Daily Mail lawsuit links Google algorithm update to advertising business

The British news publisher, which owns the Daily Mail news organization, filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of abusing its monopoly on search to punish websites as part of a plan to maintain control of the Internet advertising market.

Most of the lawsuit documents are related to Google’s dominance in Internet advertising.

The company portrayed the Daily Mail as a victim, unable to control its advertising business, and was forced to succumb to diminishing revenue due to the Daily Mail’s allegations that Google had a monopoly on the market.

The court document states:

“News publishers cannot see an increase in advertising spending because Google and its parent company Alphabet illegally acquired and maintained a monopoly on the tools publishers and advertisers use to buy and sell online advertising space.

These tools include software used by publishers to sell their advertising resources, and the dominant exchange, which sells millions of ad impressions in auctions every day.

Google controls the “shelf space” on the pages on which publishers display ads, and uses this control to defeat the competition for that ad space.

Among other strategies, Google makes it difficult for publishers to compare prices between exchanges; reduces the number of exchanges that can submit bids; and uses bids provided by rival exchanges to set their own bids-a de facto bid manipulation Program. “

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Is AMP a solution to control online advertising?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open source web standard for delivering web pages that are highly optimized for mobile devices.

Google’s competitors (such as Microsoft’s search engine Bing) have become part of the “Accelerated Mobile Web” (AMP) open source movement. E.g, Bing announced in 2016 They will provide AMP format web pages in their Bing APP.

2018 Bing announced The content of AMP News Carousel also explains their intention to provide AMP pages in search results.

The stated goal of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is to provide a better user experience for users on mobile devices.

This AMP’s established mission Yes:

“Providing user-first Web content formats to support the long-term success of every Web publisher, merchant, and advertiser.”

The purpose of the open source AMP project has been fully proven and accepted by many competing companies.

However, the “Daily Mail” lawsuit claims shockingly that AMP is part of Google’s plan to dominate and control online advertising.

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Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that AMP caused a situation in which competitive advertising services were shut out. However, the statement about AMP was broken by its own admission that this is the only case:original.

The lawsuit began with the first misnamed “accelerated mobile page” because it would reduce the user experience of visitors using mobile devices.

The lawsuit states:

“AMP has no obvious technical advantages. It is just an HTML web page, and any third-party scripts (including JavaScript) have been removed.

Rather, AMP limits the expressiveness of the publisher and reduces the user experience. The AMP page is incompatible with infographics and other interactive features, resulting in lower user engagement. “

After mistakenly mistaken AMP for providing users with a degraded user experience, the “Daily Mail” went on to suggest that the benefits of AMP were harming the interests of publishers.

“The most direct competitive significance of Google’s prohibition of third-party scripts is that AMP pages are not compatible with client-side header bidding.

The initial result is that only AdX can bid for Daily Mail’s advertising resources in real time.

However, Daily Mail has no recourse because it must use AMP to avoid losing important search traffic. This brings two wrong choices for Daily Mail: (1) abandon AMP and lose search traffic, or (2) adopt AMP, reject client-side header bids, and effectively sell all AMP advertising space through AdX, and reduce price. “

Google claims that Google uses natural search to punish websites

Perhaps the most shocking claim that has no evidence is that Google uses its search results algorithm as a weapon to punish publishers who try to get rid of Google’s so-called monopolistic dominance.

“Daily Mail” explained how the “monopoly” in search makes search results a weapon of punishment:.

“Google’s mobile search monopoly gives Google power-Google can use its search results to punish publishers, because losing the traffic of Google users will seriously damage their business.”

Next, the “Daily Mail” linked its struggle to monetize its website with unrelated events. These efforts were achieved through the introduction of an updated Google search algorithm (called a “core algorithm update”). of.

Google Core update purported to be related to the advertising competition

The Daily Mail wrote:

“Google has repeatedly told the Daily Mail that there is no problem with the search algorithm. Google also assured the Daily Mail that it has not become a target of attacks among its peers. But this is simply incorrect. Google has indeed targeted some Publishers: Publishers that make AdX more competitive for impression opportunities.”

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Google’s core algorithm updates will affect a wide range of publishers, including many publishers who don’t use AMP or quarrel with Google for advertising resources.

The Daily Mail conducted a double analysis of this association:

“Google has repeatedly complained to Daily Mail about its bottom-line strategy, but Daily Mail (explained in great detail) said that Google’s bottom-line brings higher revenue.

…Because it could not persuade Daily Mail, Google punished it. With the help of the core algorithm update in June 2019, Google shut down the search traffic of Daily Mail a week before starting to implement UPR on the publisher’s inventory, and resumed the search traffic the day after the UPR was fully effective.

As discussed, the result of the universal periodic review is that AdX can obtain a larger share of Daily Mail inventory at a much lower price. Therefore, Google penalized the “Daily Mail” in its search results because the “Daily Mail” pages are less profitable for Google than other websites.

Once UPR eliminated the different price floors and forced Daily Mail to sell more inventory to Google at a cheap price, Google resumed search traffic. “

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Daily Mail did not produce any internal Google documents, nor did it produce statements from Google employees that linked Core Algorithm Updates to the publisher who punishes the dispute.

Search industry reaction

The prevailing tone of reaction ranged from suspicion of boldness to linking search results with advertisements to complete mockery.

The search marketer tweeted:

Marty Weintraub of Aimclear was originally Quote in MediaPost Attributing “Daily Mail” rankings to bad SEO.

“Well, we all hope our (free) high natural ranking can compete with (paid) Google ads,” Aimclear founder Marty Weintraub (Marty Weintraub) in an email to the “Search and Performance Marketing Daily” Wrote in. “I want a pony too. Waawaawawa royal family members are very busy. There are a large number of excellent SEO companies in the UK. Invest in SEO, buy ads or give up complaining.”

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What is the next step in the Daily Mail lawsuit?

Many parts of the lawsuit are similar to those filed by Texas against Google. However, for those in the search marketing industry, unsubstantiated claims based on the correlation between unrelated events can be unbelievable, and these claims are used to link Google’s search algorithm with penalties for publishers.

Citation

Complaints for damages and compulsory relief (PDF)

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