Last week, I received an email from Google, like many other business owners who have a Google Business Profile. The email said, “Take Action: Understand how new legislation could harm your business”. I opted in to receive updates on potential legislation that would affect my business.
After receiving Google’s email, I discovered three blog posts on the topic of the email. The first was on Search Engine Journal, which linked to a blog post from BillHartzer.com. Then I found two more blog posts this morning, here and here.
After reading all three blog posts, I felt it was important to speak up about the concerns I have about all of the Google and Big Tech antitrust legislation. Because I am in the SEO business, I think I have a better understanding of how Google works and why the anti-Google legislation is concerning.
All three blog posts insinuated that Google’s use of data somehow supports the need for legislation. Yet, none of the bloggers really discussed the legislation or why Google and small business owners should be concerned about it.
Does Google’s Email to Business Owners Indicate a Need for Regulation?
I do not believe Google misused its data when it chose to send out a caution to business owners. This is not abusing its power or an automatic signal that it should be regulated. It’s what any company would do if laws were being proposed that would impact the consumers that use their products or services.
There is currently a slew of bills in the House and Senate that were supposedly written to tackle growing “public concerns” about the size and influence of the major technology companies. While lawmakers say these bills are intended to curb the growth and power of these “Big Tech” companies, many of the bills do not clearly explain how they will actually affect consumers. Additionally, they aren’t really about protecting consumers. They are about controlling the growth and size of major technology companies simply because they are big.
Are Google’s Business Practices Harming Consumers?
The purpose of antitrust laws is to protect consumers, not to protect other businesses. While Google is, no doubt, a large, powerful company that dominates the search engine market, its search engine is free. Most of their Google products are free. And, if anything, their company’s “vast resources” and services, benefits consumers and small business owners.
One of the bills in question, The American Choice and Innovation Online Act (H.R. 3816) is vaguely written, with not a lot of clarity on what it will mean to consumers if it is passed. Small business owners who rely on Google products such as Google Maps, Gmail, Google Docs, Google calendars, and Google’s search engine should be concerned.
How will Google Legislation Affect SEO and Small Businesses?
Anyone who has been in the SEO business knows that when Google’s algorithm changes it affects every business owner that’s findable in its search engine. What will it mean to your business if Google is no longer able to display its map at the top of search results? How will this affect your small business?
While these might seem like minor inconveniences, the biggest concern I have is handing the tech industry over to bureaucrats who don’t even understand how it works. This is especially troublesome when the solution to the majority of Big Government’s problem with Big Tech companies is completely in the hands of the public. If you don’t like Big Google you can use another search engine, use another email provider, use another calendar, or use another map.
Bill Barzer claims that 90 percent of users choose Google because they don’t have any other choice. This is certainly not true. Consumers do have choices, and they choose Google. If everyone who claims they don’t like the way Google operates stopped using their products the problem would be solved. We don’t need “Big Government” to take down “Big Google”
Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook are leaders in innovation. By clipping their wings, you aren’t helping consumers or American small businesses. You are simply reigning in what you can’t control.
Before you take the side of Big Government, simply because you don’t like Big Google, you should read the bills. You don’t have to like Big Google, but regulating them isn’t the answer. Before you applaud Congress for creating bills to look out for your best interest, please read through all of the bills for yourself.
Current Google Legislation & Big Tech Legislation
The Open App Markets Act
S.2710 Open App Markets Act introduced in the Senate 8/11/2021
Sponsored by Sen. Blumenthal, Richard (D-CT)
Cosponsored by 6 Republicans, 4 Democrats
H.R.5017 Open App Markets Act introduced in the House 8/13/21
Sponsored by Rep. Johnson, Henry C. “Hank,” Jr. (D-GA-4)
Cosponsored by 1 Republican, 6 Democrats
American Innovation and Choice Online Act
H.R. 3816 American Innovation and Choice Online Act Introduced in the House 6/11/2021
Sponsored by Rep. Cicilline, David N. (D-RI-1)
Cosponsored by 17 Democrats, 9 Republicans
S.2992 American Innovation and Choice Online Act Introduced in Senate 10/18/21
Sponsored by Sen. Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN)
Cosponsored by 6 Republicans, 5 Democrats
Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021
H.R. 3826 Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021, Introduced in House 6/11/21
Sponsored by Rep. Jeffries, Hakeem S. (D-NY-8)
Cosponsored by 15 Democrats, 5 Republicans
S. 3197: Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021, Introduced in the Senate 11/04/2021Sponsored by Sen. Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN)
Cosponsored by 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat
Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2021
H.R.3843 Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2021, Introduced in House 06/11/2021Sponsored by Rep. Neguse, Joe (D-CO-2)
Cosponsored by 26 Democrats, 9 Republicans
S.228 Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2021, Introduce in Senate 02/04/2021
Sponsored bySen. Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN)
Cosponsored by 1 Republican, 1 Democrat
Ending Platform Monopolies Act
H.R. 3825 Ending Platform Monopolies Act, Introduced in House 6/11/21
Sponsored by Rep. Jayapal, Pramila (D-WA-7)
Cosponsored by 14 Democrats, 7 Republicans
Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act
H.R. 3849, Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act, Introduced in the House 6/11/21
Sponsored by Rep. Scanlon, Mary Gay (D-PA-5)
Cosponsored by 18 Democrats, 9 Republicans
Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act
H.R. 3611 Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act, Introduced in the House 05/28/2021
Sponsored by Rep. Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6]
Cosponsored by 4 Democrats
S. 1896 Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act
Sponsored by Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]
Social Media NUDGE Act
S.3608 Social Media NUDGE Act, Introduced in Senate 2/9/22
Sponsored by Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]
Cosponsored by 1 Republican
I am Patty Malowney, the creator of Badass Web Goddess. I am an Albuquerque SEO and digital marketing consultant. I started my first internet business in 2004 with a $40 garage sale computer and a whole lot of determination. I sold my first website, JustMommies.com to the dating company eHarmony.com in 2008. My website was acquired by another company where I worked as a consultant and editor until July, 2019.
After encouragement from friends and family, I decided to branch out on my own and start my own consulting business. I offer advice and services to local businesses on how they can rank better in Google.
In addition to running Badass Web Goddess, I am an avid blogger. I run several blogs including my internet marketing blog here at Badass Web Goddess. If you love my blog, Follow Me on Facebook or Twitter!