In major SEO news from Europe, Google is having tremendous legal problems stemming from an antitrust case alleging that they have deliberately impeded some sites linked to Microsoft from ranking as highly as they should. This broadens out to mean that Google is willfully manipulating search and the consumer market making it impossible for some companies to compete fairly. Whenever anything related to the objectivity of search rankings comes into question, SEOs, in particular, want to know if there is any truth behind the claims.
While a suit of this nature would be extremely difficult to get through North American Courts, in Europe the standards are different and a bit more relaxed regarding providing proof of actual harm done. Should Google fall in this suit, it will open up for most other European nations to follow suit and Google could be facing billions in damages abroad. Unfortunately for Google, most of the EU tends to follow suit on cases like this as they have against Google in the past on lesser allegations.
While some experts have weighed in with their opinion that Google cannot be proved guilty of will manipulation to negatively impact a specific business and their subsidiaries, that may not stop a court from finding them guilty none-the-less or even that Google isn’t doing what is alleged. It will be a major story to watch as 80% of EU searches are conducted on Google and any change could be potentially big.