Internet search engines including Google, Amazon and travel websites have been asked to explain how they rank the results appearing on their platforms.
The European Union this week published a set of guidelines on its website to be used so businesses can increase their visibility online. According to EU Digital Chief Magrethe Vestager, the guidelines “set the standard for algorithmic ranking transparency.”
The search engines and online platforms will be required to identify the factors used by their algorithms to make results rank highly. The guidelines also state that they will be required to declare when a prominent listing is paid for.
The announcement comes as the EU regulators are seeking to rein on Big Tech through a legislation process. Google was targeted by an antitrust fine in 2017 over the placement of its own search ads which saw rivals’ get demoted.