“Google is using the new Business Profile to solicit support from small businesses over Google’s objections to pending antitrust legislation,” Mike Blumenthal , the former founder of LocalU and GatherUp, writes, for near medium. After rebranding from Google My Business to a Google Business Profile, many business owners received notices of the name change along with a prompt to learn more about “new laws that could affect their work.” my business”.
Google calls on SMBs to lobby for the tech giant’s case. While we weren’t able to replicate the dashboard prompts in the SERP, Blumenthal included a screenshot of his Business Profile, where Google tells listing managers that “The proposed law has can make it harder to find your business online.”
On Twitter, Blumenthal also shared an email sent to Darren Shaw of Whitespark, a local Canadian SEO firm, prompting them to “Take action” on behalf of Google to support Google’s position before lawmakers. The idea is that changes to the law would make it harder for Google to offer the same support to small businesses, and thus hurt SMEs in the long run.
This is not the first time. In the past, when it got into legislative trouble, Google tried to get users to make its case when the law changed. In 2013, they made cookie case by telling people searching in the SERP, “Cookies help us deliver our services.” This is a reminder to respond to European privacy laws.
When European law changed to allow people to request removal from the search index, Google Emailed the owner’s profile tells them, “We regret to inform you that we are unable to display the following pages from your site in response to certain searches on the European versions of Google”.
The same goes for when French law requires Google to “remove excerpts from their search results for press publications in Europe,” Barry Schwartz wrote on Search Engine Roundtable. When the European Union asked Google to stop notifying searchers of removals on individual searches, it complied with the request by adding removal notices to all search pages, said Sam Schechner on the Wall Street Journal:
Google seems to have bent on regulators’ desire that the company not indicate in search results when something has been removed. Previously, Google had shown that it could highlight removals, something it does when it comes to removing links to pirated content. But EU regulators have told Google in recent weeks that such a move would undermine the spirit of the decision by making it clear some individuals had wanted information about them suppressed, said a regulator.
Instead, Google on Thursday added a consolidated message that appears at the bottom of most results for individual name searches performed on Google’s search sites in Europe, according to a report. explanation that the company posts on its website. A person familiar with the matter said the message – “Some results may have been removed under European data protection law” – was algorithmically added to searches that appeared to be a name, a people familiar with the matter.
“As we’ve said, we’re concerned that Congress’s controversial package of bills could have unintended consequences, especially for small businesses that rely on digital tools to adapt, recover, and reach new customers during the pandemic. We know our customers have questions, so we’re working to keep them informed about how these bills can impact the tools they rely on every day to run their businesses. ,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land.
Why do we care. Google’s goal appears to be to entice searchers and businesses to use its services as lawsuits affect how they will run their business. “The attempt to manipulate small businesses with windsurfing is a whole new level of deception. It shows Google’s intention to protect their monopoly at all costs. Their attempt to bolster arguments with manufactured alliances, for the sake of legitimacy, has added fuel to the obvious fire,” Blumenthal wrote in his selection on the issue. If you work with small and medium-sized businesses and they get notified, it’s likely that they’ll worry about how the law and the resulting changes will affect their businesses. While marketers are generally more skeptical of search giants’ methods and engines, you should be proactive for your local SEO clients to let them know what this reminder means.