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At Digital State we have previously brought you regular updates regarding the European Union’s antitrust case against Google. In response to the investigation, the search marketing nemesis, Google, has now proposed various changes to the way it displays search results.

The search engine giant has responded with the following changes:

  • All search results that are directly related to its own services, such as Google Maps or YouTube, will be clearly labelled to enable users to identify self-promoted content
  • All websites will be offered the option to be able to opt out from the use of all their content in Google’s search services, however by opting-out this will not “unduly” affect the websites ranking in the general SERPS (search engine results pages)
  • Changes are to be made in Google’s agreements with publishers regarding its previous written or unwritten obligations that required them to source online search advertisements exclusively from Google
  • Advertisers will no longer be restricted from running search advertising campaigns across rival ad platforms.

Following the agreement, the next step in the Antitrust case will require EU regulators to seek feedback. They have suggested that the proposed changes be tested for one month. Following this period, if the European Commission accepts them, they will become legally binding for the next five years.

“The objective of this process is to try to see if we can achieve a settled outcome in this antitrust investigation,” said Commission spokesman Antoine Colombani.

The investigation was initially launched following complaints from rivals, including Microsoft and Tripadvisor. Following the complaints, the European Commission (EC) said it had “concerns that Google may be abusing its dominant position in the markets for web search, online advertising and online search advertising intermediation in the European Economic Area.”

At Digital State, we will continue to bring you regular updates, not only on this developing story but on all search marketing related news. Make sure you check out our news section for more the latest Digital marketing news.