Google Agrees to Legally Binding Search Changes

Google agrees on deal with European regulators and offers to make legally binding changes to its search results.

Written by Kaye Neylon

The news follows a two year antitrust investigation into the alleged claims that the search giant abuses its dominance of online search.

Has the deal gone public?

No, the deal is not yet public but the Wall Street Journal first reported the two people who were briefed on the agreement who spoke to the publication anonymously. WSJ said Google has agreed to clearly label search results from its own properties, such as Google+, Local or Google News, and in some cases Google will show links from rival search engines.

How does this affect SRPs?

The biggest change concerns search results on topics such as flights or shopping. It means competitors like Yelp and TripAdvisor’s concerns surrounding Google favouring its own results over theirs will be put to rest under the new legal conditions agreed between Google and European regulators.

Changes will not be widely seen for at least another four to six weeks, “in the meantime rivals and others in the travel or retail industry can weigh in on the plan with some market testing.

Following the proposal’s approval, the European Commission will have more stringent concessions from Google than its U.S. counterpart did earlier this year. That settlement was non-binding, this fresh agreement spells more control for European regulators and an even playing ground between Google and industry competitors.


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