Alphabet’s Google has announced significant changes to its search results, unveiling plans to give comparison sites greater visibility. In a blog post on Wednesday, the tech giant detailed its efforts to align with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) before the March 7 compliance deadline, acknowledging potential revenue impacts for certain companies.
Under the DMA regulations, Google is mandated to treat competing services and products on its platform impartially when determining their search result rankings. Furthermore, the company must grant business users access to the data they generate while using Google’s platform, reported Reuters.
“We will introduce dedicated units that include a group of links to comparison sites from across the web, and query shortcuts at the top of the search page to help people refine their search, including by focusing results just on comparison sites,” Google stated in its blog post.
In specific categories such as hotels, Google plans to conduct tests on a dedicated space for comparison sites and direct suppliers. This space will showcase more detailed individual results, encompassing images, star ratings, and additional information. Notably, these adjustments will lead to the removal of certain features from the search page, such as the Google Flights unit.
This move comes after criticism from rival comparison sites, some of whom filed a complaint last decade that resulted in a 2.42-billion-euro ($2.63 billion) EU antitrust fine against Google.
In addition to the alterations to search results, Google is implementing changes in the coming weeks to enhance user control. Android phone owners will soon find it easier to switch their default search engine or browser, while users of Google services and products will have the ability to transfer their data to third-party apps or services.
European users can expect to encounter an additional consent banner, prompting them to decide whether certain Google services can continue to share data for targeted advertisements.