approximately 7 years.
  • The focus has been on Google’s comparison shopping service, fed by retailers, and for by them, and shown in search results ahead of organic search links.
  • The payments made by retailers are a factor in ranking products in Google Shopping.
  • Due to the positioning of these paid-for results, this has led to a significant drop-off in click traffic to competing retailers in the search results. Naturally, they were/are somewhat upset about this.
  • Google will be appealing the judgement, which may stay the judgement and cause it to linger in the courts for another substantial length of time.
  • Obviously, Google has the funds to pay this fine.
  • Contact me, if you would like to know how this might impact our business specifically.

Google Shopping

Likely Impacts:

  • If you are a Google Shopping advertiser, continue. This is unlikely to change anything immediately.
  • There are unlikely to be many impacts in the short term, as Google appeals the judgement.
  • Over the medium term, it’s possible, but unlikely, that Google will drop Google Shopping for EU visitors.
  • If the judgement holds, Google will likely reconfigure the search results in some way to de-prioritise the shopping results or to make it much clearer that they are effectively paid-for advertisements.
  • Over the longer term, Google would like its search users not to even have to click search results to drive them to paying advertisers. It’s still very unclear how Google can walk this tightrope between providing algorithmic information and selling advertising. We may have evolved from web search by the time this winds its way through the courts and becomes technologically irrelevant.

Mobile First is NOT Mobile-Friendly.


Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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