Google changing SERPS to accomodate its competitors?

Google is shortly expected to introduce changes to its own search results to avoid an EU fine. The key proposal involved may cause Google to stop favouring their own services, such as YouTube, in its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) over their rivals.

Two years after Brussels opened a process for possible abuse of a dominant position in the search engine market, Google has unveiled its proposal to avoid a fine. The European Commission has just announced the necessary measures that are proposed for Google, led by Eric Schmidt, to avoid a fine that could reach 3,800 million Euros or 10% of its revenue last year.

Google Changes Search Engine Results!

There is now an EU process that will last about a month in which the Competition department, headed by Joaquin Almunia, will hear from the parties concerned, in order to decide whether he is satisfied or not. The latest search engine marketing news is that, the EU will test and scrutinise the overhaul done by Google, in which it is expected to include more rival firms web pages and content in the search results.

All this means that Google SERP’s are going to be different in terms of having a greater variety of companies returned in these search results.

The implications of the Changes in Search Engine Results Pages To Accommodate Competitors:

Among the measures proposed Google highlights a change in the presentation of their searches. The recent EU proposal is to stop Google from favouring their own services over those of its rivals.

Another of their offerings is to label the links to specialised services – such as Google Shopping, Hotel Finder, News, Finance or Flights – for Internet users to distinguish Googles services from the rest.

Google SERPs

The proposal to newspaper publishers is that they can control their own content in Google News. Newspaper editors propose what media will appear, and therefore they will have control themselves over their content and its availability on Google News.

I-comp, the association representing Googles competitors, amongst which is Microsoft, claims that Google has to change and make thorough checks in how the practice of search results occurs. If the proposal from Google does not clearly show non-discriminatory principles, and a means to restore competition, then it could be very difficult for Google to satisfy the EUs requirements.

If Googles changes are acceptable to the EU then the software giant may well escape EU sanctions.

The claims against Google to favour their own services are several:

Among them, that Google redirects traffic to its own services, without informing its customers, which take content from various platforms-from newspapers to Restaurant Reviews and other specialised content rich pages-without payment, or which imposes restrictions in contracts to monopolise their adverts across the Internet.

Fairsearch.org, the other claimant’s umbrella organization, has issued a statement asking for the test period to be extended to three months, and that modifications should be the answer to these three key questions:

Will there be an independent third party to verify that Google complies with its commitments?

Will the search results containing owners content inserted into Google have the ability to edit them?

Do Google give the same treatment to its own content as the rest?

Google are not the only ones making changes though, Facebook has also recently created a new facebook home for mobile.

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