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 [...]


Yahoo7 Australia Drops Ripoff Report From Search Results After Defamation Complaints

yahoo7-ror-missing-600 Yahoo7, the Australian version of Yahoo, has de-indexed Ripoff Report after receiving "significant complaints" about defamatory content showing in its search results. As you see above, a site:ripoffreport.com on Yahoo7 produces no results. A Yahoo7 spokesperson gave us this statement on the decision to de-index that entire domain: Yahoo7 has received significant complaints in regards to defamatory content in our search results which have been generated from links on the website ripoffreport.com. Under Australian law Yahoo7 has an obligation to remove defamatory content from our search [...]


The “Right To Be Forgotten” – EU Court Gives People Ability To Delete Their Google Search Results

google-eu-featured The "right to be forgotten": a triumph of individual privacy rights or censorship? It's going to depend on how it plays out in specific circumstances. The Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice, Europe's "top court," ruled earlier today that Google can be compelled to remove information about individuals from search results as part of a new, EU-specific "right to be forgotten." The ruling will have no impact on US search results or those in other markets. However the ruling is significant in that it creates another chasm between the way that Google operates in North America and Eur [...]


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 [...]


Yahoo Abandons “Do Not Track”, Citing Lack Of Industry Standard

yahoo-logo-600 Yahoo yesterday announced that it will no longer adhere to Do Not Track browser signals, further compromising the effectiveness of the setting in the online ecosystem. "As of today, web browser Do Not Track settings will no longer be enabled on Yahoo. As the first major tech company to implement Do Not Track, we’ve been at the heart of conversations surrounding how to develop the most user-friendly standard. However, we have yet to see a single standard emerge that is effective, easy to use and has been adopted by the broader tech industry." The change is framed as a move toward better per [...]


DailyMotion Says Google Is Cheating, Serves Up Its Own Video Content Over DailyMotion Videos

DailyMotion-logo-Feb-2014 The president of French video platform DailyMotion Giuseppe de Martino told UK newspaper The Independent he believes Google is leveraging unfair search practices, serving up YouTube videos in place of DailyMotion content. Independent reporter Ian Burrell writes: [De Martino] claims that sometimes when internet users search Google for DailyMotion videos they mysteriously don't appear - yet YouTube-hosted alternatives appear among results. According to the report, Google denies they have engaged in any unfair search result practices. DailyMotion boasts 120 million monthly unique visitor [...]


420 Dilemma? Marijuana Emerges In Local Search

marijuana-map-600 Today marks the first time that April 20th -- known amongst pot smokers as "420" and frequently celebrated with smoking parties -- is a legally observable event in the United States (in some places, at least, since the states of Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational use of the drug for adults). So, what does this mean for local businesses and marketers? In 2010, I conducted a limited audit to see if 420 party locations, as well as marijuana dispensaries, appeared in Google Maps. I found little more than a user-generated map back then -- but fast-forward to 2014, and we be [...]


States Threaten Action If Google Doesn’t Delist “Illegal Sites”

google-legal-cash-featured According to the Washington Post, 24 state attorneys general are trying to pressure Google to discontinue ads and the indexing of sites they argue teach or enable criminal activity. In particular, they continue to pressure Google to eliminate advertising connected to the sale of illegal or fake prescription drugs. The attorneys generals' complaints were initially aired in a December 2013 letter to Google General Counsel Kent Walker and then a follow-up letter sent in February 2014. The December letter lists the following complaints and concerns: These issues include: (1) Google's moneti [...]


Report: Google Now Master Of Lobbying, Backroom Dealing

google-legal-law-featured An article in the Washington Post asserts that Google has now become a master lobbyist and behind-the-scenes manipulator in Washington. It details the company's increase in campaign contributions and outreach efforts to influence legislators. The message of the lengthy article is that Google is now buying influence and policy outcomes that favor the company. Source: Washington Post There are numerous concrete examples cited for the idea that Google has manipulated policy outcomes or bought influence through contributions to individuals, third party groups or academic institutions. [...]


The War On Links

shutterstock_104739881-fear-of-links In case you didn't notice, we are waging a war over links. Some would say that SEOs are at war with search engines, but I disagree. Search engines and SEOs have a symbiotic relationship; and without meaning to, we've killed the value of the link. The link, once a simple connector from one site to another, has become the subject of intense scrutiny by SEOs, Google, and even the US Copyright Office.  Do you remember what it was like to really "surf" the Internet? The way you could bounce from site to site simply by following blogrolls and webrings? The rush of energy and excitement that [...]


Google Updates Its Privacy Policy

google-locks-privacy-featured You may have noticed Google's Privacy Policy has been updated as of March 31, with a red letter "Updated" call-out the site's home page preceding Google's Privacy & Terms link. This is the first time the company has updated the policy this year, following an update in December of 2013. There were only two updates last year, one occurring on June 24 and the other on December 20. Google posted a "Comparison" page to outline the most recent Privacy Policy updates, along with an archive of updates dating back to June 9, 1999. "As you use our services, we want you to be clear how we're [...]


Google Gets Another Street View Privacy Fine — In Italy

street-view-car-featured It seems like each European country is taking its turn fining Google for some privacy infraction. This time, it's Italy and involves Street View. Google has reportedly paid a roughly $1.4 million (1 million EUR) fine. According a story in Reuters, the issue this time was the failure to clearly mark Street View cars during Italian street photography in 2010: The fine announced on Thursday relates only to vehicles not being labeled clearly enough. The watchdog has also reported to Italy's judicial authorities that Google accidentally captured fragments of electronic communications as part of [...]


US Court Says Baidu Has Free Speech Right To Censor Search

baidu-600 Late last week, Chinese search engine Baidu succeeded in gaining dismissal of a lawsuit by pro-democracy activists based in New York (Zhang et al. v. Baidu.com, Inc). Plaintiffs had sued in the US and argued that Baidu improperly blocked them from seeing content on the search engine. Specifically, according to Reuters, the plaintiffs said that people in the US couldn't access content (including their work) advocating greater openness and democracy in China. Among other remedies, they were seeking $16 million in damages. Ironically, the US District Court judge said that Baidu's right [...]


EU Antitrust Chief Says Google Settlement Essentially Done

google-eu-featured Amid criticism from politicians and Google's critics, EU antitrust chief Joaquín Almunia has essentially said that the current version of Google's antitrust settlement proposal is a done deal. While he didn't rule out changes definitively he seems to think complainants' criticisms have been addressed. The current proposal requires Google to give up considerable screen real estate and branding to vertical rivals. Google's opponents want another "market test" (time for criticism and study of the proposal's potential impact). They also don't want to pay Google for placement in contex [...]


EU Settlement Nearly Done, Google Antitrust Drama Shifts To India

Google legal Although the Google antitrust settlement in Europe isn't final it appears we're in the final minutes of the final act. There still may be a surprise or two in store but we mostly know how this story is going to end. Now it appears the Google antitrust drama is shifting to India, where an antitrust investigation against the company is ongoing. According to a report in the Times of India, that country's competition authority, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), has the power to impose a fine of up 10 percent annual revenues, averaged over a three year period. That could mean up t [...]


BrightEdge Uses SEO Patents As “Sword,” Sues Searchmetrics

patents-600 Oh no they didn't: BrightEdge has sued rival Searchmetrics using multiple SEO patents, which were granted last year. The concern being expressed by some today is that this could be the beginning of a wave of litigation as BrightEdge seeks to capitalize on its newly granted IP or goes after competitors that it perceives to be infringing. The patents in question broadly pertain to various automated SEO software tools: 8,577,863: “Correlating web page visits and conversions with external references” Granted 11/5/2013 8,478,700: “Opportunity identification and forecasting for search [...]


Tweet Showing How Google Itself Is A “Scraper Site” Goes Massively Viral

gone-viral-600 Perhaps it's SEO's "Oreo moment," a tweet relating to search engine optimization that's gained nearly as much attention as Oreo's famous Super Bowl blackout tweet. But the subject was a perfect storm of goodness -- a real-life example of Google doing the type of thing in search it seems to be telling others not to do. Yesterday, the head of Google's web spam team Matt Cutts announced a new Google Scraper Report for publishers to use if they see a site that has copied or "scraped" its content and which outranks the publisher in Google searches. That quickly brought up a number of people j [...]


German Design Firm Claims Willful Patent Infringement Over Google Earth

Google Earth A German design firm is claiming that Google and Google Earth have infringed its patent (USRE44550 E1) and is seeking triple damages under the notion that the infringement was intentional or willful. The firm, ART+COM ("ACI"), makes the following claims: The development history of Google Earth indicates knowledge and infringement by key Google employees Google Earth "bears remarkable similarities to ART+COM's commercial system, which was developed nearly a decade prior to Google's introduction of Google Earth" The claimed patent and method for rendering geographical objects (Terravis [...]


Will 11th Hour Objections Derail The Google-EU Antitrust Settlement?

Google Europe When the European Commission recently announced yet another antitrust settlement with Google the matter appeared to be coming to an end. This was the third proposed settlement from Google but indications from EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia suggested that it was essentially final and only formalities remained to approve it. Unlike the two previous settlement proposals, this one is reportedly not going to be subjected to a "market test" (formal review by rivals and critics) -- although the European Commission will be accepting comments, apparently. Google's critics immediate [...]


Microsoft: We Don’t Censor Search Outside China

bing-china-600 Bing censors search results in China in accordance with Chinese law. But does it do so in the US and elsewhere around the world for Chinese users? That disturbing proposition was raised yesterday in an article appearing in The Guardian. The article asserted that Bing search results for Chinese language speakers in the US were radically different than those in English for controversial terms such as Tiananmen Square or Dalai Lama: Microsoft’s search engine Bing appears to be censoring information for Chinese language users in the US in the same way it filters results in mainland China. S [...]


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