Search Month European Edition, February 2010

In Search Month European Edition we bring you a monthly update of European search news, with related links to full coverage. Here’s what happened in February.

Googlers convicted in Italy. The biggest news in Europe in February without a doubt was the conviction of three Googlers in Italy. They were convicted to a suspended sentence after the company had allegedly failed to respond quickly to an uploaded YouTube video over a year ago which showed Italian youngsters harassing a young boy with Downs Syndrome.

Yandex sees income growth. Russian search giant Yandex reported that 2009 was a good year, with earnings up 14% on total revenue of 8.7 billion rubles (about 205 million euros). The number of advertisers grew 55%.

Bing reduces search data storage in Europe. Microsoft agreed to cooperate with the European Commission by reducing the amount time it retains Bing search data to six months. The European Commission had put a lot of pressure on the software giant to adjust the privacy policy to comply with EU regulations. Up to now Microsoft had been holding data for 18 months.

EU approves Microsoft/Yahoo search alliance. The EU, as well as the US, has given clearance to Microsoft and Yahoo to go on with their search alliance. The EU sees no restrictions, which means they can go ahead and implement the partnership immediately.

Anti-Trust claims against Google. Google faced several anti-trust claims this month. European antitrust regulators are looking into complaints from three European companies, Ciao.de, Foundem and French legal search site EJustice.fr that Google is unfairly lowering ranks of competitors’ results in searches. Two of these companies, Ciao.de and Foundem are closely connected to Microsoft.

EU Wants Google to keep Street View images no more than six months. The European Union urged Google to provide people advance notice when its Street View vehicles are roving European streets to take pictures and asked that these images be deleted after six months.

Microsoft beats Google in UK brand competition. Microsoft has replaced Google as the number one in the Superbrands annual business survey in the UK. Number one last year, Google now is in fifth place. Microsoft number one spot is explained by the release of Windows 7 this year.

Google.fr most visited site in France. Hitwise France calculated that Google.fr is the most visited site in France this month. Wit 10.4% of the visits it beats Facebook (6.8%), Windows Live Mail (3.2%) and YouTube (2.4%). Hitwise also found social networking is a more popular activity in France than in the UK, but online shopping less so.

Facebook dominates UK mobile web. UK mobile web users are more often using Facebook than Google when surfing on the mobile web. Facebook accounted for almost 40 percent of page impressions from U.K. mobile devices. Google “only” had a 29 percent share.

Yandex partners with AlterGeo. Russian search giant Yandex has announced a partnership with AlterGeo for improved location-based search. AlterGeo is a hybrid positioning startup. Yandex will use its technology to add location-based features to the company’s maps and toolbar web applications.

Spanish publishers want to see money from Google. Carlos Astiz, leader of the Spanish Publishers’ Association (AEPP) asked Google to pay “a proportional amount” of the income it obtains on-line by using material from various Spanish publications. The Spanish publishers haven’t put a price tag on their demand yet but in the Spanish press it is said that it could get up to the 1.2 million euros per year which the Germans demand from Google.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

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About The Author: is a Web/search strategist, international search specialist, trainer, and well-respected blogger. Bas is well informed about what's going on in the world of Internet and search marketing worldwide and especially Europe. Bas is the owner of Stateofsearch.com and also posts regularly on his personal blog.

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