Google Creates Its Own Antitrust

Did Google deliberately try to lower the ranking of ProtonMail, a small rival to Google’s own Gmail service? Almost certainly not. Even Proton doesn’t seem to believe it. But the case shows how Google’s problems with communication between publishers, businesses and webmasters can hurt it as it faces challenges on antitrust grounds.

Proton Technologies is a Swiss-based company that offers a secure and encrypted email service called ProtonMail. This could be an attractive alternative for those concerned that a service like Gmail isn’t private enough, whether as a result of government requests or Google’s own advertising uses.

Last November Proton noticed a drop in daily signups

Last November, Proton noticed a drop in daily signups to ProtonMail. Wondering why, the company started looking Hong Kong WhatsApp Number List at its rankings on Google and determined there was a problem. In particular, ProtonMail was not showing up in the top results for “secure email” or “encrypted email,” as it assumed it had in the past.

Proton then suffered a problem that is not unique to businesses and publishers. There was no guaranteed way to get an official response from Google if something went wrong.

What happened with Proton

Hong Kong WhatsApp Number List

Google offers an extensive set of tools called Google Search Console that tells businesses if they are having issues with their sites. Proton told Search Engine Land that he even used the toolset. The problem is that the system does not allow site publishers to contact Google if they suspect something is wrong on Google’s side. There is no way to ask for help unless you have received what is called a “manual action”, a penalty placed on your site by a human. Proton had no manual action, he tells us.


Without such an option, Proton ended up using Google’s spam reporting tool earlier this year. There was no indication that Proton had spammed Google. But it seems Proton hoped that by using the form, he could trigger a review by Google which, in turn, would find out what the real problem was.




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