Daily Mail owner sues Google over search results
THE owner of the Daily Mail newspaper and the MailOnline website, Associated Press, is taking web search giant Google to court over claims that their system unfairly biases search results towards smaller news outlets and those that pay more for advertising. Although Google has called the accusations “mirthless”, the Mail has insisted that its coverage of the Royal Family following the infamous Oprah Winfrey interview was pushed down the search result list, despite the fact that they published several stories a day about Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and the rest of the royals.
Daily Mail editor emeritus Peter Wright told the BBC’s Today programme that Google’s actions were “anti-competitive” and that they were being “punished” for not covering their site with more advertising.
Mr Wright said that the website started showing up on searches less and less after the company began advertising differently, “allowing us to divert advertising traffic away from Google to other ad exchanges, which paid better prices – and this was their punishment.”
“We think it’s time to call this company out,” he added.
The Associated Press lawsuit, which was formally submitted on Tuesday, April 20, claims that the MailOnline is one of the world’s most popular news websites, with 75 million monthly hits in the US alone.
A Google spokesperson said: “The Daily Mail’s claims are completely inaccurate.
“The use of our ad tech tools has no bearing on how a publisher’s website ranks in Google search.
“More generally, we compete in a crowded and competitive ad tech space where publishers have and exercise multiple options. The Daily Mail itself authorises dozens of ad tech companies to sell and manage their ad space, including Amazon, Verizon and more. We will defend ourselves against these meritless claims.”
Meanwhile, Google is facing a class-action lawsuit in the US over how its browser, Google Chrome, handles tracking when users activate the incognito mode. A judge in the States ruled that Google will have to face the lawsuit, which is seeking damages of a whopping $5 (€4.19) billion – around £3.5 (€4.08) billion.