Focus on User Group Uses Google's Only Words Against It
Digested From “Focus on User Group Uses Google Algorithm to Attack Map Pack” Search Engine Land (10/01/14) Sterling, Greg
Late last month, a new anti-Google consortium dubbed "Focus on the User" launched a website that uses the search engine giant's own words and algorithm to make an argument against Google+ Local (map pack) search results. In addition, it operates as a concrete proposal that might substitute for the now-defunct "rival links" compromise in the Google-EU antitrust matter. The consortium includes TripAdvisor, Consumer Watchdog, and other European-based entities. It joins numerous other lobbying groups in Europe attempting to impose restrictions on Google’s unfettered discretion over its search results.
The new website, which features a video that makes the argument that Google+ is "hurting the Internet," directs users to a Chrome browser plug-in that incorporates additional content from third-party publishers into the map pack and demonstrates the proposed solution. Instead of just local business listings and links to Google+ pages and reviews, "Focus on the User" includes content from the top local review sites in any given category such as Yelp and HolidayCheck and others. Essentially, the tool uses Google's own general search algorithm to rank this broader mix of content. The group has no intentions to eliminate the map pack. Instead, it wants Google+ Local results to compete with these local review sites for placement within it. Presently, the map pack is a mix of local business websites and Google+ page links.
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