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Google ban sees decline in Viagogo business activity

Google ban sees decline in Viagogo business activity
October 8, 2019

Ticketing resale site Viagogo has suffered a significant decline in users since Google banned it from paid-for searches for alleged breaches of its advertising rules.

In July, the search engine giant announced a global suspension of Viagogo’s advertising account in what was described as a “landmark moment” for the ticketing industry.

Prior to the ban, Viagogo’s UK website attracted 4.5 million visitors in June, according to analytics service SimilarWeb, which slumped to 2.5 million in July, the month the ban came into effect.

In August, visits to the site fell to just 820,000, the first full month affected by Google’s decision, a decline of almost 80%.

Over the same period, the resale company’s global website also saw a decline of two-thirds, down from 15.3 million visits to 4.5 million.

According to a report in UK newspaper The Guardian, Viagogo said it hoped to again be allowed to use AdWords, a product that allows businesses to pay to appear above the organically generated results.

Entertainment, sport and consumer groups had long campaigned for the ticketing site to be barred from advertising on Google, claiming its infringements of consumer laws.

In response, Viagogo advised in a statement: “Google is a key part of any company’s advertising mix and the suspension has certainly seen a decline in traffic from this source. However, as a global business we employ multiple marketing methods, to ensure we can reach the widest global audience effectively.

“This has allowed us to manage any impact of the suspension on the overall business, whilst we are working with Google to resolve their concerns and be reinstated. Viagogo has long enjoyed a close working relationship with Google and we are in discussions presently to resolve the suspension.”

A spokesperson for Google responded: “Any advertiser can appeal (against) an account suspension through our online form and we’ll review against our policies.”

Last week, the New Zealand High Court granted permission to the New Zealand Commerce Commission to resume legal action against Viagogo claiming that the reseller is in breach of the nation’s Fair Trading Act.

The Guardian also reported figures that UK Citizens Advice Bureaux citing 3,280 requests for advice relating to Viagogo since the start of 2016. StubHub attracted the second-highest level of requests for help with 82, around 40 times fewer than Viagogo.

Related Articles

4th October 2019 - Court decision allows New Zealand Commerce Commission to continue Viagogo legal action

19th July 2019 - Live Performance Australia applauds Google decision to ban Viagogo

17th July 2019 - Google suspends Viagogo from paid-for global search results

1st July 2019 - Viagogo claims desire to meet with New Zealand’s Commerce Commission

18th April 2019 - Federal Court finds Viagogo guilty of misleading consumers

5th April 2019 - Viagogo executives lobby Federal MPs against ticket resale restrictions

20th March 2019 - UK MPs call for Viagogo boycott and changes to ticket scalping laws

12th March 2019 - Viagogo blamed as 200 refused entry to Dunedin concert

19th February 2019 - New Zealand High Court Judge rejects Commerce Commission injunction against Viagogo

11th February 2019 - Concert promoter Michael Chugg says Viagogo is ‘out of control ... f**king thieves’

12th September 2018 - Viagogo responds to calls for Google AdWords service to reject its resales

22nd May 2017 - Inflated ticket resale prices impacting consumers’ discretionary entertainment spending

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