Google continues to lose product search market share to social, Scammers hijack Airline phone numbers on Google…. again, Yelp scolds businesses for soliciting reviews

Part 1 starts 00:13 - Google continues to lose product search market share

A recent quarterly survey from Jungle Scout indicates that Google and to a lesser extent Amazon are both losing product search market share. Google has lost almost a 7% share on a year over year basis despite massive investments in Product search related tech. Social media, particularly TikTok seems to be the big winner with an almost 6% gain. Does this reflect a growing consumer dissatisfaction with Google (and Amazon) or does it just reflect users default way that they are spending their time?

Segment Reference Articles: Product Search Shifting

Quarterly Changes in Consumer Trends

Part 2 starts 11:47 - Scammers hijack Airline phone numbers on Google

Last week, amidst massive flight delays, scammers hijacked the service phone numbers for a number of airlines listed in the Google search results. The Google friendly press reacted as if this was a one off occurrence and Google provided their standard: “We do not tolerate this misleading activity, and are constantly monitoring and evolving our platforms to combat fraud …

our teams have already begun reverting the inaccuracies, suspending the malicious accounts involved, and applying additional protections to prevent further abuse.”

However given that this has occurred on an almost annual basis since 2008 and continues to this day, one has to ask if Google really cares or if this is just how they do business; collect data on the cheap and externalize the cost of their ML moderation to consumers and businesses?

Segment Reference Articles

CNN’s Google friendly puff piece

Part 3 starts 20:40 - Yelp scolds businesses for soliciting reviews

Recently a do-gooder Twitter user did some armchair activism and encouraged users worldwide to leave a review for her waitress at a local restaurant because the waitress would be “spiffed” $15 for each review.  Yelp in typical fashion, slapped an Unusual Activity Warning Alert on the business and proceeded to lecture business owners about the evil of soliciting reviews.

The case is interesting because both reviewers AND Yelp seem to be out of touch with what makes sense in this somewhat nuanced situation.

Segment Reference Articles
Soliciting reviews – especially from people who haven’t even experienced the business – is ultimately an attempt to deceive consumers

My server today told me that she gets a $15 gift card for groceries and diapers for every positive review she receives on Yelp or Google