Google blamed a coding bug for Yelp’s and TripAdvisor’s drop in its search results.
Executives from the two affected websites recently tweeted their frustration with Google’s mobile search results for their own companies, which were appearing below the results provided by Google itself.
Instead of directing users to Yelp or TripAdvisor, the search results pointed people toward Google’s reviews and maps.
“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.
A Google spokeswoman told reporter Mark Bergen: “The issues cited were caused by a recent code push, which we’re working quickly to fix,”
It looked like an aggressive move by the company to steer traffic to its products despite queries including intentions to visit a specific website. But Google was quick to assuage those claims. In a statement send Wednesday to CNET the company said: ”The issues cited were caused by a recent code push, which we’re working quickly to fix,”
Yelp reported a 50 percent drop in traffic because of “misdirected searches.” CEO Jeremy Stoppleman said: “Far from a glitch, this is a pattern of behavior by Google.”
“Google is now intentionally providing the wrong answers for local searches on the mobile Web. This is not good for consumers or for competition but good for maintaining Google’s monopoly.”
Stoppelman expressed doubt that Yelp’s drop in mobile search results was due to a bug.
”Google sounding about as truthful as Trump, web search becoming a dirty business of burying your competition,” he tweeted Tuesday.