Google has been the subject of an investigation by the European Commission relating to accusations of anti-competitive practices for over a year. Now, there’s word that the company is about to be hit with a likely hefty fine as the Commission prepares to share its findings and administer sanctions.
Regulators allege the company violated antitrust laws when it boosted the rankings of its Shopping service “irrespective of its merits,” as their statement read. “The commission is concerned that users do not necessarily see the most relevant results in response to queries — to the detriment of consumers and rival comparison shopping services, as well as stifling innovation.”
According to some analytics companies, more than 90 percent of searches in Europe are started on Google. The next nearest competitor, Bing, accounts for 2.67 percent.
A new version of Firefox has emerged, and the web browser has made the switch from Google to Yahoo for its default search engine – at least over in the States.
American users who don’t want to use Yahoo can of course always change the search bar back to being Google-powered – it’s just that the default is now Yahoo.
The word is Google is planning to enter the wireless space as a carrier in the future and it won’t involve Google building its own network from the ground up as it’s done with Fiber. Google has reportedly had talks with both Verizon and Sprint to buy access to their wireless networks that it will then sell to consumers as a wholesale provider. Since Google Fiber is now only available in three cities for the time being, this would severely limit the scope of its wireless footprint.
The Internet of things
The latest version of the internet protocol, IPv6, is gaining momentum with BT and Virgin both are planning to roll out IPv6 services in the New Year. This will allow any device in your house to have its own dedicated internet address, making it accessible anywhere in the world and opening the possibility for smart tags and sensors on food products too.
2014 will see more e-tailers using big data to learn more about their customers, personalize offers and predict market trends. With a wealth of information available online, and an increasing trend in showrooming, consumers are now able to compare products, services and prices anytime and anywhere, making it harder for retailers to retain customer loyalty.
Universal Analytics, the latest iteration of Google Analytics, could revolutionise how data-driven marketers approach the multi-channel world we now live in. The most exciting feature of Google’s updated offering is the ability to push data from almost any source into Google Analytics. This means offline data can be brought into Google Analytics, and apply the same data-driven approach to “non-digital” marketing that had previously been limited.
You can ask Google questions with your voice and you’ll hear the answers. First must update or download version 27 of the Chrome browser for this feature to work. Go to Settings, then click Help to let Chrome figure out if it needs updating. You will also need a microphone in your laptop or desktop so that Google can “hear” your searches. (You can make sure the browser sees your mic by checking under Settings, “Show Advance Settings”, click on the “Content Settings” under Privacy, and giving Chrome permission to access your microphone and camera under “Media”.)