In an effort to make Google more transparent when presenting specialized, or “vertical,” search results, at least in Europe.
The European Commission is about to rule on a two-year-long investigation into the search giant’s practices, and they’re expected to make Google change the way it presents results to improve visibility for other specialized search engines. In other words, Google has to start sharing space with its competitors.
Primarily, the EC is concerned about specific, specialized search results like maps, weather and finance, as it suspects Google of giving results from its own services and widgets priority over its competitors. It is expected that the ruling will force the company to present “clearer alternatives” and label its own services more clearly, so that users know what they’re looking at.
During this time, the EC had been investigating Google to see if it had been linking differently to its own vertical services and giving them preferential treatment. There was also some concern that the company was copying content, like reviews, from alternative services and putting it in its own results.
Google is expected to turn in its final concession offer this week to try to hold off formal charges and a substantial fine.