ShopCity Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google

ShopCity has joined the list of companies who claim Google is unfairly demoting their content in favor of its own. In response to these alleged anti-competitive practices, ShopCity – a site that describes itself as providing “all the tools independent businesses need to connect with customers and succeed online – in a single, simple-to-use system” – has filed a complaint with the FTC.

ShopCity Joins the Antitrust Army

google-malletGary Reback is best known for his work with Amazon, Yahoo, and Microsoft in fighting against Google’s open library. These days, however, he’s also ShopCity’s antitrust lawyer. According to Reback, ShopCity “faced the full measure of Google’s anticompetitive tactics.”

“Google had pushed its websites down to the fifth page of results for searches” despite ShopCity having created content within the bounds of Google’s guidelines, Bloomberg reported. Through the company’s history, says Reback, the site’s position would “rise and fall in rankings without adequate justifications.”

Further, and of greater concern, Reback noted that “Google placed its own results, keyed to a map, at the top of the results” – regardless of whether those results were legitimately more useful and relevant to users than ShopCity’s results were.

These two issues – of demotions without cause and Google promoting its own content – have been the center of various other antitrust complaints to both the U.S. FTC and the European Commission.

More than Just SEO

In response to ShopCity’s initial complaints, Marketing Pilgrim called on SEOs to evaluate the site and give suggestions. Their readers offered free SEO advice, which came on top of suggestions directly from Google. 

However, as Marketing Pilgrim indicated, ShopCity went ahead with the FTC complaint instead of long-term SEO work.

However, ShopCity’s CEO Colin Pape chimed in to make it clear that their antitrust complaint wasn’t a pathway to riches and that the company would be continuing its SEO work.

“Our FTC submission has nothing to do with a lawsuit or damages of any kind,” Page wrote. “We feel that the entire marketplace would benefit from increased transparency from the world’s most powerful company, and this complaint, requesting a formal investigation, is the way to bring that about.”

What do you think, is ShopCity’s complaint valid? Have a look at their website and let us know in the comments what SEO issues you still can find. 

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