Google Pushing Down Navigational Search For Own Google Properties

Mar 12, 2014 • 9:03 am | comments (18) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords
 

Christy Kunjumon posted on Google+ the other day an example of searching for a brand on Google and that brand's search listing being pushed down by Google's own sponsored result.

Search Google UK for [moneysupermarket], which is a name of a company. You'd expect some ads but not a sponsored listing asking you to use their comparison engine over the brand that someone searched for.

Here is a picture:

Google Push Down

This does not seem to be a test, because I am replicate this myself. If it was a test, I'd probably let it slide but seriously Google?

If someone searched for my company and was given Google as the top result, I'd be really upset.

Ann Smarty said on Threadwatch, "branded SERPs are all we have had left for us!" Well, maybe not any more.

Forum discussion at Threadwatch and Google+.

Update: Here is another example from @StuLong_ for the search on [confused.com]:

click for full size

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Comments:

James

03/12/2014 01:39 pm

"If someone searched for my company and was given Google as the top result, I'd be really upset." Well this type of thing has been going on for years. Search for company A, see company B's AdWords at the top. Bidding on competitor name keyword is not new. But this is worse: - Google don't have to pay to appear there; this is anti-competitive - there is an embedded comparison search box that only Google can have - it's Google. The evil all-conquering monster strikes again.

F1 Steve

03/12/2014 01:49 pm

I agree with Durant, if I searched for a brand it would still be nice to be shown alternative to the brand that offer the same service, especially if its google who offer the same service, why shouldn't google promote their own brand above other brands? it doesn’t hurt me to scroll a little if I still want to use the original brand I was searching for. Hopefully google will move faster into every niche and offer an alternative to the brand, above the brand and eventually kill each brand to effectively become the service itself. One day Google will be all we need for everything, just as the brands trumped small business now the biggest fish of all can trump the brands themselves!

Insurance

03/12/2014 01:54 pm

Comparison engines are multiple brands rolled up into one. You can see the loophole for Google compare. If they start rolling out on individual insurance brands then there will be more legalities. However, it is clear to see that Google are driving compare even more as a large revenue channel and have no regard for comparison sites.

marcus

03/12/2014 02:43 pm

Does anyone remember a few years ago you had sites like currency converters and calculators like weight and distance? These sites have all gone now as Google now does this directly on SERP without the need to visits a site, I suspect the “go compare” sites will now also become redundant as you will be able to do it from google without the need to visits the sites. What’s next I wonder? Will we get to the point where google no longer needs ecomm or comparison sites as they wade into these and allow the user to do it all from Google? What about small traders? I can see everything from reviews to contact details will be displayed in the serps so there is no need to visits or maybe even own a local website at that point? It seems to me websites/organic serps are a means to an end for google, they play nice while they build the end game, the end game means going into everything, one sector at a time until they are "the internet". As a traded company they need to keep moving into new areas so it makes sense, I’m not moaning as its capitalism and that's the way of our world, make more money no matter who you stomp.......but anyone who thinks in 10 years’ time Google won’t be offering a direct alternative to what you do is kidding themselves, luckily I don’t base my entire income around an online presence that becoming eclipsed year on year, I would suggest everyone think long and hard about how fast things are moving and what you can do to survive if/when google goes into your sector and makes "clicking" on your site no longer nessasary.

Durant Imboden

03/12/2014 06:09 pm

What's new about having ads at the top of SERPs (or Web pages in general)?

Nerdy Woman

03/12/2014 07:02 pm

This shouldn't surprise anyone since Google announced that pay-to-play advertisers would get top billing for products and services. This happened in the US in May 2012 and in 11 more countries (including the UK) in Feb 2013. Try BING. I did a test using the two searches mentioned in the article. For moneysupermarket, almost the entire first page was moneysupermarket.com's website and pages within their website. For confused.com, the first 3 or 4 listings were confused.com's website, followed by a wikipedia article about the company. Google makes no bones about being an ADVERTISING COMPANY. In 2013, their revenues, almost all from advertising, were nearly $60 BILLION US dollars. By comparison, Microsoft's online services division (Bing, Bing Ads, MSN) showed revenues of $3.3 BILLION US dollars. The difference? Microsoft is a company that makes most of their money selling software, hardware, and subscription services. While divisions need to be self-supporting, services such as Bing search engine doesn't have to pay the CEO's salary. Google is not providing services to users. They are providing an audience for advertisers. They're not tracking you to provide a better "experience" for you, but to provide targeted markets for advertisers. Get it?

Durant Imboden

03/12/2014 07:29 pm

I just searched Yahoo on "confused.com," and there were four ads above the organic results. A Bing search also gave me four ads, followed by a dictionary definition of "confused" as the first organic result. (Confused.com came afterwards.) DuckDuckGo had its equivalent of a Knowledge Graph box at the top of the SERP. Of the four search engines that I tried, only Yandex had Confused.com's Web site in first place.

Nerdy Woman

03/12/2014 07:33 pm

The difference may be SE regions. The article mentioned Google UK, so I switched to Bing UK (go to settings, change country location). No advertising appeared in either result.

F1 Steve

03/12/2014 08:31 pm

Durant that almost read like a list, can you check it twice? who naughty, who nice? ;)

Desire Athow

03/12/2014 10:31 pm

Wasn't that to be expected? Google is now going after CPA/CPL. Moneysupermarket, Confused.com and Gocompare are price comparison websites. For utilities companies, Google is just another P.C website, albeit one with a massive differentiator.

Jitendra Vaswani

03/13/2014 04:45 am

Steve you are right, google is covering all brands

Paid Shill

03/13/2014 04:47 am

What's new about Durant /Europe for Visitors shilling for Google so Muut Cutts makes sure his cheesy site stays on Google?

Barry Adams

03/13/2014 09:03 am

First mentioned, I might add, by Kevin Gibbons in his Econsultancy post: https://econsultancy.com/blog/64466-how-do-you-beat-google-in-vertical-search Also that image used by Christy was made by Dan Barker who was pointed to it by a tweet of mine which I made after seeing it mentioned in a private SEO group thread which in turn was triggered by Kevin's post... And around goes the source attribution carousel. ;)

Barry Schwartz

03/13/2014 11:01 am

Didn't see that.

Wayne

03/13/2014 01:44 pm

Matt Cutts is Durant's daddy.

Simon Sedorenko

03/13/2014 02:21 pm

"Google could face a penalty of up to $5 billion if found guilty by the Competition Commission of India in a two-year old probe launched to investigate if the company abused its dominant position in the business of Internet search and advertising." This article shows exactly the type of tactics that Google employs to either put other businesses out of business or FORCE them to purchase PPC. I hope they lose this case in India.

Guest

03/13/2014 05:28 pm

Google Compare is now missing on UK searches. Must be a blip while reformatting but a welcome blip all the same

Dimitar Dimitrov

03/17/2014 01:26 pm

Google is trying to take over those transactional searcher for years. My bet is we will see more of those searches getting eaten by Google's money machine.

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