Canadian Competition Bureau declares Google not anti-competitive

 

Google is not anti-competitive, in Canada at least, says Competition Bureau

The Canadian Competition Bureau has dropped its case against Google, declaring that the company is not anti-competitive. This decision comes just prior to the European Union’s move to make the same accusation against the search giant.

According to a blog post on the website of the Competition Bureau released on April 19th, the Bureau has determined that the majority of Google’s activities are not infringing on the the rights of other companies to compete in the same market.  The Bureau did however take issue with Google’s requirement of advertisers that they not sell ads with other search engines.  Google has complied with the Bureau’s request that this be changed, for a period of five years.

After an extensive, three-year investigation, and listening to thousands of complaints from customers and rivals, the Bureau determined that Google’s most direct intent was for the sake of users of its search engine.  The algorithm that Google employs is often changed, but for the embetterment of the users, not to skirt competitive rules or lord it’s market dominance over others.

Following the investigation and Google’s compliance, the Canadian Competition Bureau makes note that it is interested to see what the European Union finds.  For now, we will have to watch the EU’s grilling of Google’s search and advertising practices.  But the hope stands that the wisdom expressed in the findings of both the US and Canadian anti-competition watchdogs is reflected in that of the EU.

Source: CCB Blog

No more Right Side Ads in Google Search?

Right Side Ads 001

Right Side Ads removed from Google Search

Either right side ads go against the “Don’t Be Evil” slogan or Google doesn’t need them any more, but in any case they will or have been removed globally from Google Search.

This change may be due to the large number of users who seek for answers from Google via mobile.  Although the change seems mostly to have come from Desktop / Laptop searching.  If the majority of searches are done either from a mobile interface or a small screen in general (tablets?) then maybe the change is for the better.

It may very well have been a change not so much to satisfy people who dislike right side ads, but to make a positive change for mobile.  It appears that the number of ads from the top, before any organic search results are presented, has increased from three to four.

For mobile users this may be a minor inconvenience, seeing that they might have to download another 150 words of text before finding a real search result.  But the change may help good to unify the search interface.  Like so many websites (this one included) a “responsive” website is helpful to serve both desktop and mobile users, without needing two sets of sites.

So far that change appears to be permanent, at least according to the site that found the change.  It may not seem like a big change for most users, many of us may just see more white-space.  But for some it is a good change to lessen the amount of space filled with ads.

 

Google Hails the End of Flash

End of Flash

Could this be the End of Flash as Google removes support for Flash in ads.

For several years now, Google has been attempting to move toward the use of HTML5 rather than Flash.  The move has been very slow. Unlike Apple, who cut off Flash at the knees and left it bleeding on the street, Google has made the retirement of Flash a long and winding pathway into the hills.  Apparently the end of flash is nearing and Google has actual dates for termination now.

– Starting June 30th, 2016, display ads built in Flash can no longer be uploaded into AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing.
– Starting January 2nd, 2017, display ads in the Flash format can no longer run on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick.

Yes, you read that correctly, it is only for Adwords and DoubleClick.  And video won’t be affected for some time.  Considering that ads are Google’s bread and butter, to reduce their mainstay to dust could potentially cut a chunk out of their revenue stream, but Google is precise in its actions. You don’t get to be the biggest search engine or advertising company by turning away customers or making them angry.

Is this really much of a surprize? Apple denied Flash before Steve Jobs left for the last time, (has it really been over 4 years?)  It has been acknowledged by some web-based companies that if Adobe had not provided Flash as an alternative that HTML would have developed normally.

This change does not affect the consumer, rather it will affect content producers.  The end user should not really see much of a change at all, other than that some local restaurant websites will cease working soon :-p

Google Plus

Google Music Subscription Plus YouTube Red

Google Music Plus YouTube Red

YouTube Red was announced recently by YouTube for those who would like to stop getting ads on YouTube.  But the lesser known fact in this change is that you also get Google Play Music.  What does that mean for you?

If you currently subscribe to Google Play Music you will automatically get the ad-free version of YouTube (Red).  So either way you win, whether it be by getting unlimited access to a monstrous library of music (20 million+ songs) or ad-free YouTube.

But wait there’s more…. much more

With YouTube Red you will be able to get more content offline and in the background.  So if you wanted to listen to you favorite playlist of VEVO music videos or Podcasts on YouTube, while doing something else on your smartphone or tablet, you can with this new service.  YouTube will also be launching YouTube Original Series and Movies (similar to Amazon Video on-Demand features).

Google has a unique approach to the method of paying one fee for multiple applications.  Unlike so many other apps, your access is tied to your Google account, so you can use either YouTube Red or Google Play Music, and possible more in the future.

Sorry iOS Users

Due to the Apple Tax, iPhone and iPad users will have to pay $13 / month to access this feature.  There’s no getting around it since Apple requires 30% from all app purchases.  Whereas Android device users will only pay the $10 / month standard fee.  And anyone who had signed up with Google Play Music back when it came out will still be grandfathered in at $8 / month (don’t go changin’).

 

Get ready for the new idea if you’re not into it already, coming at the end of month.  Wednesday, October 28th 2015.  If you’re on-board, you’ll only lose the ads.  But if you’re not check it out now.

YouTube Red

Pay to Remove Google Ads

Pay to Remove Google Ads

Pay to Remove Google Ads

Now you can, that is, pay to remove Google Ads.  Although the program is still in Beta, Google is testing the possibility of taking ad revenue directly rather than by serving you ads.  Is this the beginning of the end, or just a long awaited idea?

You’re probably wondering why you can’t just use an ad blocking add-on rather than pay Google, content isn’t always free.  Although there are people in this world who are quite willing to produce content for free, it is never actually free.  Production of just about everything, has it’s cost.  But to pay may just be the alternative that you may want to avoid a page full of ads that do not pertain to you.

Granted, paying Google for ads will only remove the ads that come from Google.  And although Google is by far the largest supplier of ads, those from non-Google companies will still be visible.  In the space of a Google ad will merely be a “thank-you” to patrons of the new service.

Now for the damage.  Currently it sounds like the price of ads is going to run in the range of $1-$3 per month.  There’s no word on whether this is the final amount or how likely it is to change.   But since we know that Google is not evil, it’s probably safe to say that it will not change.   Mind you, this is PER SITE PAYMENT, not just a flat fee for all sites with Google ads.

If this all sounds familiar, it is.  There are already other contribution sites out there that allow you to pay directly rather than look at ads (such as Patreon).  But this new feature coming from the largest supplier of ads could change the way things work for certain regular sites that you may visit.   As of right now the participating sites will be Urban Dictionary, The Onion, Science Daily, Wiki How, and Imgur.

 

Source: Contributor