What’s this about Google Shopping vs EU Stoush About?

I love the way big corporates, like Google / Alphabet, get to play by their own rules.

And occasionally, it’s kind of fun to watch a big corporate and a big institution, like the EU fight it out.

Google is modifying its shopping service in the EU only in the hope that prevents ongoing fines from the EU in response to the recent EU judgement.

In the less-than surprising turn of events, you can read about in this story, it’s unlikely that Google’s revenue stream will be affected.

This is an extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates 29 September 2017.

#EU #EUFine #GoogleShopping #SERP #AdStrategy

Alphabet Separates Google Shopping in EU


  • In a refinement of its response to Google’s EU billion-dollar fine, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is to separate Google Shopping in areas under EU control.
  • This means, Google Shopping Inc (or whatever it’s called) will compete in an auction process with other Comparison Shopping Engines to see who gets listed in the search results.
  • The CSE’s will therefore have to be “pay to play” rather than relying on organic Google search results.
  • All this sounds fine and dandy, and Google is running with it, but the EU haven’t approved it yet.
  • You’ll also notice that Google continues to make money whether or not it wins the auction.

Alphabet Separates Google Shopping In EU

Actions to take:

  1. If you run a Comparison Shopping Engine you should be all geared up for this change.
  2. You might want to consider not joining in until the EU approves, or else Google might be able to say “look, everyone’s using it, they must be happy”.
  3. Keep an eye on other areas where Google and the EU are heading for a clash. It may be that Google will be chastened, and the EU will be emboldened.
  4. If you are listed organically, keep an eye on traffic levels above as Google will likely tweak the design to continue maximising its revenue in this area.
  5. If you are a retailer, prepare to either pay CSEs for inclusion, or lose traffic if your products are not an auction winner.
  6. Click here to contact me to discuss listing products organically in shopping searches.


Google has gone ahead and launched the service without waiting for the EU to approve of it. This is sensible of them, as it gives them a chance of saying they made “best efforts” to comply with the EU order to mend their ways.

Cynics might point out that it’s unlikely Google will lose money on this (retailers bid to be part of its shopping results, CSEs can now bid to to take some of that real estate) and that the losers would be Google’s retailers. In fact, if retailers are sensible, they would likely choose to pay for placement in the CSE results as well.

It really doesn’t look like anyone bar Google is the winner here. Surprise.

Finally, I can’t help but chuckle at the inanity of the Google Adwords blog post about changes to Google Shopping in Europe. If you didn’t know any better, you would think it was all a planned change and yet another “exciting opportunity”.

More info:

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The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

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  • Google is pulling a fast one on the EU by having an auction for who appears in the shopping results. Google or the Comparison Shopping Engines.
  • This means Google will still sell the same amount of traffic.
  • And the retailers will still pay the same amount of money.
  • Plus ça change, as my little French chums are wont to say.
  • Read The State of SEO in mid-2017.
  • Read about how Google’s Mobile First Index is not Mobile Friendly.
  • Finally, get your content ranking well on Google by starting to understand Find Crawl Index.

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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