Governments Across The Globe Are Making More Requests To Remove Content From Google Services

google-transparency-report According to a new Transparency Report released today, Google received 4,096 government requests to remove 42,249 pieces of content during 2012. The purpose of Google's Transparency Reports is to record the number of worldwide government requests to censor content on Google services, and offer insight into the amount of censorship happening across the globe. The latest report demonstrates an uptick in the number of requests to remove political content, as well as the number of areas where the requests originate. According to Google's announcement, "In this particular time period, we [...]


German Privacy Regulator Fines Google Over Street View Data Collection, Calls For Tougher Financial Penalties

street-view-car-featured A fine of 145,000 EUR (roughly $189,000) is trivial for Google. But that's close to the maximum fine allowed by German law ($150,000 EUR). The fine is being imposed on Google for violations of German privacy and data protection laws stemming from the so-called "WiSpy" episode in 2008 - 2009 in which Google collected private emails and other personal data via its Street View cars and their efforts to map Wi-Fi locations around the world. Google was fined 100,000 EUR by French authorities for the same violations in 2011. These amounts are insignificant to Google, which just posted quarterl [...]


Google Consolidates Ad Preferences Managers, Now Called Google Ads Settings

Google has been rolling out updates to its Ads Preferences Manager, where users can adjust their account settings for personalized ad delivery, or Interest Based Advertising. The page is now succinctly called Ads Settings. The new Ad Settings page features a cleaner interface, but the main theme is consolidation. Now, instead of separate Ads Preferences Managers for signed-in ads on search and Gmail, ads on YouTube, and ads on the Google Display Network, there’s a single page containing them all. Users can opt-out of personalized ad serving on search and Gmail and on the Google Display [...]


Will [Not Provided] Ever Reach 100% In Web Analytics?

not-provided-featured With the news today that Chrome is moving to secure search, marketers may be wondering about the larger picture of using search data in Web analytics. The searches people do that lead them to a site is valuable data to an organization. What other data source do we have that gives us direct access to our customers' wants and needs? Sure, we can ask them, but customers can lie. Or choose not to answer. By looking at exactly what visitors have searched for, we can learn a lot about who our customers are, what they really want, and if we're providing it to them. Search marketers have valued [...]


Google Is Hiring Someone To Find Ways To Make You Want To Search While Signed-In

google-sign-in-signature-featured Google is hiring a new product marketing manager for search with one of the key goals being to find ways to get people to sign-in while they search. The job description says: As Product Marketing Manager within the search growth team, you will be responsible to developing plans, creatives, campaigns and programs to increase the number of user's signed in. Brian Ussery spotted this first and posted a screen shot of the job posting: As you know, the number of "not provided" terms listed in Google Analytics because Google is blocking the search query parameter from analytics programs [...]


Study: 39% Of Google Search Referrers Now “Not Provided”

not-provided-featured It is just over a year since Google began encrypting search by default for signed-in users. A new study finds that as a result, 39% search-related traffic from Google to web sites now has search terms withheld. Optify conducted a study over eleven months with 424 web sites, involving 17,143,603 visits and 7,241,093 referring keywords, to see how serious the "not provided" issue is. "Not Provided" is what Google Analytics shows in cases where Google no longer reports a search term due to encryption (other analytics programs may use other phrases). The study found that 39% of terms ar [...]


Happy Birthday “Not Provided” – One Year Since Google Began Withholding Search Terms

google-not-provided A year ago (and a day), Google began encrypting searches for signed-in users, so that the terms they searched for were no longer passed to publishers, except for advertisers. The "single digit" withholding predicted by Google at launch has turned into more than 50% of terms being withheld, in some cases. I explore how things have unfolded over the past year in the search marketing column on our Marketing Land sister-site today. It's written for both those new to the concept of how terms began being withheld as well for search marketing vets who are regular Search Engine Land readers. Be su [...]


How An iOS 6 Change Makes It Seem Like Google Traffic From Safari Has Disappeared

Mobil Safari Icon A change in iOS 6 made by Apple and not anticipated by Google means that for the past week or so -- and likely for some weeks to come -- those reaching web sites from Google's search engine after doing searches from within Safari will be counted as "direct" traffic rather than "search" traffic. As we reported last week, those using the built-in search box within Safari are now having their searches sent though Google SSL Search, if they use iOS 6. Apple apparently made this change in order to increase privacy for searchers. It won't officially confirm that but neither is it saying that [...]


Google’s (Not Provided) Impacting More Than Just SEO Sites

not-provided-featured Think that (not provided) is only impacting SEO-related websites? Think again. The Poynter Institute, a non-profit journalism school that's well known in media circles, wrote Wednesday about the growing impact that (not provided) is having on publisher websites. Author Steve Myers shared what he found after checking Poynter.org's analytics: Keywords were hidden in 29 percent of searches in April. That's up from 22.5 percent in November, shortly after the change was made. Now "(not provided)" makes up the largest category of search terms, dwarfing the second place term: Poynter. Overall, 6 [...]


Video: Google’s Susan Wojcicki Keynotes SMX West 2012

Search Marketing Expo Susan Wojcicki, Google's SVP of Advertising, spoke at our recent SMX West search marketing conference in a keynote conversation with Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman. The conversation covered many different topics -- not just the advertising side of Google where Susan is most heavily involved -- from privacy issues to mobile marketing to how Google started in Wojcicki's garage. While we already provided coverage of the keynote via Greg Sterling's live blog of the conversation, we also have several video clips that our readers may have missed -- and that attendees may wa [...]


Survey Paradox: People Like Google But Not What It’s Doing

Last week the Pew Internet Project released findings of a survey on search, personalization and targeted advertising. In a nutshell, survey respondents had a very positive view of search and the quality of search results. Yet the majority gave an unequivocal thumbs down to search personalization (and behavioral targeting). This isn't necessarily a contradiction or paradox in the abstract, but it is when you consider that the most popular search engine is moving aggressively in a direction most people say they don't want search to go. Here's our earlier coverage of the survey: Pew Repo [...]


Google "Search Plus Your World" To Launch Beyond US? Likely, As Secure Search Set To Expand

google-search-plus-world-featured Google has announced that by default, it will begin encrypting search beyond Google.com in the coming weeks. Since the reason Google uses secure search is primarily to enable its "Search Plus Your World" personalized results, this means SPYW is likely to expand beyond the US. It also means that search marketers can expect the percentage of "not provided" data they see to greatly increase. Secure Search = Search Plus Your World Last October, Google changed things so that anyone logged into Google.com would be searching through a secure connection. That was positioned as a move to increase pri [...]


Google Is Watching You (Or Not): New Privacy Policy Takes Effect Today

google-eyes-featured With several governments and regulatory bodies around the world saying that Google's new privacy policy may violate their domestic rules (Europe, Japan), it goes into effect today. Advocacy group EPIC has been trying to block it saying that the consolidated privacy policy violates Google's earlier settlement with the FTC in the Buzz case/investigation. However that effort was unsuccessful. For its part, Google says the new policy will simplify privacy across Google's many properties and make it possible for the company to build a range of new products and services for consumers, including o [...]


Scroogle’s Gone? Here’s Who Still Offers Private Searching

online-privacy You've probably read the news already that Scroogle is gone forever. It launched back in 2003 and was popular among searchers who wanted to get Google search results in a private setting. Now that it's gone, where can searchers go for a more private search experience than Google and Bing offer by default? Here's a list of a few alternatives. Note that different search engines below make different privacy-related claims; I haven't investigated them in detail -- i.e., by examining cookies, etc. -- so anyone looking for a private search experience should do his/her own research. Private Sea [...]


“Scroogle.org Is Gone Forever” Says Site Owner

A week ago, we reported that Scroogle was being blocked by Google and searches on the privacy search engine were no longer working. Since then, the site continued not to work and now it is completely offline. The owner, Daniel Brandt, said he took it down "forever." He blames both Google and DDOS attack by someone or a group of people who had a personal vendetta with him. He said even if the DDOS attack did not happen, Scroogle would only have lasted an additional 6 months due to Google's throttling and squeezing of the service. Daniel told BetaBeat.com: Scroogle.org is gone foreve [...]


Cookiegate Another Privacy Black Eye For Google

Screen shot 2012-02-17 at 7.39.44 AM Call it "Cookiegate" -- or "Safarigate" perhaps. Late last night we got the Wall Street Journal's piece: "Google's iPhone Tracking: Web Giant, Others Bypassed Apple Browser Settings for Guarding Privacy." Danny covered the article and its claims extensively at Marketing Land. This morning there's an expanding debate about whether the WSJ mischaracterized Google's behavior unfairly or whether the company has in fact been caught with its hand in the cookie jar -- as it were. To recap: Google and other ad networks (i.e., Gannett's PointRoll) were discovered circumventing mobile Safari's defaul [...]


Scroogle Says Google Is Blocking Their Privacy Search Engine

If you try to conduct a search at Scroogle, the portal that lets you search Google in private, Scroogle will tell you that Google is blocking them. I just tested it and Scroogle returns an error message that reads, "so sorry... Google is temporarily blocking this Scroogle server." This happened back in May 2010 as well, and probably happens fairly often. Google told BetaBeat that they are not manually blocking Scroogle but they do have automated systems in place that "deter scraping or excessive queries to Google, and spikes in query traffic can cause issues for some sites." So this [...]


Survey: People Largely Negative About Google’s Personalized Search Results

google-user-sad-frustrated-featured Last month, market research tool provider Ask Your Target Market surveyed 400 US adults about their attitudes toward personalized search on Google. The results were reported today in eMarketer's email newsletter. We went back to the source to check out the survey and discovered that the majority of respondents expressed ambivalence or outright dissatisfaction about Google's new more personalized search results. The first question asked was about the primary search engine used by respondents. Primary search engine: Source: AYTM, n=400 (1/12) Then the survey explored respondents [...]


Google Screenwise: New Program Pays You To Give Up Privacy & Surf The Web With Chrome

google-g-logo-96x100 Google is quietly taking requests from web users who want to get paid to surf the web using the Chrome browser while sharing data with Google. The program is called Screenwise and, though we're not aware of any official announcement, Google has a signup page at www.google.com/landing/screenwisepanel. The page explains that Google wants to create a panel of people to help it "learn more about how everyday people use the Internet." It explains that panel members have to be at least 13 years old, have (or sign up for) a Google account and use the Chrome web browser. They also have to be willin [...]


Google’s New Privacy Policy May Violate HIPAA, Congresswoman Says

google-health-medical Several members of Congress continued to express reservations about Google's new privacy policy after a closed-door meeting on Thursday, with one House member saying that Google's handling of sensitive medical searches may violate HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Members of the House Energy and Commerce committee grilled Pablo Chavez, Google's director of public policy, and Google attorney Michael Yang for about two hours. After the meeting, several of the Representatives expressed their unhappiness with Google's answers on a variety of privacy issues -- quest [...]


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