Google Loses French Lawsuit Over Google Suggest

A French appeals court has ruled against Google in a case about the appearance of negative words in Google Suggest. According to the French legal site Legalis.net, and reported by BigMouthMedia, Google has been ordered to remove the word arnaque — which translates roughly as “scam” — from appearing as a Google Suggest term on searches for the Centre National Privé de Formation a Distance (CNFDI).

suggest-lawsuit

Google argued that its Suggest tool is automated and based on the use of an algorithm applied to actual search queries. Google won the original lawsuit, but the appeals court didn’t agree. It ruled that Google, by allowing humans to report offensive terms, does offer human control over the terms that show up in Suggest, and that the inclusion of arnaque is offensive.

No word if Google will appeal the French decision or comply with the order to remove the suggested term. We’ll update this post if we get a reply from Google on that question.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Web Search | Search Features: Query Refinement

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • fdhill

    About time when will the US catch up. Now innocent companies who worked hard to create their brand have , scam, complaints, etc show up in suggest.. If they are a good company then when somebody chooses that suggest the results should be good. However, its a goldmine for ruthless competitors who can put up forum posts, blogs, reviews etc with those terms in them. Then the brand has lost equity from searches as this garbage shows up and the user is gone for good despite the work the brand did to drive them online and to their brand in the first place. Good for France did’nt they rule in favor of Geico in the tradmark dispute as well?

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