UPDATE 18/07: Live Performance Australia have also issued a statement applauding the actions taken by Google against Viagogo.

Google has finally taken a stand against controversial ticket resale service Viagogo, removing the site from its paid-for search listings in a bid to protect consumers.

For years now, both music-lovers and artists have been incredibly vocal about the ticket resale service Viagogo.

Effectively an open marketplace for those who wish to sell concert tickets, numerous horror stories have emerged over the years from those who have been scammed, with many more calling for an end to the site.

While artists like The Rubens and Gang Of Youths have all criticised the site, even the Australian Federal Court has previously found Viagogo guilty of misleading its consumers

“Viagogo’s claims misled consumers into buying tickets by including claims like ‘less than 1 per cent tickets remaining’ to create a false sense of urgency,” explained Rod Sims, Chair for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), back in April.

“We urge consumers to only buy tickets from authorised sellers, or they risk their tickets being dishonored at the gates or doors,” Mr Sims said, referring to how the site assured consumers they were buying tickets through an official channel, rather than third parties.

Although Viagogo disputed this ruling, plenty of the criticism that the service faced also extended to Google, who continued to list paid-for results from Viagogo at the top of its searches, effectively making the controversial site the first thing that prospective ticket-buyers would be faced with when they conduct a search.

Now, Google has banned Viagogo from its search results, citing the fact that the site has reportedly breached their advertising policy.

“When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust,” explained a spokesperson for Google in a statement to The Guardian. “This is why we have strict policies and take necessary action when we find an advertiser in breach.”

“We were extremely surprised to learn of Google’s concerns today,” noted a spokesperson for Viagogo. “We are confident that there has been no breach of Google’s policies and look forward to working with them to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

It’s worth noting though that while Viagogo does still show up in Google search results, it is no longer the first listed, meaning that tour promoters and official ticket vendors show up before the controversial service.

UPDATE 18/07: Live Performance Australia have also issued a statement applauding the actions taken by Google against Viagogo.

“This is a great outcome for Australian ticket buyers, performers and producers who have been subjected to Viagogo’s misleading and inflated ticket resale practices, which have also been called out by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission,” said LPA Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson.

“We had approached Google some time ago for action to be taken over Viagogo’s advertising in Google’s paid search, and we’re delighted this has now been done.

“It’s good for the ticket-buying public, and it’s good for artists who don’t want to see their fans being disappointed or ripped off through dodgy ticket resale practices. We would now like to see other online platforms follow suit and take similar action to protect consumers,” Ms Richardson added

Check out The Checkout’s take on Viagogo:

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