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Google Accused Of Delivering “Degraded” Search Results

Global Marketing News – 6th July 2015

Google accused of delivering “degraded” search results

A Yelp-sponsored study has accused Google of delivering low quality search results by prioritising its own services over more relevant, high quality alternatives.

The study, which was conducted by two researchers from Harvard Business School and Columbia University, involved 2,500 participants and tested whether which of two sets of search results they found the most attractive.

The first set of search results were those produced by Google, with Google’s services coming out on top. The second set of search results were ranked purely by relevance, with review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp outranking Google’s services.

The study found that users were much more likely to click on the relevance-based results, rather than the Google-based results, with click rates of 47% and 32% respectively.

The researchers concluded that this staggering 50% increase in clicks when presented with the relevance-based search results showed that by promoting its own services in the search results, Google was providing users with a “degraded version of its search engine”.

The study’s authors have submitted their findings to the EU, who are currently investigating Google on anti-competitiveness charges.

An EU official has said that it welcomes any empirical evidence showing that Google’s practices have caused “quantifiable harm to consumers”.

Google has hit back against the study, saying: “This latest study is based on a flawed methodology that focuses on results for just a handful of cherry-picked queries.”

Turkish online retails to double in next 5 years

Online retail in Turkey is expected to double in the next 5 years to 14 billion lira, equivalent to just over 5 billion US dollars, according to a report by Boomerang Commerce and Boston Consulting Group.

The retail market is evolving in Turkey, with shoppers increasingly going online to compare prices and read product reviews before deciding which retailer to buy from and making a purchase.

The rapid rate of growth in Turkey’s online retail market is very much an online phenomenon, rather than reflecting the retail market generally, with the overall retail sector expected to grow by just 7% in the next 3 years, much less than the doubling expected for the online retail sector by 2020.

The overall online economy in the country is set to reach 2.6% of GDP in the next 2 years.

Alibaba teams up with Tourism Australia

The Chinese tech giant Alibaba has entered into a partnership with the travel company Tourism Australia.

The three-year partnership will involve both Alibaba and Tourism Australia spending 1 billion dollars on advertising and social media campaigns to encourage Chinese travelers to go to Australia, which will be the first long-distance country to have a page on the Alibaba’s travel booking app Alitrip.

Alitrip has around 23% of the online travel market in China, with around 9 million users having downloaded the app.

The campaign will be aimed at independent travelers, and will suggest itineraries from 32 Tourism Australia-backed travel companies, with lengths ranging from 1 to 4 weeks.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Australia went up by 18% to 840,000 in 2014, compared to the previous year. These tourists spent the most money in Australia than any other nationality, almost 6 billion dollars, making them a highly attractive target audience for Tourism Australia.

Seznam announces changes in board of directors

And finally, the Czech search engine Seznam has announced several changes amongst its board of directors.

Ivo Lukacovic is the new board chairman, and Tomas Kapalin has replaced Nikolo Lukacovic on the board. Pavel Zima remains director general.

Meanwhile, Michal Feix’s job title has changed from Confidentiality Clerk to Director for Legal and Legislative Affairs.

Seznam is a popular search engine in the Czech Republic, where it has around 20% of the search engine market.

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Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain’s Self-learning platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She also helps run the Webcertain blog and is the writer of the Webcertain search and social report, an annual report summarising digital marketing best practices in over 50 countries. She is passionate about educating and empowering people to make the best decisions for their business and is proud to help share Webcertain’s wealth of digital marketing knowledge with the world. Elin is from the UK.

2 Responses to Google Accused Of Delivering “Degraded” Search Results

  1. Jeffrey Hunter says:

    Please can you tell me how I can report inforamtion to the EU courts that have accused Google of AntiTrust Voiolation

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