Google Fights Back!
In a blog post written by Google's lawyer, Kent Walker, titled "Improving Quality isn't Anti-Competitive" (http://goo.gl/MqtMLA
) Google takes the anti-trust fight that was started by FairSearch Europe, a lobby group that represents Microsoft and Expedia, among others, to the EU with a detailed response sent to Margrethe Vestager (the EU's Competition Commissioner) - http://goo.gl/ZcDm1e
Google uses what it's good at: data, to make a case that the charges leveled at it are unsubstantiated and do not, in any case, harm consumers.
Provided the data supplied by Google stacks up the real argument here becomes one of SEO (of all things). In a semantic search world, structured data that allows websites to be presented in a specific way in search does indeed appear a little like favoritism. Understanding that it is not requires an understanding of structured data itself, how it can be repurposed, what it does and then how websites (and the people behind them) can work better to make good use of the web.
As Google's argument says: "Showing ads based on structured data provided by merchants demonstrably improves ad quality and makes it easier for consumers to find what they're looking for.""We show these ad groups where we've always shown ads - to the right and at the top of organic results - and we use specialised algorithms to maximize their relevance for users."Data from users and advertisers confirms they like these formats. That's not 'favouring' - that's giving our customers and advertisers what they find most useful."
The EU Commissioner's office has not yet responded. I have a feeling this is going to get very interesting. (and maybe I should send Margrethe a copy of my book? - http://goo.gl/NyB1uD
Catch the full story here: http://goo.gl/qaTFIW