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Spotted: Links to competing shopping engines in UK Google Shopping results

How’s that “inclusive” new look for Google Shopping results in the EU coming along? Kind of strangely, it seems.

Last summer, the European Commission fined Google nearly $3 billion for favoring its own shopping content in search results and hurting competition. The Commission ordered the company to deliver a solution that offers “equal treatment” to competing comparison shopping engines in its results.

The search giant has denied wrongdoing, but last fall, the company announced a response to the EC’s complaints, with Google Shopping operating as a distinct business and competing head-on with comparison shopping engines (CSEs) such as Shopzilla, Twenga and ShoppingFM in the Shopping auction.

The appearance of rival CSE ads in Google Shopping results, however, has been slow to come. But on Tuesday, a webmaster who goes by Gabs online tweeted a screen shot of a Shopping result shown in the UK in which the final ad slot provides links to view more listings from both Google and the CSE ShoppingFM, saying it’s the first example he’d seen of the new treatment:

The actual ads shown in the screen shot above are all “By Google,” as opposed to another CSE. Gabs added that he’s been able to replicate this type of result with several other queries.

When Google announced its new approach to Shopping results in the EU, it showed the example below of the envisioned new look, with ads from Google and competing CSEs intermingled in the results.
Google’s proposed vision has not materialized, say rival CSEs. Last month, the competing companies complained to the European Commission and are seeking additional concessions from Google. The company maintains it is meeting the requirements of the EC’s ruling.


About The Author

As Third Door Media’s paid media reporter, Ginny Marvin writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies and can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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