Search Biz: Google Gets NYC Directions Wrong; Google’s Privacy Headaches; Wal-Mart Doesn’t Want Your Links

From the “How Not To Promote Yourself” file: Google is advertising its Google Maps service on the New York subway system with a few well-placed ads that give directions between points of interest in the city. Only the directions they’re giving aren’t always right.

google maps

As AdAge points out, one ad tries to help people find their way from Grand Central Station to Madison Square Garden … but the directions actually send you to Times Square. D’oh! Not exactly how you inspire confidence in the accuracy of your maps service there, G.

But that’s hardly the biggest headache Google has at the moment. The International Herald Tribune recaps the privacy battles that Google is facing across Europe. The most visible of these battles seems to be over Google StreetView, which is being fought in both Germany and Switzerland. StreetView isn’t the only concern: The IHT article points out that the European Commission wants Google (plus Yahoo and MSN) to purge user logs after six months, and a data protection agency in Switzerland is asking Google for more details on how it manages its users’ personal information.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., privacy groups are asking questions about Google Flu Trends, the recent tool that uses search patterns to estimate where the flu is spreading. CNET points out that two privacy rights groups are asking for more information about Flu Trends and how it impacts individual user privacy. The CNET article points out that Google doesn’t reveal any personal information in Flu Trends, only a single score for each state.

Finally, one more from the “How Not To Promote Yourself” file: Wal-Mart lawyers are going after sites that post the chain’s “Black Friday” specials, as well as anyone that links to the sites that post these deals. According to Techdirt, the most recent DMCA takedown notice was sent to deals aggregator Nevermind that letting people see your Black Friday deals might be good for business, and that linking to the specials only gets Wal-Mart more attention and eyeballs. The Techdirt piece sums it up nicely:

So, we have Wal-Mart, whose employees think deal sites are helpful, getting its lawyers to send out bogus takedown notices over content that isn’t copyrighted, and then sending them to search engines that don’t even host the content in question.

It makes you wonder how much the lawyers are charging Wal-Mart… and if the fees are being paid out of the legal budget, or the marketing and promotions budget.

Sounds like maybe Wal-Mart needs to sign up for its own search marketing services to learn the value of backlinks and buzz.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Search Biz


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.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.


Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide