Google Cuts Ties With Competitors’ Maps

    January 16, 2007

When one company is in competition with another, it usually won’t point consumers towards the competitor’s products. Sure, it happens – some corporations believe that they shine in comparison tests – but it’s fairly rare. The practice just became even more unusual, as Google ceased to promote MapQuest and Yahoo Maps on its main results page.

Aaron B. Hockley of Another Blogger appears to have first discovered the change. “I’ve wondered how long Google would keep displaying links to their competitors’ mapping services,” he commented. Other observers agreed; although Google’s move has generated a lot of questions, the most common one seems to be “Why didn’t they do that sooner?”

Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling provided one possible answer. “The removal of those links from ‘generic’ searches could impact their traffic in a meaningful way,” he wrote. “MapQuest, which is the category leader, has plenty of direct traffic but Yahoo and Google Maps are running neck and neck. And so Yahoo may be the site that suffers most from this move.”

Google, at least, appears to be confident that it will benefit from the change. “The redesign of maps onebox better simplifies the Google user experience when looking for business and address information,” a company statement claimed. Another change: “Users will now be able to obtain directions and store their default location.”

Google Blogoscoped noted one other development in this matter. “They’re now showing a direct (and exclusive) Google Maps illustration,” observed Philipp Lenssen. “Before, they only displayed a static icon, along with links to Google Maps, Yahoo Maps and MapQuest.”


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.