There is quite a bit of pressure on Google from MPs, UK Music and FA to refuse Viagogo advertising, so the big question is if the giant would consider accepting cash. Viagogo pays cash to have their ticket website at the highest search ranking, and several MPs, the trade body of UK Music and even a signed letter by the Football Association, is part of the urge directed at Google.
Paid advertising is how Google makes money and where this comes in is easier to explain by going back to where it all started. The letter recently sent to the senior executives of Google was first shown to the Guardian who shared that Viagogo’s notoriety in Google search rankings guides consumers to purchase theatre tickets, sports and music tickets that could be invalid. The signatories also included concerns that some of the fans were directed to the site, it’s a common channel for vendors to resell tickets with a massive markup and this takes place even while there are still tickets available elsewhere.
Google is known for their strict rules especially when it comes to search engine optimisation and may be in breach of its own set of rules and guidelines, which strictly demand that businesses who purchase prominence in Google search results via pay-per-click AdWords service must comply with all local and international laws. The letter mentions that legal proceeding must be brought against Google as the worlds most trusted brand for accepting cash in promoting the least trusted of them all. To Google obviously, Viagogo is a valuable client who spends considerable amounts on yearly paid advertising, and on the other side, Google has a responsibility to protect consumers.
Viagogo Facing Criticism
Viagogo, a UK website has also faced a load of criticism for its contentious business practices, it originates 75% of its site traffic from referrals via the search engine according to SimilaWeb data analysis. Sharon Hodgson, Labour MP, was one of the signatories of the letter explained that she heard numerous times from customers who were distressed by Viagogo. They were guided to the website due to its prominent position as they placed by Google as their too search. It is wrong that such a website as Google, who are trusted by thousands of online consumers direct these online clients to the most untrustworthy site on the web. Google’s main objective should be to protect consumers and to take all the necessary action to guarantee their safety, and many are looking forward to working with Google to correct this in the near future.
Only a few months ago, actually, it was in February of 2018 a new certification system was launched by Google, a system for ticket resellers with the objective to offer consumers a clearer form of information. What the signers of the letter now makes clear is that Google needs to ban the use of AdWords from Viagogo, it enables companies to leapfrog to the top, to enjoy top results from searches and it is all possible in exchange for a fee, the fee is a paid for link every time a searcher clicks on it. All eyes on now on Google and how it will handle the situation.