Google working on fix after 'bug' buries rivals Yelp & TripAdvisor

Yelp and TripAdvisor CEOs publicly named and shamed Google and its algorithms for falling numbers on their websites which they blamed the search giant for doctoring to push up its own search and review listings.

Stephen Kaufer, TripAdvisor CEO took to twitter to air his rage saying if consumers were to 'google' the words 'TripAdvisor Hilton', links from the travel website were buried deep under Google's own reviews, directions and other miscellaneous results leading to fall in revenue.

He was joined by Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp CEO who said 'Google sounding about as truthful as Trump, web search becoming a dirty business of burying your competition.'

In an interview to Recode magazine, Google said that local search results were what did Yelp and tripAdvisor results in! “The issues cited were caused by a recent code push, which we’re working quickly to fix,” a Google spokeswoman told the magazine. 

This should be taken with not just a pinch but a ladle full of salt given Google's traffic and how they are known to make money off ad results that are visible atop all search results.

Manipulation and anti-competitive behaviour are not accusations that are new for Google. Both Yelp and TripAdvisor are part of a group of companies that have taken the search giant to the EU Commission along with the likes of Microsoft in an antitrust case.

With a very familiar ring to it, the case alleges that Google prioritises its own serives and subsidairies over the interest of consumers and other companies. Not only has the search giant repeatedly refused to change the way it ranks search results but also denied all claims vehemently.

Recode further shared screenshots that had been supplied by Yelp showing before and after search results and they make for very difficult reading. 

Yelp further told Recode that almost 1/3rd of searches on Google for “Yelp” and an accompanying term were directed away from Yelp. And the statistic was said to be as high as 50.54% for TripAdvisor!

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