SEO News You Can Use: Google’s Most Well-Kept Secret Might Be Revealed

Megan Sell
SEO News You Can Use

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Of the latest legal battles Google is facing, the case of Foundem shopping comparison site claiming the search engine employed anti-competitive practices has an interesting update. And the tech world is waiting with bated breath as Google may be forced to reveal its most valued secret: details of its long-guarded search algorithm.

Google has a Wikipedia page devoted to its lawsuits. The tech giant has been taken to task on many different issues. These include contravention of privacy rights, claims of copyright infringements and even allegations of discrimination in the workplace. It’s a veritable laundry list of allegations. 

This particular case between Foundem and Google investigates antitrust and anti-competition laws and practices. Did Google deliberately demote price comparison site Foundem to favor its own paid-for products?

The owners of the Foundem site, Adam and Shivaun Raff, began their legal proceedings against Google in 2012 and it’s been an ongoing case since. In 2017, Margrethe Vestager of The European Commissioner for Competition declared Google guilty of breaching EU antitrust laws and handed down a £2.1 billion fine with 90 days in which to rectify its practices. However, this respite was not enough.

The Raffs are still fighting for damages for the loss of their business as a result of being allegedly deliberately demoted in Google’s search results. The Foundem owners are adamant in their pursuit as while their business dropped (within a day) from first position on Google to somewhere between 70 and 80 position, they maintained their ranking between first and third on other search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing.

As the case has continued, Google has presented the court with confidential documentation to prove no anti-competitive practices were employed. However, Foundem believes it necessary to bring in an SEO expert, specifically Philipp Kloeckner, to explain the algorithm and how it ranks shopping comparison sites. Google has argued this action would irreversibly affect the integrity of its process. Foundem’s response was that the search engine giant may then withdraw the documents. But these documents are crucial for Google to have any defense in the matter at all.

And so an impasse has been reached …

It is a tough decision to make. Google and its representatives have maintained total silence on the matter. The judge has given the company a “reasonable” amount of time in which to make a decision and maintains if no decision is made, he will give the documents to Kloeckner for review. Google must decide if the algorithms for ranking search results remaining a secret is more important than proving it didn’t break any competition laws.

If Google search ranking algorithms are revealed, the SEO game is about to change dramatically and pave the way for a brand new set of rules.

More SEO News You Can Use

Facebook Fails to Protect Us From Misinformation: Many of us rely on Facebook for our daily news update, but in the midst of COVID-19 try and look elsewhere. Facebook made a promise to flag and reject ads with misinformation and yet it’s been proven the social platform is not coping and its AI is unreliable. Check out the whole story here.

If You Are New to SEO, On-Page SEO Tactics Are a Great Starting Point: The digital marketing community is constantly speaking about keeping up with your SEO strategies during COVID-19. However, if you’re still new to the game and you want to get a firmer grasp on this very technical subject, have a read through Backlinko’s On-Page SEO: The Definitive Guide. It’s a straightforward learning guide appropriate for anyone needing to get their head around on-page SEO in 2020.

COVID-19 Has Many Inspired to be Kinder, and Moz’s Miriam Ellis Explores This From a Business Point of View: This is a positive article that packs a pragmatic punch. Ellis explores how businesses are adapting to the new normal and how others are doing what they can to help keep the local economy alive. For inspiration and some encouragement, check out this feel-good read here.

Ahrefs Unpacks the 10 Google Ranking Factors You Simply Can’t Ignore: There are many Google ranking factors and trying to tackle them all is madness. Getting some right is really the best you can hope for no matter your efforts. Joshua Hardwick has put together a blog that offers some solid advice on how to implement 10 Google ranking factors that’ll help you rank better.

Grandma’s Swimsuit has Caused a Stir, so Google AdSense Explains its Publisher Restrictions: A publisher has questioned Google AdSense’s policies on adult content as it’s advert of a swimsuit (one your grandma would wear) on a mannequin has been flagged as “sexual content.” The frustrated publisher received responses from Google and its publisher restrictions were further explained. You can read the complaint here or check out the Search Engine Journal article here.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on SEOblog.com, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make SEOblog.com a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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