The lawsuit claims that Google’s AMP and Google Core Algorithm Updates are part of a conspiracy to control online ads.
The owner of the Daily Mail newspaper in the United Kingdom has filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of exploiting its monopoly power of search to punish websites as part of a plan to retain control over Internet advertisement markets.
The bulk of the court documents are centered on Google’s dominance of online ads.
It depicts the Daily Mail as a victim, unable to manage its advertising company and forced to accept declining revenue as a result of what the Daily Mail claims is Google’s monopoly supremacy.
According to the court filing:
“News publishers are blind to that ad spending because Google and its parent Alphabet have illegally monopolized the resources that publishers and marketers use to purchase and sell online ad space and continue to do so.
The program that advertisers use to sell their ad inventory, as well as the dominant exchange where millions of ad impressions are sold in auctions every day, are examples of these methods.
Google has a monopoly on the “shelf space” on publisher pages where advertisements appear, and it uses that monopoly to undercut competition for that ad space.
Google, among other things, makes it impossible for publishers to compare rates across exchanges, limits the number of exchanges that may send offers, and sets its own bids using bids from competing exchanges — a de facto bid rigging scheme.”
Is AMP a Plan to Regulate Online Advertising?
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, and is an open source web standard for providing mobile-friendly web pages.
The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) open-source trend has included Google’s competitors, including Microsoft’s search engine Bing. Bing, for example, revealed in 2016 that AMP-formatted web pages will be delivered via their Bing APP.
Bing announced the launch of their AMP News Carousel in 2018, as well as their plan to include AMP pages in their search results. The mentioned goals of Accelerated Web Pages (AMP) are to improve the user experience for mobile apps.
AMP’s mission statement reads as follows:
“Foster the long-term success of any web publisher, retailer, and advertiser by providing a user-first format for web content.”
The open source AMP project’s goal is well-documented, and several competing businesses have supported it.
The Daily Mail lawsuit, on the other hand, makes the surprising argument that AMP is part of Google’s plan to regulate and dominate online ads.
The complaint claims that AMP created a condition that prevented rival ad providers from operating. However, AMP’s argument is contradicted by its own admission that this was only the case “initially.”
The lawsuit starts by misrepresenting Accelerated Mobile Pages as degrading the user experience of mobile tourists.
According to the lawsuit:
AMP, on the other hand, restricts a publisher’s ability to express themselves and degrades the user experience. Infographics and other interactive elements are incompatible with AMP websites, which leads to lower user engagement.”
The Daily Mail then suggests that the advantage of AMP was to Google at the detriment of publishers, after misrepresenting AMP as offering a degraded user interface to consumers.
“The most immediate competitive implication of Google’s decision to exclude third-party script is that AMP pages are incompatible with client-side header bidding.As a result, only AdX was able to bid in real time for Daily Mail’s inventory at first.
The Daily Mail, on the other hand, had no choice but to use AMP or risk losing valuable search traffic. That left the Daily Mail with two bad options: (1) abandon AMP and lose search traffic, or (2) embrace AMP, deny client-side header bidding, and effectively sell all AMP ad space to AdX at lower prices.”
Google “punishes” websites with organic search results, according to some claims.
The most shocking argument, which has yet to be proven, is that Google uses its search results algorithm to punish publishers who attempt to break free from Google’s perceived monopoly supremacy.
According to the Daily Mail, “monopoly” of quest makes search results a tool for punishing people:
“Google’s mobile search monopoly gives it leverage — it can punish publishers with its search results if they lose traffic from Google users, which would be devastating to their business.”
The Daily Mail then connects seemingly unrelated developments in its struggle to monetize its website to the launch of a new Google search algorithm, known as a Core Algorithm Update.
Google Core Updates, According to Others, Are Related to Advertising Competition
According to the Daily Mail:
“Google repeatedly told the Daily Mail that the search algorithm was fine. Daily Mail was also told by Google that it was not being threatened by its competitors. That, however, was clearly untrue. Certain publishers were being targeted by Google: those that made AdX compete more aggressively for impressions.”
Google’s core algorithm changes have an effect on a wide variety of publishers, including those who don’t use AMP or have an ad inventory dispute with Google.
The Daily Mail went even further with the link:
“Google complained to Daily Mail about its flooring strategy on many occasions, but Daily Mail explained (in great detail) that flooring Google resulted in increased revenue.
Since it was unable to persuade the Daily Mail, Google retaliated. Google turned off Daily Mail’s search traffic one week before it started implementing UPR through publishers’ inventory with the June 2019 Core Algorithm Update, and it turned it back on one day after UPR was completely implemented.
As a result of UPR, AdX was able to intermediate a larger share of Daily Mail’s inventory at significantly lower costs. As a result, Google penalized the Daily Mail in its search results because the pages of the Daily Mail were less lucrative for Google than those of other websites.
After UPR removed differential price floors and forced Daily Mail to sell more inventory to Google on the cheap, Google restored search traffic.
The Daily Mail was unable to locate any internal Google documents or statements linking Core Algorithm Updates to the punishment of squabbling publishers.
Reactions in the Search Industry
The reactions ranged from shock at the audacity of linking search results to ads to outright ridicule of the arguments.
The Daily Mail’s ranking woes, according to Marty Weintraub of Aimclear, are due to bad SEO.
In an email to Search & Performance Marketing Daily, Aimclear Founder Marty Weintraub wrote, “Well, we’d all like our (free) high organic rankings to compete with (paid) Google advertising.” “I’d like a pony as well. The royals are bumming. Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa In the United Kingdom, there are a plethora of excellent SEO companies and Lead generation agency. Invest in SEO, purchase advertising, or stop whining.”
What Will Happen Next in the Daily Mail Lawsuit?
Many aspects of the case are similar to litigation brought against Google by states such as Texas. Unsubstantiated arguments based on associations between unrelated events that are used to connect Google’s search algorithms to publisher penalties can be difficult to believe for some in the search marketing industry. To avoid their fate and to stay on top of the search results use the services of Prism Lead Generation Services a company that is a leader in PPC Marketing in Dubai.
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF