Excerpt from SearchEngineland Article, Published on Mar, 05, 2024

Google has announced significant alterations to its search results, choice screens, and consent measures in preparation for the rollout of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) this week.

The digital giant revealed a series of upcoming adjustments aimed at ensuring compliance with the DMA, which is poised to take effect imminently.m Why it Matters: The forthcoming regulations could have substantial implications for businesses, particularly with modifications to Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) potentially resulting in decreased traffic for direct suppliers like hotels and restaurants. Despite concerns, Google asserts that it worked closely with the European Commission to strike a balance during the implementation of DMA compliance measures.

Changes to Search Results: Google has implemented over 20 changes to its search products, including the addition of dedicated units and chips to assist users in finding comparison sites for flights, hotels, and shopping. However, certain features, such as the Google Flights unit, have been removed from the search results page, altering how consumers discover businesses. Choice Screens: In a bid to provide users with more options, Google plans to introduce additional choice screens based on user research, testing, and industry feedback. These screens will be visible during the setup of Android phones and will soon be integrated into Chrome for desktop and iOS devices.

Enhanced Consent Measures: Users in the European Economic Area (EEA) now have the option to determine whether they want their data shared across various Google services through linking. Additionally, users may encounter new consent banners prompting them to choose whether to link their Google services. External Offers Program: Google Play is set to streamline the process for app developers to direct users in the EEA to external websites directly from their apps, commencing March 6. This initiative enables developers to promote offers and share information outside the app more conveniently, aligning with new DMA guidelines.

Data and Analytics: In compliance with the DMA, Google will provide advertisers and publishers in the EEA with additional campaign data beyond pricing information. This data will be shared in a manner that prioritizes user privacy and safeguards commercially-sensitive customer information. Data Portability: Google is introducing the Data Portability API for developers in the EEA to facilitate the transfer of data to third-party apps or services, in accordance with new requirements. Following beta testing, this API aims to enable seamless data movement while adhering to the latest regulations.

Addressing Concerns: Google acknowledges that navigating compliance involves challenging trade-offs that may impact users and businesses. Despite potential drawbacks, Google emphasizes its commitment to transparency and meaningful product changes to comply with DMA regulations. Looking Ahead: After the March deadline, Google intends to continue collaborating with the European Commission to ensure its products and services remain helpful, safe, and compliant for European users and businesses.

Statement from Oliver Bethell, Director of Competition at Google: Bethell acknowledges the complexity of the new rules and their potential impact on users and businesses. Google seeks to balance various interests and engage with stakeholders as it implements compliance measures. In conclusion, Google’s proactive measures signify its commitment to adapting to regulatory changes while prioritizing user privacy and maintaining a competitive digital landscape in Europe.

To delve deeper into this topic, please read the full article on Searchengineland.