In October 2020, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and 11 states filed a landmark lawsuit against Google, arguing that it used revenue to unfairly maintain a dominant position in search and search advertising, and block out competitors. According the DOJ, the U.S. government is finally stepping in to protect access to a free market for customers and Google’s competitors.
Is Google Guilty?
The Department of Justice’s case argues that Google’s anti-competitive practices are harming three groups:
- American consumers who are forced to accept often-controversial privacy practices from Google
- Advertisers who have to pay a fee to Google to reach their customers
- Competing tech companies who can’t succeed amongst Google’s overbearing search shadow
It’s not a secret that Google strives to be the top search engine in the world. Like most companies, one of the top goals is to beat out competitors in your industry. Google search comes preloaded on devices using their Android operating system; and Google pays billions of dollars to competitors Apple, LG, and AT&T every year to be the default browser on their devices.
The Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) outlaws companies from every contract, combination or conspiracy to monopolize.
Federal Trade Commission
The DOJ also claims that Google uses exclusive business contracts to limit rival companies’ ability to put their products on Google’s Android devices, which the DOJ argues to violate the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Google’s Response to the Lawsuit
Legal representatives of Google have rebutted the basis the lawsuit and have argued that consumers can easily use other products. Google and other major tech companies have been targeted by the the US government in recent years; President Trump even signed an executive order to bring social media companies to heel.
“Like countless other businesses, we pay to promote our services, just like a cereal brand might pay a supermarket to stock its products at the end of a row or on a shelf at eye level,” stated Google in response to the DOJ complaint.
How This Might Affect Search
If the DOJ’s lawsuit gets traction and Google has to change it’s business strategy, the result could create a different search experience for consumers. If Google has to change its advertising strategies, it might mean an increase in advertising fees for companies.
If a judge rules against Google and they have to split up their company and/or change how the system is operated, it could mean big opportunities to search rivals like Microsoft (Bing), Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and Ecosia. Instead of default searches going to Google on your mobile devices, consumers could see different search options.
This is the first time the DOJ has pushed a lawsuit against a large tech company. In a 1998 DOJ lawsuit against Microsoft, a judge ruled that Microsoft violated parts of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the corporation had to divide the company in half and create two separate entities: one for the operating system and the other for the software.
Have you ever had trouble implementing SEO tactics after a big site redesign? Choosing the best way to build a website can be difficult, considering the almost constant search engine algorithm updates and unpredictable site issues. When preparing for new website build or updated design, an important piece to consider is the best kind of design and build for efficient SEO management.
Designed to appeal to Google and other search engines, WordPress themes offer a variety of abilities for the site administrator to choose how hands-on they are with the site. WordPress offers different plans for website designers and admins, which include features for efficient SEO implementation and custom site formatting.
WordPress starting cost is $4.00/month
For eCommerce businesses, Shopify is an excellent website provider that lets people create and customize online stores. Shopify is completely cloud-based (which removes the need to update software) and the ability to customize your online stores gives you full rein over your website design and online brand.
Shopify starting cost is $29.00/month
Giving its users better control is one of the biggest advantages of Squarespace. When you build your site with Squarespace, you have the ability to add your own code to specific areas of your pages, and a structured interface in case you want to take a more hands-off approach. For business owners who have worked with SEO in the past, Squarespace is a good platform.
Squarespace starting cost is $12.00/month
As one of the best site designers for people just learning about SEO, Weebly offers a variety of helpful features to implement meta tag updates and ways to monitor site issues. With Google moving over to mobile-first indexing, Weebly’s impressive mobile editor feature helps site administrators monitor their site’s performance on all devices.
Weebly starting cost is $5.00/month
Contact Intertwine SEO
Are you still wondering about which website provider to lock onto? Intertwine’s SEO team is educated in and experienced with a variety of website providers and SEO-management tools. Our specialists have been working on SEO since the birth of the internet, and have developed the skills to effectively improve how websites perform organically.
Contact us by phone at (402) 915-1182, by email, or with our contact form. If you’re interested in working with our Intertwine specialists, visit our SEO Services page!
In the world of Digital Marketing, there are unlimited options when it comes to managing your Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Amazon Sponsored Ads, Facebook Ads or any of the other viable paid marketing channels available. Intertwine Interactive has been a proven leader not just in Omaha or the Midwest, but the entire US. Whether you are a local business generating leads, a national eCommerce website or a chain retailer looking to improve your foot traffic in-store, Intertwine has the bandwidth and capabilities to grow your business.
What Makes Us Unique?
A common, and fair question often asked – what makes Intertwine unique and why would you as the advertiser want to select Intertwine as your partner? The most true and real answer is stated in the question – we become your PARTNER.
The word agency has always given us the quivers. We feel there can be a negative connotation associated with the word agency. However, as your PARTNER, we are hand in hand with you, your business goals, targets, strategy and audience. We ask that you treat us just as you would an internal resource.
If you have daily reporting requirements, we’ll provide them. If you have weekly stand-up meetings, we’ll be there. If your C-level requests monthly or quarterly business reviews, we’ll create and present to them. The most successful partnerships we’ve developed over our 14 years of delivering top notch digital performance, is when our clients invite us in to become their Digital Partner, not just their digital agency.
Find Out If We’re Right for You
Does that sound like a relationship model that would work for your business? If so, take our test to see if we’re a good fit or just drop us a quick line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be in touch within hours.
In July 2020, Bing announced a new URL inspection tool addition to their Webmaster Tools service. The new URL inspection tool replaces an older URL inspection tool and includes a variety of new features that allow the user to inspect the Bing-indexed version of URLs and allow the user to detect indexing issues due to crawl or not following Bing Webmaster guidelines (Seroundtable.com).
What Is URL Inspection?
Have you ever wondered how the URLs on your website are crawled or indexed by Bing Search? Bing’s URL Inspection tool allows webmasters to check and take necessary actions on their URLs. The tool shows webmasters a variety of options including:
- Crawling issues
- Index status
- SEO errors
- Markup data
Bing’s URL inspection tool is comparable to what Google Webmaster Tools offers: the goal is to show potential indexing issues with URLs to webmasters, developers, search engine optimizers and general site owners. It’s important to use both Google and Bing Webmaster Tool services; they’re both free and they give detailed insights on how your URL performs on each major search engine.
How Do I Use the URL Inspection Tool?
Interested in using Bing’s URL Inspection tool? To get started, you need access to your domain via Bing Webmaster Tools and have a desired URL to submit for inspection. Once you submit your URL, Bing’s system will check the URL’s status in Bing’s index and automatically provide you with any available information on that URL. Bing offers detailed card options for information about your URLs including an Index card, SEO card and Markup card.
For more information on how to use Bing’s Webmaster Tools and the URL Inspection tool, visit: https://www.bing.com/webmaster/help/url-inspection-55a30305
In late June 2020, Google announced their expanding a Business Messaging service in Google Maps and Google Search to support all kinds of businesses. This update is an expansion on the original messaging service launched in Google My Business in 2017, only it is improved and expanded to all businesses rather than just US-based GMB users.
New Business Messaging Features
In addition to the expansion of business messages, Google also recently introduced a variety of other special features in Google My Business including:
- Smart Replies
- Visual Product Carousels
- Unique Welcome Messages
- Customer Service Agent
What This Means for Businesses
This update gives businesses a comprehensive messaging solution for communicating with their customers across both Android and iOS devices. Businesses that use the Business Messages tool on Google My Business will also be able to use it on their mobile website for customers to quickly message the business directly from their site. To cut back on wait time, businesses can provide on Google My Business the expected service wait times and answers to frequently asked questions.
What This Means for Customers
For customers, Google has updated it’s popular Google My Business platform to increase advanced usability. Customers can search for products, check business and service availability, get COVID-19-related updates, and a variety of other useful business solutions. To activate Google s Business Messaging option, simply click on the messaging icon when viewing businesses on Google search.
Want more details on recent Google updates? Read more here.
Contact Intertwine Interactive
Interested in effective internet marketing? Intertwine Interactive offers a comprehensive variety of online marketing services including paid search management, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, and local search optimization. Contact us by phone at (402) 915-1182 (tel:14029151182) or by our contact form.