As you may know, Google is facing serious 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:

  1. Google has become the biggest advertising medium in the world over the past 20 years.  Other than the ability to create a Brand, it really has no equal.
  2. 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 it took Yahoo Search Marketing several years to be able to geo-target.
  3. Now when people want to make a purchase they “Google it”.  About 94% do, in fact.  Only Amazon comes close in this ability to get people to visit them first before buying.
  4. So what went wrong?  Many complaints about Google favoring themselves in search results at the expense of third parties.  As a laissez-faire capitalist, and with Google being a private company, this becomes a delicate issue for me.
  5. 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 movers who have identical negative reviews by a person who never hired them and Google refuses to take the reviews down.
  6. In addition, they are suspending Ads (AdWords) accounts summarily for discrimination when we use any combination of the word “house” as a keyword.  It takes an appeal that takes 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!