Google’s at it again – giving its own products and services preferential treatment by placing them over organic search results. The latest evidence? Just try doing a flight-related search, and watch as advertisements and Google Flight Search now dominate the page (often pushing organic results more than half-way down the screen). Yesterday’s Travel Weekly article, “Competition concerns raised in airlines’ ultimatum to Google,” highlights some of the concerns being raised by online travel search providers, industry analysts and consumer advocates.
Charlie Leocha, the director of the Consumer Travel Alliance, says Google Flight Search is “limiting consumers’ knowledge.” He explains, “this is a situation where Google is trusted as a ‘search engine’ that goes across the whole Web, but it is only going to a small select group of airlines and including them in Flight Search.”
The bottom line?
According to Leocha, “Google and the airlines have a sweetheart deal with each other, and the consumers are getting screwed.”