First, a couple of points:
1. Drugs are bad and in no way am I suggesting you visit your local friendly drug pusher to see if the below is true.
2. Anything Google has done in this case is not illegal. It’s just a metaphor!
But there’s a distinct similarity with Google’s sales model and that of the narcotics enthusiast, which was brought to the fore in the EU Commission’s recent case regarding search competition.
The case stretches back to when shopping sites Foundem and Ciao, French legal search tool eJustice and online mapping service Hot-Map.com argued that Google practices produced search results favouring Google-owned properties over those of competitors.
This shouldn’t come as a shock to any of us.
Google is a commercial entity and can make more money through keeping people within its own products than by directing them elsewhere – although some seem to think this is anti-choice and anti-competition.
This situation isn’t the fault of Google; it’s the fault of those businesses bringing about the case. They got themselves hooked on Google’s product(s) and the traffic it brings.
They built their business around it, relied on it, and are now crying foul when it’s taken away from them.
Google has offered its tools for free over the years – and then slowly made them pay-to-play. Paid advertising on the SERPs now dominates the page.
And Google got people ‘hooked’ through free vouchers and cheap CPCs.
Google Shopping (and before that Froogle) was a big part of the search landscape. It’s now been switched to the paid PLA platform.
Car insurance, one of the biggest grossing areas in the finance sector, is now being encroached by Google Compare.
Advertisers have become reliant on PPC to drive their business. Now, as the market becomes saturated and CPCs rise, they find themselves in trouble.
Is this Google’s fault? No. They’re just the nice people who provided traffic to build your business. You’re the one who wasn’t wise enough to not become reliant on them as a traffic source.
Now you’re addicted and find yourself going back for more, whatever the price.
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