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November 26, 2015

Google blames bug for TripAdvisor & Yelp search results

News: Google accused of abusing its power.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has blamed a bug for the latest problem with search rankings, which pushed down rival TripAdvisor and Yelp in search results.

The issue was raised when executives from both the travel sites reported a manipulation in search results through Twitter, saying that Google searches on smartphones had suddenly dropped their results below its own.

The executives yet again accused the search giant of misusing its power to get an edge over its rivals in search results.

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said that when user searched for Japanese restaurant, "Yelp Ozumo" on a mobile device, the result was shown below Google’s own results, including a map to the restaurant and user reviews.

Similarly, when users search for "TripAdvisor Hilton" Google’s own maps were pushed above along with an option to see how much each branch of the hotel chain cost.

Re/Code cited TripAdvisor CEO Kaufer as saying: "It’s clear that Google continues to seek ways to manipulate its search results to benefit Google’s own interests.

"Google’s behavior to suppress the most useful and relevant content is both deceptive and anti-consumer."

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A Google spokeswoman responded by saying: "The issues cited were caused by a recent code push, which we’re working quickly to fix."

This is not the first incident where companies have pointed fingers on Google alleging manipulation of results, as the EU is currently investigating similar accusations of where Google is accused of favoring its shopping search product.

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