Google has been hit with a record breaking fine by the EU having allegedly been favouring its own shopping service over others in search results.
The EU Commission said that Google acted illegally by relegating results from rivals to areas where potential buyers were much less likely to click, denying European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation.
With Google being overwhelmingly dominant in Europe, the EU believe they should not be allowed to actively undermine competitors and now require the search engine to change the design of Google Shopping within 90 days.
The EU have not specified what change Google should make, but whatever changes the company do make could impact on its bottom line beyond the hefty fine it already faces.
It is most likely that these changes may see Google revert to an older version on its shopping feature in Europe.
So, what does this mean businesses currently advertising on Google Shopping?
Viki McAdoo, our Digital Marketing Manager at Web Bureau, states:
“This could really shape the future of all search marketing. It will be interesting to see how it pans out and reshapes the digital landscape over the next few years. I can see it giving some of the many other marketplaces more prominence but Google will still be fighting such a ruling tooth and nail that it is going to be a long road ahead.”
Jeremy Brown, Web Bureau’s Senior Developer thinks:
“With many ecommerce businesses relying heavily on Google Shopping to drive customers to their website, this could have a major impact on how businesses look at advertising.
Google is a dominant player in the market but it is dangerous to have "all your eggs in one basket". Businesses need to look at using other paid advertising channels such as Price Runner, Kelkoo and Bing Ads as well as considering SEO as part of their marketing plan.”
Google may appeal this decision in EU courts, potentially delaying a final resolution for years. In a statement, the company said: “We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case.”
At this point, all we can do is speculate what could happen years down the line but for now it is business as usual for Google Shopping, still generating over $100 million in revenue each day!