As you may know, Google is facing severe pressure in Congress as well as the EU about alleged anti-competitive practices. As part of the proposed solution, it faces the prospect of spinning off its ad business to a third party. What we are seeing:
- Google has become the most prominent advertising medium in the world over the past 20 years. Other than “awareness advertising,” it has no equal.
- How did this happen? Geo-targeting. Until Google, when you bought an ad online, it was shown throughout the world. It was the Google engineers that figured this out and permitted single-location businesses to be able to geo-target.
- When people want to make a purchase, they “Google it.” About 94% do. Only Amazon comes close in this ability to get people to visit them first before buying. So being on the Front Page of Google is very important.
- So what went wrong? Many complaints about Google favoring themselves in search results at the expense of third parties. Has this ever happened to you?
- Where we see abuse is in the area of Google Customer Reviews and taking down negative reviews. They hide behind “their policy” and have a very “cut and dry” attitude about NOT taking down obviously concocted reviews. Right now, we have three moving companies with identical negative reviews by a person who never hired them, and Google refuses to take the reviews down.
- In addition, they are suspending Ads (AdWords) accounts summarily for discrimination when we use any combination of the word “house” as a keyword. They think we’re selling houses when we’re moving households. It takes an appeal of 5 days or longer to get the account reinstated.
So is there objectionable behavior by Google? Yes. Does it rise to the level of a break-up? It is certainly looking that way.
Onward and upward!
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