Ep 156: Google finally fixing LSA reviews? Why Google fails, DOJ slide deck details abusive Google ad practices

Will Google finally fix LSA reviews in the U.S & what do their LSA failures say about Google's process?  How Google search has consistently failed to reward the best content with their new updates, The DOJ slide deck detailing Google’s abusive monopoly search ad practices: Kills it!

Ep 156: Google finally fixing LSA reviews? Why Google fails, DOJ slide deck details abusive  Google ad practices

Part 1 starts 00:13 - Is Google Finally fixing LSA reviews?

In a significant update for advertisers and businesses in the UK, Google has announced changes to its Local Services Ads (LSA) review system. Effective July 7, the existing LSA customer review URLs will expire and be replaced with URLs from Google Business Profiles (GBP), centralizing review management under GBP. This shift mandates businesses to have an affiliated GBP to run LSAs, integrating reviews on both platforms. 

While it is unclear when or if this change will come to the US, it is likely given Google’s penchant for scale, to be rolled out worldwide. While the GBP review moderation and appeal process are significantly better than the current, totally lame LSA one, it still leaves a bit to be desired. These changes hint at Google's broader organizational challenges, including siloed product development and a lack of sustained oversight, which often result in suboptimal product evolutions. 

Segment Reference Article: 

Is Google Replacing LSA Reviews with GBP Reviews?

Part 2 starts 07:20 - How Google has Failed to Reward the Best Content

HouseFresh, a small product review site known for its focus on air purifiers and home environment hygiene, has faced challenges due to recent Google algorithm updates, which have adversely impacted its visibility. Having lost 93% of their site traffic, they have detailed the many effects of recent Google updates on smaller niche sites that Google claimed they were trying to highlight. 

HouseFresh clearly documents how large publishing houses leverage their strong domain presence and SEO strategies to dominate Google search results in profitable niches. This situation underscores the broader trend of niche sites being overshadowed by major brands, which have learned to effectively utilize SEO to their advantage and the problems present in the Google SERPS.

Segment Reference Articles: 

HouseFresh has virtually disappeared from Google Search results. Now what?

Google's Big Publisher Problem

Part 3 starts 19:30 - DOJ Slidedeck Detailing Google’s Abusive Monopoly Practices Kills it

In a dramatic culmination to a three-year antitrust case, the Department of Justice (DOJ) presented a robust argument against Google, focusing on its dominant market practices with its advertising strategies. The DOJ accused Google of manipulating auction prices in paid search advertising to artificially boost revenue, a practice that arguably harms both competitors and consumers by stifling fair competition and transparency.

The government's presentation, encapsulated in a detailed 143-slide deck, highlighted how Google's practices are designed to meet its quarterly financial targets and cater to Wall Street expectations, often at the expense of genuine market competition. The DOJ argued that Google has a unique hold over the search advertising market, distinguishing it from other forms of digital advertising like social media or display ads, which do not serve as direct substitutes. This market control, according to the DOJ, compels advertisers to maintain their spending with Google, lacking viable alternatives.

The deck painted a picture of a company that, while not illegal in holding a monopoly, is crossing the line into abusing that power through strategies like price manipulation—one of the classic signs of monopolistic abuse. 

Segment Reference Articles:

United States & Co-Plaintiff States v. Google LLC Closing Statement on Search Advertising