The European Union has handed Google a record-breaking €2.42bn (£2.14bn) fine for abusing its dominance of the search engine market in building its online shopping service
By artificially and illegally promoting its own price comparison service in searches, Google denied both its consumers real choice and rival firms the ability to compete on a level playing field, European regulators said.
The Silicon Valley giant has 90 days to stop its illegal activities and explain how it will reform its ways or face fines of up to €10.6m a day, which equates to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of its parent company Alphabet.
This news is quite apt for us at Dolphin Promotions, in recent months we have been strongly recommending any client with an eCommerce site to use AdWords with Google Merchant, which is what creates the shopping results.
In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to carry out SEO, with less organic results on the first page and increased competition. It is often far more cost effective to run a Google Merchant AdWords campaign.
So, this new decision could be quite bad news for our clients, the ruling means that Google might have to treat other comparison sites equally, which in turn might mean that price comparison sites might start showing up in the Google shopping results. For a client and for ourselves, this could potentially cause much more work, as it could be prudent to run multiple paid campaigns across networks to achieve the same results we previously had.
We will continue to the traffic generated from Google Shopping over the next few months and see just how much of a difference it makes.