One of Britain’s popular online publishers MailOnline, has sued Google for allegedly downgrading links to its content. MailOnline is claiming that the search engine giant hid links to its articles on topics such as “Meghan Markle” and “Piers Morgan,” and this has now prompted the publishing company to sue Google.
Mail claims that Google has too much control over the online ads market, and systematically downgrading links to its stories. This, according to MailOnline, is done in favor of other websites, with reference to the coverage of the British royal family.
According to MailOnline, users searching for Piers Morgan’s comments on the Duchess of Sussex in March were substantially more likely to see articles about the popular journalist produced by smaller outlets including the Manchester Evening News and Newcastle Chronicle.
This is contrary to several articles written and published daily by MailOnline about Piers Morgan. Piers generated a lot of controversies when he claimed that he “didn’t believe a word” Meghan said in the interview she granted Oprah Winfrey.
MailOnline in the lawsuit filed in New York, is claiming that it is being punished by Google’s news algorithm after trying to reduce its reliance on Google’s separate tools for selling online ads.
“This lawsuit is to hold Google to account for their continued anti-competitive behavior including manipulation of ad auctions and news search results, bid rigging, algorithm bias and exploiting its market power to harm their advertising rivals,” said a spokesperson per The Guardian.
“Despite increased criticism by regulators and governments around the world, Google’s ongoing behavior clearly shows they are not prepared to change their conduct.” Google said MailOnline’s claims are “meritless”.
Google’s relationship with many online publishers and content providers has never been a smooth one. The search engine giant has been accused and fined severally by governments and regulatory agencies for what some describe as an unfair dominance of the market.
In its response however, the search engine giant in a statement per The Guardian said it would not fold its hands, and will fight the lawsuit:
“The Daily Mail’s claims are completely inaccurate. The use of our ad tech tools has no bearing on how a publisher’s website ranks in Google search. More generally, we compete in a crowded and competitive ad tech space where publishers have and exercise multiple options,” a spokesperson said. “The Daily Mail itself authorizes dozens of ad tech companies to sell and manage their ad space, including Amazon, Verizon and more. We will defend ourselves against these meritless claims.”