Advertisers Will Find this One Hard to Swallow
So unbeknownst to you, Google has apparently been re-arranging the letters of your search enquiry when shopping online to include a brand name supposedly relevant to the search. It gets fed back to you, and you click on it.
However, this is also unbeknownst to the company who owns the brand name. So when you’ve clicked on it, the company has to cough up some money to Google. That’s the deal.
But the sheer Machiavellian audacity of it goes deeper into online shopping behaviour. Because the products that first appear on your screen, for the vast majority of shoppers, won’t be adequate. So the shopper refines his or her search. And the wheels of the bus go round and round.
Unbelievable. Whatever happened to search engine quality?
Simply put, Google is not helping you find the purchase you want. It’s helping you find the purchase it wants, after taking you on a bit of retail therapy that somehow costs every company whose site you visited, without you buying anything.
Boy, when I grow up, I want to be a monopoly. Because that’s exactly how Google has been able to get away with this tactic.
This is just one of the many startling finds of the antitrust case against Google which is currently delivering severe reputational damage to the search engine we once thought was a faithful pathfinder to anything we wanted.
Who knows what the future holds concerning the relationship between advertisers and Google after the courts (including the court of public opinion) have had their day in the sun.
But the bad taste this news will leave in online retailers’ mouths prompts me to offer some advice if they don’t know what to do.
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