Google is currently being quizzed the US Congress House Anti-trust Subcommittee, which makes the timing of the publication of research by The Markup very opportune.
The search service looked at how much screen space Google dedicates to their own services in their search results for a sample of 15,269 typical searches culled from Google Trends when performed on an iPhone X.
They found Google’s own internal links and services absolutely dominated the web page, even much more than ads.
They found that Google results took up 62.6 percent of the first screen in their sample.
For the whole long page, Google’s share was 41 percent. By comparison, Google apportioned 44.8 percent of the first results page to non-Google websites, 8.7 percent to AMP pages, and only one percent to ads.
In addition, they found that non-Google results were pushed down to the middle and lower-middle of the page, while Google gave its own results the choicest locations at the top of the search results, as shown in this plot.
The position of results on a page is of course very important, with users typically only clicking on the first few results on a page.
The researches concluded that typically Google leaves only 19.2 percent for non-Google content in their sample and for more than half of searches, Google content took up at least 75 percent of the first screen. In one in five searches, non-Google content was entirely absent from the first screen.
Google’s own content is so ubiquitous on the search results page that it rivals non-Google content for dominance on the entire first page, with the categories taking up 41 and 44.8 of the available area, respectively.
With 88% of searches being made on Google, conferring monopoly status on the company, Google’s choice for self-promotion over delivering actual search results to users is sure to be scrutinized very closely over the next few days in Washington.
Read the research in extreme detail here.