A division of Daily Mail & General Trust, MailOnline, has sued Google’s parent company Alphabet for manipulating Google search results.
Are Daily Mail’s allegations regarding Google’s manipulation of search results true?
According to this antitrust lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court, UK tabloid’s (MailOnline) 2021 coverage of the Royal Family was buried in search results due to Google’s manipulation of search results.
The Daily Mail vs Google lawsuit claims that the tech giant punishes digital news & content publishers for not buying more Google Ads. A Daily Mail spokesman has this to say about the situation:
“This lawsuit is to hold Google accountable for their continued anti-competitive behavior including manipulation of ad auctions and news search results, bid-rigging, algorithm bias and exploiting its market power to harm their advertising rivals.”
Manipulation of keywords such as “Harry & Meghan” and “Prince Philip” on the topics of racism allegations by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and death of Prince Philip respectively, against MailOnline were cited in the suit as well. Stories on these keywords were among the ones leading to a boost in online searches on the topic.
The spokesperson also said that Google’s manipulation of search results also affected Daily Mail’s search results for the keyword “Piers Morgan”. According to the allegations, search for Piers Morgan favors online news websites such as Guardian and The Independent and hides Daily Mails news links.
Google, who is already fighting a legal battle for alleged search result manipulation, calls Dail Mail owner’s allegations baseless.
“The Daily Mail’s claims are completely inaccurate. The use of our ad tech tools has no bearing on how a publisher’s website ranks in Google Search. More generally, we compete in a crowded and competitive ad tech space where publishers have and exercise multiple options. The Daily Mail itself authorizes dozens of ad tech companies to sell and manage their ad space, including Amazon, Verizon, and more. We will defend ourselves against these meritless claims.”
If these allegations are correct it means Daily Mail’s MailOnline website is being hit financially, big time! It has over 75 million US visitors each month and one of its revenue generation sources is via website ad sales.
Let’s see if the tech giant wins this case too after coming out victorious in Google vs Oracle supreme court case after 10 years.