How Google’s Monopoly Harms Addiction Treatment Competition

When a company becomes a monopoly, there are many consequences. Most of those consequences aren’t good for the consumer or for companies, including the marketing of detox and drug rehab centers. Therefore, it’s not a stretch to say that Google’s monopoly harms addiction treatment competition. As a result, addiction treatment marketing becomes that much more challenging.

In the fall of 2020, Google was hit with a major lawsuit by the US Department of Justice. The lawsuit accuses the company of illegally maintaining a Google monopoly in search inquiries and search advertising. The lawsuit is the conclusion to a yearlong investigation involving the feds looking into alleged anti-competitive practices by Google. It caught attention because it’s the first antitrust case involving the tech world in a long time.

The heart of the lawsuit is the idea that Google is suspected of acting as a gatekeeper to the internet. In this capability, it’s alleged that the search engine illegally blocked competitors by persuading Apple and Samsung to let Google be the default search engine on their devices. The lawsuit also claims that Google strong-armed Android phone makers to preload Google apps onto their phones.

Why Google’s Monopoly Harms Addiction Treatment Competition

Google’s ability to dominate isn’t the fact that it offers a search engine. Instead, it’s the digital ad business that accounts for the majority of its $160 billion-a-year income. That’s where the problem lies. It’s this Google monopoly that makes things difficult for addiction treatment marketing.

So, Google’s monopoly harms addiction treatment competition in what way? For one thing, it makes it harder for smaller businesses, like addiction treatment centers, to compete.

“We’ve seen the uphill struggle clients have with this,” says Dan Gemp, CEO of Dreamscape Marketing. “They are forced to compete for the price of AdWords in a setting where the cost is getting out of hand. Addiction treatment centers trying to buy AdWords can easily find their marketing budgets drained before they know it. And of course, the worst thing is that the value of AdWords disappears the minute you stop paying for them.”

Google is Naturally Defending Its Position 

Google is determined to view all of the allegations as being without merit.  Their view is basically, hey, we aren’t forcing anyone to use Google. Unfortunately, companies wanting to increase their ranking are forced to accept Google’s terms if they want to play the PPC game. Google sees their own aggressive actions as nothing more significant than when a cereal company pays a premium for eye-level placement on grocery store shelves. That’s not a smart comparison for them to make. First of all, it’s basically an admission that they’re trying to force out small businesses.

The problem is that Google’s playing field isn’t a level one for addiction treatment centers. They can either pay ever-increasing rates for Google AdWords or they can skip doing PPC. There’s really no in-between choice. That in a nutshell is how Google’s monopoly harms addiction treatment competition.

The justice department’s subcommittee clearly doesn’t share Google’s view on this. It released its finding recently in a lengthy report, basically labeling Google as “tech giants of abuses of monopoly power.” How all of this plays out will certainly have an effect of the ability of addiction treatment centers to market competitively. 

Google AdWords: Are They Worth It?

All businesses must have the discussion about Google AdWords sooner or later. It’s natural to be attracted to the idea of increasing traffic to your website so easily. However, for many addiction treatment centers, relying heavily on Google AdWords probably isn’t the best idea. Certainly not if marketing budgets are tight.

Here’s something to keep in mind. AdWords can bring traffic. However, the increase in traffic in no way guarantees an increase in qualified leads. Some may land on your website without any serious intention of doing anything. Unfortunately, you’re spending money for these people to land on your site—possibly a lot of money. 

Remember that cost-per-click can be quite expensive, especially for more desirable keywords. That means it will be impossible to compete with large centers with deep pockets that outspend you on AdWords every month. 

This is why Google’s monopoly harms addiction treatment competition. It tends to push competitors with fewer spending dollars out of the way. Fortunately, no addiction treatment center needs to depend on AdWords because there are far more cost-efficient ways to increase traffic and get qualified leads.

Dreamscape Marketing advocates a comprehensive digital marketing strategy of which PPC is just one aspect. Organic search is what really matters over the long term. That’s not something that you have to pay Google for. It’s also something that brings you results from all search results, not just Google.  Don’t let a Google monopoly call the shots for you. Call us at 888.307.7304 and let’s discuss your digital marketing plan.