According to reports from a Google spokesperson, a letter has been sent by Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google to the European competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia. In the letter Schmidt proposes changes to its search system in order to prevent a lengthy and costly legal battle.
Following complaints that Google had dominance over the search market by rivals, the search engine company has been closely monitored by the European Commission since 2010. There are four areas of concern which Google has proposed to change. Failure by Google to amend its business practices could lead to a large fine being imposed. Although the contents of the letter are not available to the public, a Google spokesperson said:
“We have made a proposal to address the four areas the European Commission described as potential concerns. We continue to work cooperatively with the commission.”
The areas of concern include the display of other website content, the favouring of Google’s own products in search results, the management of ads displayed by the side of search results and the effect of Google’s actions on marketers purchasing ads on competing networks. Google is also facing investigation in South Korea, India and the US. Almunia has spoken of his desire for a settlement rather than face a lengthy battle.
Changes made by Google in order to comply with the wishes of the European Commission could have an effect on the SEO campaign of a business, perhaps making some SEO jobs much more complex. Companies all over the UK could be affected, from the Wirral to Worcester.