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Google keeps finding new and creative ways to piss off Yelp and TripAdvisor

Anticompetitive or user-centric?

Who me?
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

There’s no love lost between Yelp and Google. And, more recently, between TripAdvisor and Google, too.

Now, Google is giving those companies a new reason to believe that the search giant is intentionally pushing listings from their review sites way down in search rankings.

The most recent brouhaha centers on a new search feature that highlights critic reviews of restaurants from sites like Zagat, which Google owns, as well as “best of” lists from publishers.

The end result, as shown below in a tweet from Yelp’s CEO, is that Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews don’t show up even if you scroll down to the second screen of results on a phone. In this instance, you would have to scroll to the third screen to see Yelp reviews.

TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer isn’t happy about it either:

Both Yelp and TripAdvisor have been complainants in the European Union’s case against Google for anticompetitive practices. These companies continue to believe that Google intentionally promotes its own products — like local reviews of restaurants and hotels — over others, including theirs. Google denies this.

Google has historically been a large source of traffic for both review companies, so it’s been critical for them to get people to frequent their apps on mobile phones rather than search for local spots through Google.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

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