In an effort to comply with the new regulation called the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in Europe, Google has announced that search results in Europe will be changing. This new change will mean that Google will display more comparison sites within its search results for European users, and some vertical search units, such as Google Flights, will no longer appear in the main search results. Google explained these changes in their blog post, stating that dedicated units will include a group of links to comparison sites from across the web and query shortcuts at the top of the search page to help refine searches, including focusing results on comparison sites. For categories like hotels, Google will start testing a dedicated space for comparison sites and direct suppliers, showing more detailed individual results including images and star ratings.
There were also some screenshots provided from Kovi on Twitter and Frank Sandtmann on Mastodon from several months ago that displayed these changes. In 2020, Google had also tested a similar feature to list other local search engines. In June 2017, the EC fined Google roughly $2.7 billion for alleged abuse of market position in vertical (shopping) search, leading to Google implementing several changes to provide equal treatment for rival Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs) in Europe.
For websites that currently show up in these vertical search units frequently displayed by Google, this change may impact traffic and metrics. However, this change is currently only impacting search results in Europe. Consequently, businesses and websites may need to focus more on other vertical search engines. It was important to note that this is only directly impactful to European search results and could bring up the observation that that need to focus on other vertical search engines, more than they do now.
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