What does the DMA mean for Google Business Profile?

Europe

What future for Google Business Profile and the Digital Markets Act?

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360


In a constantly evolving digital market, companies are increasingly turning to solutions such as Google Business Profile to increase their online visibility.

In this context, the entry into force of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) is raising questions about how it could impact the local referencing tools and practices that companies are using today.

This article explores the potential impact of the DMA on Google Business Profile and what companies can do to prepare for it.

The Digital Markets Act: A regulatory framework for digital giants

In order to establish a fair competitive environment in the European digital market, the European Union (EU) has initiated the Digital Markets Act. The aim of this law is to regulate the practices of the major online platforms known as "gatekeepers", such as Google, in order to limit abuses of dominant position and ensure a diversified and competitive ecosystem.

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The main provisions of the DMA concern transparency in algorithmic processes, fair access to data and non-discrimination between services from the same company and their competitors.

The aim of the Digital Markets Act with regard to competition on the Internet is to :

  • Create fair competition between digital players, particularly for the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises and European start-ups,
  • Promoting innovation, growth and competitiveness in the digital marketplace,
  • Reinforcing freedom of choice for European consumers.

Timeline for Digital Markets Act

 ( source : Official website of the European Commission )

It is important to note that this legislation has not yet been fully adopted and is likely to undergo a number of changes and adjustments as it is implemented chronologically, particularly insofar as GoogleAs usual, it should attempt to negotiate the terms and conditions of its application over time. (and therefore implications) for its Knowledge Graphs, its school records, its 'Local Packs' (and the information they contain).

 

Potential impact of the Digital Markets Act on Google Business Profile

Greater transparency for local referencing

With the DMA demanding greater transparency from online platforms, this could lead to changes in Google's search algorithms.

Le local referencing would also be affected, with companies gaining a better understanding of optimisation criteria and techniques.

Increased competition between local services

The DMA is intended to open up the European digital market to increased competition, which could motivate Google to put forward alternatives to the services it offers today, such as competing local referencing services.

Against this backdrop, we can expect the range of services on offer to evolve and improve in quality.

Fair access to data for all market players

The issue of access to data is a crucial point in the DMA. For example, small businesses could potentially benefit from easier access to the various information relating to local referencing, which would reduce their dependence on the digital giants.

How can you prepare for changes linked to the Digital Markets Act?

Keeping abreast of regulatory developments

It is essential for companies to monitor the progress of the DMA project and its impact on their marketing practices, particularly in terms of Local SEO. They will have to adapt their strategy in line with the new rules of the European digital market.

Diversifying visibility channels

To reduce their dependence on platforms such as Google Business Profile, it makes sense for businesses to diversify their visibility channels. Look for alternatives in terms of local referencing, exploit social networks or create a website optimised are all ways of ensuring a solid online presence that can adapt to changes in the market.

Working with other local players

Establishing local partnerships can be a good way of consolidating and reinforcing your confidence in the face of the changes linked to the DMA. This will make it possible to draw on complementary skills and increase the visibility and influence of each company.

Focus on the quality of the content and service offered

Finally, building an excellent reputation depends on the quality of the content shared online and the services offered in situ. Whatever the rules dictated by the DMA, a company that has earned the trust and satisfaction of its customers will always be one step ahead of its competitors.

In short, the Digital Markets Act will potentially have an impact on tools such as Google Business Profile, which are currently helping to increase companies' online visibility and improve their local referencing.

The provisions of the DMA could lead to greater transparency, increased competition between local services and equal access to data for all market players.

Observing the possible impact of Meta Search on the hotel industry

Le knowledge Graph Google is now able to peddle the fares of the various tour operators and OTA ( Online Travel Agencies - such as BookingExpedia, Tripadvisor, but also direct hotel websites )

Paradoxically, Google is already including competitors in the Knowledge Graph and encouraging their visibility as long as they "pay to be there".

 

Meta Search

 

Will Google end up having to give them a "free" place? Will it be forced to remove the Knowledge Graph and make these operators appear in a different way?

In a article published in the JDN in March 2023, Thibault Renoufdirector of the company PartooPartoo, for which the DMA could have a significant impact on the management of Google Business Profile records (and with good reason... Partoo manages thousands of Google records for its Presence Management customers), is taking the opposite approach to a previous study. alarmist article published by the same JDN in November 2022 with the assistance of Jules de Perthuis, a lawyer specialising in new technologies.

Maître Perthuis makes two very important points:

"the "self-preference" ban mentioned by the 21/11/2022 tribune is not directly applicable on the day the DMA comes into force but subject to subsequent negotiations between Google and the European Commission".

"It is completely inaccurate to say that the introduction of the DMA will lead to the dereferencing Google Business Profile services by 2024," explains Maître de Perthuis. 

Impacts of DMA: we urgently need to wait

To adapt to these changes, companies are advised to stay informed, diversify their visibility channels, collaborate with other local players and focus on the quality of the content and services on offer.

Above all, don't panic just yet, as the implementation arrangements are still unclear, subject to negotiation with Google over the next 2 to 3 years, and with possible adjustments, some of which could already appear to be lawful and compliant in the eyes of the DMA.

Optimize 360 therefore advises you to keep a watchful eye, but not to allow yourself to be influenced by forward-looking articles that are as dubious as the rigour of their authors' intrinsic knowledge.

 

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About the author

Frédéric POULET is the founder of the SEO Agency Optimize 360 After 20 years in large groups, he founded Optimize 360 to put the know-how of large groups to work for SMEs. Now a recognised specialist in SEO and natural referencing in France and Europe
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