Spainish Law To Force Google To Index And Pay For Local News

spain-spanish-flag-600 There's a basic feeling among traditional news publishers throughout Europe, and among some in the U.S., that Google has benefited enormously from their content but failed to offer anything in return. Furthermore, many publishers see Google as directly responsible for the decline of their traditional advertising and circulation revenues. The counter-argument that Google sends traffic to publishers is unpersuasive to local authorities and most of the publishers themselves. Across Europe various legislative and litigious efforts, in France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal and now Spain have s [...]


Blogger Fined By French Court Because Negative Restaurant Review Was Too Prominent In Google

blog-featured A French court has ordered a blogger to pay a substantial fine and change the title of a restaurant review because the review was too prominent in search results and harmed business at the restaurant. The post has since been removed but can be viewed here (via TechDirt). The restaurant, Il Giardino, complained to the court that the critical review had hurt its business. The blogger, Caroline Doudet, had something of a following (3,000) for her blog called "Cultur'elle." This is what enabled the review to rank. According to the BBC, citing court documents, "the review appeared fourth in the [...]


Right To Be Forgotten Won’t Happen On Google.com

eu-forgotten-forget-600 Many searchers and Google users are asking, will the Right To Be Forgotten form be a feature and option coming to the U.S. on Google.com. The answer is no! A few weeks ago, Google told us the removals will only be available in the European Union, that is until the U.S. government and court finds a way to legally require the same procedure in the U.S., which is unlikely. Google told us that the removals won’t pull a URL out of Google worldwide, that it only will impact the EU based results. So if you get content removed via the form, if you search in the EU, that content will not be [...]


Yes, Google Will Disclose “Right To Be Forgotten” Removals

eu-forgotten-forget-600 The Guardian reports that Google may add a indication in the search results that content has been removed due to the Right To Be Forgotten European Union requirements issued last month. Google told us a couple weeks ago that they will indeed add disclosure in the search results when something is removed from their search results because it was requested via the "Right To Be Forgotten" form. Google currently shows disclosure of removals for DMCA removals. Currently, when Google censors its listings, it shows a little notice at the bottom of its results. You can see that disclosure in th [...]


Right To Be Forgotten “Small Thing” Vs. Copyright Takedowns Says EU Commissioner

eu-forgotten-forget-600 European Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding was quoted in a BBC interview saying that the Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) will be relatively easy for Google to administer. She asserted that, compared to the millions of copyright removal requests Google deals with, the thousands of RTBF requests are a "small thing." Google also manages government removal requests on a global basis. These scenarios seem to indicate that Google will be able to manage a RTBF process. The challenge isn't in the mechanics of administration. The central challenge concerns the standards and rules about wh [...]


EU Regulators Meet Amid “Right To Be Forgotten” Confusion

EU Google The caution "be careful what you wish for" might be appropriate going into a meeting of 28 European privacy regulators in Brussels this week. Following the European Court of Justice's creation of the Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) and Google's launch of a web form to field requests (now over 41,000), privacy officers must come up with a Europe-wide system for implementation of the new rule. The challenge facing the regulators is daunting: Balancing privacy rights with the public interest Creation of uniform standards across the 28 member jurisdictions so that outcomes don't vary wild [...]


China Engaged In Total Censorship Campaign Against Google

google-china-featured The cat and mouse game between China, Google and the internet continues. Today and tomorrow are the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Fearing another anti-government uprising, every year at this time China cracks down on its citizens' ability to access information about the event online. However this year, China is going to greater lengths to block Google, in particular. According to the New York Times the Chinese government has taken Google censorship to new levels. It appears that all or substantially all the company's services are being blocked, not just search: In a [...]


Doonesbury Comic: We Need A Company Slogan; Don’t Be Google

slogan-dont-be-google Yesterday's Doonesbury comic strip mocks Google's company motto and slogan of Don't Be Evil. The new "Z + Z Bud" company wants to add a company motto to their branding and they think long and hard about what it should be. They said, Google uses "Don't Be Evil" and they get "called on it every day," and then list the reasons on why they are called on being evil daily. So the "Z + Z Bud" company decides to go with the company slogan, "don't be Google." To see the full comic strip, visit this page. Here is the transcript: Hmm... Feels like we're still missing something... But wha [...]


Google Comparison Ads Under Fire In UK

google-uk-england-featured The UK financial services industry regulator Financial Conduct Authority is taking a closer look at Google Comparison Ads. UK price comparison sites have complained that Google is unfairly competing with them by placing its own "product" at the top of search results. Comparison Ads, which operate on a CPA basis, are one form of AdWords. Below is an example of how the ads look in US search results: The UK inquiry essentially mirrors broader antitrust ('vertical search") complaints against Google around the globe. Google's pending antitrust settlement in Europe is under fire from poli [...]


Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin: I Wish I Could Forget The “Right To Be Forgotten”

EU Google Tonight at the Re/Code conference in Southern California, Google co-founder Sergey Brin was interviewed on stage. He discussed many things, including the diverse range of "Google X" projects: indoor mapping (Tango), WiFi balloons (Project Loon), new prototype self-driving cars and more. Curiously the main interview, though wide ranging, didn't get into the recent European Court ruling on the Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF). During audience Q&A it came up in a single question, to which Brin jokingly and dismissively replied: "I wish we could just forget the ruling," Brin says. "But we're n [...]


Actress Sues Google For Indexing Porn Search Results Tied To Her Name

google-legal-cash-featured Maria Belen Rodriguez is an Argentina-born model, actress and TV personality who now lives and works in Italy. She successfully sued Google and Yahoo in 2006 in her native country, alleging that her likeness was wrongfully appropriated by porn sites and then indexed/republished or disseminated by search engines. There was an alleged sex tape involving Belen Rodriguez (in roughly 2011), which is either the source or a source of the porn-related search results tied to her name. Apparently the porn sites that have damaged her reputation were not sued originally. The precise legal claims [...]


Is Google’s European Antitrust Settlement In Jeopardy?

google-eu-featured Widespread dissatisfaction among public and political figures with the existing antitrust settlement between Google and the European Commission appears to be putting the settlement in danger. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the run up to this week's European Parliament elections saw an increase in "rhetoric against the settlement with Google." The article depicts an intense, behind the scenes lobbying effort by both sides: on the one hand Google is trying to bolster the settlement while other officials want to revisit it and potentially start over. The rhetoric and behavior als [...]


New “Open Internet Project” Seeks To Derail Google-EU Antitrust Settlement

google-eu-600 Frustrated by what it sees as the European Commission's capitulation to Google, a new group called the "Open Internet Project" (OIP) seeks to derail the current Google antitrust settlement or create a new investigation. A mixture of French and German publishers and companies are behind the initiative. The OIP claims to represent hundreds more European internet companies which argue, in essence, Google is too powerful and too much in control of what happens online. The group submitted a new competition complaint to the European Commission reasserting or reviving most of the complaints pre [...]


The Myths & Realities Of How Of The EU’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” In Google Works

EU Google Depending on what you read, a "Right To Be Forgotten" court ruling in the European Union this week means that now anyone can ask for anything to be removed from Google, which will soon collapse under an overwhelming number of requests. In reality, it's far more limited than it sounds, though the ruling does raise serious concerns. Here's a Q&A on how things really will work, as best we can tell. NOTE: Since this article was written, Google now has created a process for removals. See our follow-up story: How Google’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” Form Works: An Explainer Is i [...]


India Opens Second Google Antitrust Investigation Over AdWords

google-legal-cash-featured Google is in the midst of an antitrust, anti-competition investigation in India. Not long ago, the company was fined by the  Competition Commission of India (CCI) for not cooperating in that investigation: "not providing information and documents required." Now a separate anti-competition investigation has been opened with the CCI. In that investigation an individual, Vishal Gupta, has complained about suspension of an AdWords account: The complainant had alleged that several remote tech support companies, including his firm, had been suspended from the AdWords programme to promote Goog [...]


Google Readies For Flood Of Removal Requests After EU “Right To Be Forgotten” Ruling

bell-request-service-600 The floodgates have opened. According to a Reuters story, following Tuesday's European Court ruling establishing a  Europe-wide "right to be forgotten" (RTF), Google is preparing for an anticipated "flood" of removal requests across the 28 country jurisdiction. The ruling provided a right to individuals to request (and ultimately compel) removal of unflattering or undesired information about themselves from search results, even if the underlying content is legal and maintained online by a publisher. The European Court offered no tests or procedural guidance to determine what sorts of lega [...]


Research In India Claims To Show How Search Rankings “Could” Impact Elections

mobile seo myths Psychologist and researcher Robert Epstein has published research (embedded below) that he contends shows how search rankings "have the potential to profoundly influence voters without them noticing the impact." He calls this capacity the "Search Engine Manipulation Effect" or "SEME." The study tested how search rankings affected the perceptions and candidate preferences of "2,000 undecided voters throughout India." India just concluded national elections. The research found that rankings could affect undecided voter opinion significantly: "votes in India can easily be pushed toward one [...]


Secret Contracts Keep Google In Control Of Mobile Search Argues Lawsuit

google-legal-cash-featured A would be class action lawsuit was filed last week against Google in Federal Court in California. The action seeks to resurrect some of the themes and arguments raised in the now settled FTC antitrust case against the company. While repeating familiar abuse of market power allegations against Google, the new civil case is focused on mobile search and Android devices rather than the desktop. The FTC investigation didn't look at Android. The complaint (embedded below) alleges violations of various antitrust and unfair competition laws. However at its factual core is the argument that Goog [...]


Content Free: 25 Percent Of Google+ Reviews Are “Empty”

online-reviews-featured Investment firm Piper Jaffray has started tracking and comparing Google+ and Yelp reviews. For its inaugural report, the firm looked at a "snapshot of 950 places in 20 major cities" and compared review counts and depth across categories. The firm says it will continue to do so on a weekly basis going forward. Yelp holds a significant lead in coverage and review counts according to the report (embedded below). The main findings reveal some interesting things: Yelp has an average of 142 reviews per location; Google+ averages 69 reviews Out of 950 places examined in the report, Google [...]


Coupons, Coupon Codes, Promo Codes…When Content Is NOT King

coupons-discounts-600 A few years ago, I did some work for a comparison shopping/coupon website. Curious about how well the site was doing in regard to their SEO, I did a few search queries for some of the terms I remembered being big traffic drivers. I didn't see my former client on page one for the first few queries, so I kept going. Eventually, I noticed the following: Clicking the above result brought me to the page below (you can click for a larger version): [caption id="attachment_189607" align="aligncenter" width="600"] (Click to enlarge.)[/caption] I was taken aback by the fact that a site [...]


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