Google is planning to launch a new feature that will enable users to leave in search results comments that could be seen by others.
While the feature has not yet gone live, an official Google help document has described how it would work, the Search Engine Journal reported on Saturday.
The feature will bring to Google Search certain features commonly found on social media platforms. Users will not only be able to read comments left by others, they will also be able to “like” or “dislike” their comments on Google search results.
It could also allow users to add comments to sports games, while they are live.
The comments will, however, be subject to Google’s policies for content posted by users on Search.
“Comments that don’t follow the policies might not be shown,” stated the Google help document.
“Your comments are public, so anyone can see what you write. The name on your About me page shows with your comments. You can’t add an anonymous comment,” it added.
The European Union’s antitrust regulators on Wednesday fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.
Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement.
“Today the Commission has fined Google 1.49 billion euros for illegal misuse of its dominant position in the market for the brokering of online search adverts,” EC Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.
It is the third EU fine for Google in just two years.
“Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” Vestager said.
The Commission said the fine which is equivalent to 1.29 per cent of Google’s turnover in 2018 takes account of the duration and gravity of the infringement.
“The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate – and consumers the benefits of competition,” Vestager said.
Websites such as newspaper websites, blogs or travel sites aggregators often have a search function embedded.
When a user searches using this search function, the website delivers both search results and search adverts, which appear alongside the search result.
Through AdSense for Search, Google provides these search adverts to owners of “publisher” websites.
Google is an intermediary, like an advertising broker, between advertisers and website owners that want to profit from the space around their search results pages.
Therefore, AdSense for Search works as an online search advertising intermediation platform.