When a mom does a search for a pediatrician in Mountain View, California, instead of seeing the best information from across the web, Google steers her to its low quality ‘house’ products. As the Wall Street Journal recently chronicled, this form of self-serving bias causes direct harm to consumers at an incredible scale. Local search is the most common type of query performed by consumers on Google, so this intentional mismatching happens billions of times per week in the United States alone. In partnership with consumer groups and other local search companies, Yelp has created focusontheuser.com to educate consumers and policy makers about how Google’s conduct directly harms consumers while offering a straightforward remedy.
It is heartening to see the news today that nearly every state attorney general in the country has joined a historic and bipartisan investigation into these illegal and anticompetitive practices. Yelp will continue to assist with this investigation in whatever way we can.