Google is using its new Business Profile to solicit small business support for opposition to its pending antitrust legislation, according to Mike Blumenthal, co-founder at NearMedia.co, which he co-founded with Greg Sterling and David Mihm.
"That isn’t an accident," Blumenthal wrote in an email to Search & Performance Marketing Daily.
After Google’s rebrand from Google My Business to Google Business Profile, some business owners began receiving notifications of the name change. Along with that notification came a prompt to learn more about new laws that might impact their business.
“I was shocked that the first call to action wasn't an invitation to edit my listing or even an incentive to buy Google Ads,” Blumenthal wrote. “It was a call to support Google's fight against possible antitrust regulations.”
Blumenthal wrote that when clicking the call to action, the button takes the person to a page titled Understand the impact new legislation could have on your business. Google, on that page, details issues that small businesses will face if the government successfully manages to put in place a regulatory framework to limit Google's unprecedented power and reach.
That includes “making it harder for customers to find you” because your business listing includes your phone number, address, and business hours. That information may no longer appear on Google Search and Maps, he wrote.
“Google has clearly moved from the commercial realm of search into using it to influence the political realm,” he wrote. “While Google seems to be able to deliver websites and businesses to searchers, I have no faith that they can equitably deliver political solutions or political opinions via their search tools. Nor should they be in a position to use their monopoly to influence the body politic.”
Blumenthal believes Google uses search to “tilt the political playing field,” rather than attempt to improve the political discussion toward social good. It all centers on their wellbeing, he wrote, not the small businesses.
He wrote that marketers should be aware that Google seems to be a/b testing the delivery mode that delivers the most sign ups and support.