The Sherman Act was written into law in 1890 under President Harrison. Broadly speaking, the law was enacted to allow The U.S. Department of Justice to bring suits against businesses and companies that have allegedly become monopolies within their markets. In the late 19th century it was used to protect smaller companies from the large oil barons and steel conglomerates, today our oil barons live in Silicon Valley, and they run companies like Google and Facebook.
On October 20th, 2020 the US DOJ released its complaint from the courts to the public. The complaint states, “Today, millions of Americans rely on the Internet and online platforms for their daily lives. Competition in this industry is vitally important, which is why today’s challenge against Google — the gatekeeper of the Internet — for violating antitrust laws is a monumental case both for the Department of Justice and for the American people.”
How Google Stays in Your Pocket
Basically, Google has been entering into contracts with mobile companies, so their software is already on the phone, agreements with Apple, of the same kind, and been accused of “using monopoly profits to buy preferential treatment for its search engine on devices, web browsers, and other search access points.”
This may not come as a shock, of course, all of our devices have Google, why else would the phrase ‘Google it’ be in nearly everyone’s vernacular—well that is sort of the point of the DOJ—there isn’t any realistically fair search engine competition on the market. This is a problem. Google is controlling the way in which each one of us experiences the internet and, some might say, the world as we see it.
Google Wrote The Book on Search Ads
In the West, advertising is a part of life, you learn to just ignore it, observe it, forget it, use it, but it is there, in your pocket, on your screen, in your ear, and on your drive home. Google does advertising the best, so much so, that in order to work in advertising, you must know the advertising rules and uses of the algorithms that Google provides in order to simply survive in business.
Changing Your Mind with Ads
If you think that advertising does not influence you, think again. According to the University of California, “areas of the brain involved in decision making and emotion processing experience significantly higher levels of activity when we look at advertisements of logical persuasion.” Sounds and images effect how we think and feel in an immediate way, and these sounds and images ingrain our brains into perceiving this as a normal way of thinking.
Search to Spend Conversion
So, what does the psychology of advertising have to do with the Department of Justice bringing a case against Google? Well, for example, before I proposed to my wife, I had to buy a ring. At that time, I looked at my girlfriend’s Pinterest to see what kind of ring she was liking and adding to her boards. I then investigated the system of diamond appraisal, you know, cut, color, clarity, cash, etcetera. After some minor research, Google helped with the rest. I was suggested proposal ideas and wedding themes on YouTube. There were ads of nearly the same ring I viewed on her Pinterest boards. In the end I found a small local Jeweler, right around the corner from my house with ‘The Ring.’ This was made possible because I made these searches on my smartphone that has Google Pre-downloaded.
Playing by the Rules
There is a genius to the way in which Google gets to know the consumer, however the process of a company using Google Ads effectively is an entirely different genius altogether. Google makes the rules for the game, and if you learn to play the game well, it works in your favor. That is where Bean Media Productions comes in.
Adapting to Change
Google algorithms, both paid and organic, change all of the time– like daily, and here at Bean, we keep up with how advertising, sales, the markets, and Google are changing, so we can be ahead of the curve. Having the understanding and knowledge to target audiences in certain markets for certain products and services is how companies grow their business, and how we produce returns on investments.
The Future for Google and Its Competitors
There are competitors with the Google Ad platform, like Facebook, Snapchat, Amazon, but in the meantime, with Google being the most widely used search engine worldwide, it is more advantageous to make use of the Google Ad platform. Changing the way Google operates, and the way we as society work within Google will take time. If and when this case is filed and goes to trial, it will be a long time before any decisions are made, after all the Microsoft monopoly/anti-trust case in the late ‘90’s took over a decade to come to a close.