Jan 07

Local Traffic “Diversion”: Is it Intentional or a Fluke?

About half of mobile searches are local searches.  They are important for customers and it actually shows the amount of ad spending that is used.  It’s also an area that’s important for any company involved, because this caters to the local business.  However, recently there has been a change in this, instead of showing the place you want, they instead show the ad results. These ad results end up clogging the actual places that you’re looking for, and as a result, it becomes a problem for anyone to find anything due to the prevalence of ads taking up their space.

For example, if someone was looking for an office and said an ad for a pizza place, that would be the problem here.  After this happened, Google came out and said that it was some sort of “bug” in the system, such as there was a fluke problem, and they were trying to get it fixed.  Yelp, however says that they see the true intent.  Some of these companies are using this to push their ads forward.  Yelp says that is one of the ways that Google sees local-intent searches that show Yelp or TripAdvisor as one of the results.


Google uses these searches to push through third-party ads, and there are many SEO companies, that also have this pushed through.  This in turn causes people to become frustrated with the use of these services, because they’re supposed to be used for traffic, route, and other updates, but instead there are ads being thrown at people and it causes a problem with the way search results go.  Think about it, do you really want to have fifty ads show up when just searching for one place?  That’s not the case, and because of this any local businesses that you’re searching for end up getting shadowed by various third-party companies instead of shown as the direct result.  This frustrates many people, and it’s recently become a problem.  Some have looked into this situation, and they are going straight to Google for the answer to this question and why it is happening.

These claims are at the bottom of most of the antitrust action that is happening in Europe.  According to this, they’re saying that these issues were caused by a “code push” that Google is trying to remedy.  However, the information is a bit scarce right now, and there will need to be more information provided to see what is really happening.  Yelp can see the deception created by Google, but Google is saying it’s only a temporary issue that they’re working to fix.  For the most part, the only thing that is true is that many are looking into the matter for the real answer to this issue, rather than just a PR answer from both sides of the coin.  Really, what you believe is based on how you view Google and what the true motivations of them are.