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Google Introduces New Shopping Search Features in Europe

Julia McCoy
Thursday, 21st Mar 2024
Julia McCoy
5 min read · Jan 11 2022
Google shopping search results in Europe

Google is rolling out new shopping search features in Europe to comply with the Digital Markets Act, an EU regulation that aims to make the digital economy more fair and contestable.

What is the DMA?

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is the European Union’s initiative aimed at fostering fairness and competitiveness within the digital sector. Its primary focus lies in defining clear criteria for tech entities termed as “gatekeepers.”

Gatekeepers are typically prominent digital platforms offering core services like online search engines, app stores, and messenger services. They will be subject to specific obligations and prohibitions outlined within the DMA.

Google was designated as a gatekeeper and as such would need to change its products or services to give users more choices and control.

A pioneering step in regulation, the DMA aims to limit the power of Big Tech while leveling the playing field for small players.

Google’s Response

Google has already begun making changes to its search outcomes within the European Economic Area (EEA).

SEO specialist Brodie Clark highlights these modifications on Twitter, with noticeable default tabs labeled ‘Products’ and ‘Product Sites.’

In the Products tab, the displayed results are exclusively organic merchant listings sourced from various qualifying websites.

Meanwhile, the Product Sites tab showcases a more limited array of web pages featuring curated product selections, with some instances receiving carousel treatment.

Carousel-rich results may appear for travel, local, and shopping searches. This modification doesn’t just add flavor to the user experience but also falls in line with DMA guidelines.

Following the transparency provisions of the DMA, Google disclosed a series of adjustments to search results within Europe, including:

  • Removing undisclosed features.
  • Introducing novel functionalities such as facilitating opportunities for third-party vertical search services and direct suppliers.
  • Enhanced controls for the exchange of personal data across services.
  • Comprehensive Google-wide policy and compliance training initiatives.
  • Enhancing existing mechanisms for data portability.

Broader Implications of DMA on The Digital Experience

Gone are the days when tech giants could run amok with little to no oversight. The Digital Markets Act is revolutionizing the game, striving to equalize opportunities within Europe’s tech arenas. But it’s not just about keeping these companies in check; it’s about making our online experiences better and more diverse.

So, why should we care?

  • Better Choices: Ever felt stuck with a service because there seemed to be no alternative? With rules set by the DMA, new doors open up for smaller businesses and startups to shine through without being overshadowed by tech behemoths.
  • Fair Play: It encourages competition – healthy competition. This means aggregators, suppliers, and businesses have to keep innovating and improving to win over users rather than relying on monopolistic tactics. Upgrades and innovations are always a hit, aren’t they?
  • User Empowerment: Transparency is key under these regulations. Knowing more about how services operate gives you the power to make informed choices.

In essence, the DMA forces larger entities towards greater transparency while ensuring consumer choice stays wide open.

We’re looking at an era where user experience gets a major boost simply because laws demand fairness in play. Stay tuned as these changes unfold – exciting times ahead.

Written by Julia McCoy

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