The EU demanded from Internet companies to disclose ranking factors

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On December 8, the European Commission published new guidelines for Internet companies that “set the standard for algorithmic ranking transparency”.

The requirements outlined in this document apply to search engines, marketplaces, travel sites, and affect Google, Amazon and other major market players. They must now disclose the underlying ranking factors and update this information after major updates to their algorithms.

The European Commission wants non-SEO professionals and small businesses in particular to understand how search ranking works.

Ranking disclosures are intended to “improve predictability and help users improve the presentation of their products and services, or the characteristics of those products and services.”

The new rules were developed in support of Article 5 of Regulation 2019/1150 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019.

The guidelines say that they are not legally binding, but are intended to help “facilitate compliance” with Article 5, which reads (where appropriate):

“Internet search engine providers should disclose the key parameters that, individually or collectively, are most important in determining rankings, and the relative importance of those parameters, by providing a publicly available description in simple and understandable language on their search engine sites. They must keep this description up to date. ”
Recall that the European Commission began work on new rules in 2018.