EU’s Demands Reshape Google Search: What’s Next for Users?

In a recent announcement on their official blog, Google stated that they will be adjusting their web search results in compliance with the European Union’s demands. This change is in anticipation of Google being designated as a “gatekeeper” by the EU, starting in March, and adheres to the forthcoming regulations. Users and businesses within the EU can expect to see these new adjustments in the coming weeks.

In response to the EU’s Digital Markets Act, starting in March, Google will modify its search ranking and presentation methods. Furthermore, the company will facilitate users in effortlessly switching their search engines.

Previously, the European Commission identified Google as a “gatekeeper”, and under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), Google is required not to exploit its market size for undue advantage. It must ensure fair competition for other rivals and even share essential data with competing companies to prevent monopolistic practices.

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In this update, Google emphasizes that users will retain control over how their data is used. This includes deciding whether to share information with Google or other companies and adjusting privacy settings at any time.

Additionally, Google will revise how search content is presented within the EU, including results from across the web and suggested search results at the top. This may involve removing content from Google’s services, like the flight and ticket information from Google Flights, to ensure a more equitable display of third-party service results in the search listings.

Google also noted that Android phones will offer a choice of default search engines during initial setup or allow users to change it later. Similarly, the Chrome browser will enable users to customize their default search engine.

Regarding personal data stored on Google services, users can still download or transfer it to other devices via services like Google Takeout. Currently, this feature supports over 80 Google services for data packaging and transfer. Google plans to collaborate with more third-party service providers, using specialized API resources to assist users in moving their private data.

Google anticipates that these adjustments will significantly impact its advertising business. However, the company affirms its commitment to comply with the directives of the European Commission and adapt its services following the Digital Markets Act, with further changes likely before March 7 this year.