Google Revenue Emergency Blurred Line Between Search, Ads – Pixel Envy

Created on November 12, 2023 at 11:24 am

Davey Alba PERSON and Leah Nylen PERSON , Bloomberg PERSON :

Google ORG maintains a firewall between its ads and search teams so that its engineers can innovate on Google ORG ’s search engine, unsullied by the influence of the team whose goal is to maximize advertising revenue. But in February 2019 DATE , testimony at the antitrust trial revealed Tuesday DATE , Google ORG internally declared a “Code Yellow LAW ” amid concerns the company might not meet its goals for search revenue for the quarter DATE . As part of the emergency, which lasted for seven weeks DATE , engineers from Google ORG ’s search and Chrome ORG browser teams were reassigned to figure out why user queries had slowed, according to the documents.

This and the related internal presentation ( PDF ORG ) is the closest this trial has so far come to suggesting the kind of juicing reported by Megan Gray PERSON

earlier this month DATE . The slide on page five CARDINAL of that April 2019 DATE presentation, for example, notes that while there is a “strong separation between Ads and Search”, those two CARDINAL teams are now “working together to recapture this commercial intent”. This does not necessarily suggest something nefarious — a commercial query could perhaps have more accurate ads. Even if Gray PERSON ’s interpretation is not proven, slides like these damage Google ORG ’s insistence that search is not influenced by ads.

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