September 05, 2018

Google is rigged. Just not the way Trump thinks it is


Google clearly places its own travel businesses front and center in its search results to the detriment of competitors. Google argues that this benefits consumers.

President Trump caused a stir last week when he tweeted that Google’s search results are “rigged” against him and others, and that Google failed to promote his first address to Congress. He further charged that the power of Google, Facebook, and Twitter represent a “very antitrust situation.”

While partisans on both sides and techies who understand search may debate political bias, one thing that is as clear as bottled water is that Google gives preference to its own products, such as Google Hotels and Google Flights, to the detriment of competitors, and squeezes out travel sites’ organic links in favor of paid advertisements.

“We see Google preferencing its own content to the detriment of consumers in travel and local search,” TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer said in a statement. “We’ve been consistent in our desire to help consumers have unfettered and equal access to the most relevant answers to their searches.”

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