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US: Google blames ‘bug’ for burying TripAdvisor, Yelp in search

 |  November 25, 2015

Google has blamed a coding bug for burying search results for TripAdvisor and Yelp.

Executive from the two sites, which compete with Google to offer travel and business recommendations, tweeted examples of smartphone searches over the weekend that included their company names but pointed people toward Google’s reviews and maps results.

“Gimme a break, @google. Search for ‘tripadvisor hilton’ puts the tripadvisor link so far down you can’t see it,” TripAdvisor Chief Executive Stephen Kaufer tweeted.

“Wonder if teens think this is Yelp,” Yelp Chief Executive Jeremy Stoppelman tweeted, posting a picture of a Google listing that popped up when he searched for Yelp and the name of a restaurant.

Google pinned the distorted results on a flaw in its code. “The issues cited were caused by a recent code push, which we’re working quickly to fix,” the company said in a statement.

Companies that rely on Google to drive traffic to their sites argue that the search engine should never manipulate listings and instead should act solely as a neutral platform. If Google uses search results to promote its own services over those of competitors, rivals argue, it destroys competition and misleads consumers.

Such complaints are the basis of a years-long investigation by European competition watchdogs.

Full content: Gadgets 360

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