What's up in monopolistic search engine news today? TechCrunch has a screenshot of Google running sneaky ads for Zagat on mobile searches for "Yelp" — the top ad goes to Zagat, even though it says "Yelp."
It's against Google's AdWords policies to use another company's name/trademark in an ad as it's, you know, a totally deceptive practice. Looks like Google quickly stopped this stunt — the ad isn't running anymore.
Background: Google failed to acquire Yelp in December 2009 (for $500M) and then bought Zagat last month for $151M; Google was so desperate that the company even scraped Yelp reviews (without attribution) to populate Google Places. Said Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman during a recent Senate antitrust hearings on whether or not Google is Evil: "[Google] now hopes to be a destination site itself for one vertical market after another, including news, shopping, travel, and now, local business reviews. It would be one thing if these efforts were conducted on a level playing field, but the reality is they are not." Game on.
· Google Is Running Zagat Ads Against Mobile Searches For “Yelp” [TechCrunch]
· All Google Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Yelp Coverage on Eater [-E-]