Google accused of ‘burying’ TripAdvisor and Yelp

Google has been accused of ‘burying’ TripAdvisor and Yelp in search results, after the two review sites seemed to disappear from search results.

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Searches for popular landmarks, even those including the Trip Advisor or Yelp brands in the search query, resulted in only Google reviews being returned in the search results.

Both companies accused the search engine of being anti-competitive, whilst Google itself claimed that the results were due to a glitch in a recent algorithm update – something it was working to resolve.

Video Transcript

Hello and welcome to Digital Minute, where we’re looking at why Trip Advisor and Yelp got into a spat with Google.

The review websites Trip Advisor and Yelp publically criticised Google recently, after their reviews for hotels and restaurants seemingly disappeared from Google searches.

Searches for popular landmarks, even those including the Trip Advisor or Yelp brands in the search query, resulted in only Google reviews being returned in the search results.

Both companies accused the search engine of being anti-competitive, whilst Google itself claimed that the results were due to a glitch in a recent algorithm update – something it was working to resolve. Both Trip Advisor and Yelp disputed that suggestion, claiming the search engine was unfairly ‘burying’ rivals to promote its own service.

The dispute comes as Google faces an EU investigation into how it promotes its own services to search users. In many markets, such as finance, Google is now offering its own reviews and price comparison engines ahead of those from established brands.

Our newly-released consumer finance intelligence report actually discusses how this has impacted financial brands, so why not download your free copy by clicking here.

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2 comments

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  • iDCx commented on December 3, 2015:

    Seems funny how TA recently started adding affiliate links… stupid dog on TV shouting BOOK – google no like thin affiliate sites…

    Bout time Ylp bit the dust.. this ones only seen uplift due to Pigeon update two years ago now… potentially now more folks are considering local seo hence what might look like a personal attack by google could be far from it guys. Very speculate this post and wheres the evidence?

    Scaremongering much here or what people?!

    Reply →
    • Michael Hewitt commented on December 15, 2015:

      Hi iDCx.

      I think it’s important for us to take a balanced view on this. These are pretty big allegations from two major brands and I think it is fair that we acknowledge that. There will rightly be brands concerned about Google properties taking prime search real estate in some notable markets (finance, travel and weather to name just three) and the EU Commission has also raised its own concerns, so it is clearly an important issue. We have also acknowledged Google’s response to the allegations.

      We try to be balanced in our reporting in Digital Minute, and this edition was no exception.

      Reply →
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