For months, review sites including Yelp and TripAdvisor have accused Google of unfairly burying their search results down its search page and instead favouring its own offerings.
In November, Google said this was caused by a “bug” and that it was working on a fix, to which Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman responded: “Google is sounding about as truthful as Trump.”
Now Stoppelman has been given a new reason to complain about Google’s practices, Recode reported.
Earlier this month, Google launched a new search feature called “must-try,” which features a carousel of reviews of restaurants from sites including Zagat, which Google owns, as well as other publishers.
The problem, for companies like Yelp and TripAdvisor, is that this feature pushes search results for their site’s reviews right down the search results page — and, in some cases, off the first page altogether, as Stoppelman outlined in this tweet:
Stoppelman argues that this is a monopolistic practice because Yelp has “well over 4X” the reviews on this particular business, so its site should be favoured over one that Google owns.
TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer also tweeted unfavorably about the new development:
Google declined to comment.
As Recode notes, both TripAdvisor and Yelp are complainants in the European Union’s antitrust case against Google, which is looking into whether the search giant deliberately promotes its own products over those of rivals.
In 2013, the US Federal Trade Commission dropped its antitrust investigation into Google’s search practices.
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