Google Uses 613 Words About Adding 1 — Privacy — To Its Home Page

Google’s finally added a privacy link to its home page, explaining in 613 words why the company apparently can’t have more than 28 words on its home page. So important is this number that adding the privacy link was an issue that had to go up two Google’s co-founders. Please. On the same day that the privacy of Google’s YouTube users was seriously threatened, what Google needed more were 613 words from one or both of the founders saying the company would take every step to protect its users. But on that subject, nada.

The entire privacy link issue was pretty silly. Adds Privacy Link To Home Page, Hopes People Care explains how the New York Times had noted there was no direct privacy link from Google’s home page, and that potentially, the company was in violation of California law because of that.

Google should have shoved a privacy link up immediately when this was raised, if only to seem responsive. Instead, the company dragged its feet – and looked even worse by trotting out how wonderful it was by adding a privacy link to its own home page.

Well, now we’ve got it — and practically no one will click on it, but it’s one less thing Google needs to worry about. Still, reading this:

How does privacy relate to homepage word count? Larry and Sergey told me we could only add this to the homepage if we took a word away – keeping the "weight" of the homepage unchanged at 28. Given that the new Privacy link fit best with legal disclaimers on the page, I looked to the copyright line. There, we dropped the word "Google" (realizing it was implied, obviously) and added the new privacy link alongside it.

I felt my eyes roll. Especially after yesterday, this just felt like too much overthinking an easy, simple change while a far more important issue was left without any public commentary on the blog at all.

For more, see related discussion on Techmeme.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Critics | Legal: Privacy


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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