Google is going to change its Android search engine choice screen to make participation free for eligible search engines.
Previously, only three search engines that were willing to pay large amounts of money were offered alongside Google Search.
Last year, following a court ruling, Google began displaying a search engine “choice screen” to people setting up Android devices in Europe.
Until now, they could select their default search engine from a number of options. Google had added the choice screen in response to a record $5 billion fine from the European Union for abuse of a dominant position.
In France, the available engines are DuckDuckGo, Qwant and Info.com. The problem is that these other search engines are not chosen at random.
Indeed, these competing offers appear through a country bidding system in which “search service providers indicate the price they were willing to pay each time a user selects them in the choice screen in the given country”.
This system obviously benefited some of the richer companies, such as Microsoft, which could easily include Bing on this list.
Google Finally Thinks Less Powerful Search Engine
Google will update its policy to include more providers in the list of default search engines, which is offered to every Android user in Europe.
Only general search engines are eligible, and they must have a free search app on the Play Store.
The changes will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2021, in Europe as well as the United Kingdom, Google’s blog said.
From that date, up to 12 search engines will be presented on the Android settings page, and will be randomly selected from the eligible search engines in each country.
This is good news for users, who will now be able to better choose the search engine that suits them to browse the Internet.
If you choose DuckDuckGo, for example, it will be available automatically when you open browsers like Google Chrome, but also on the home screen of your Android smartphone.
Your device will also automatically install the provider’s search application from the Google Play Store.