Search Month European Edition, November 2009

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 November.

Germany says Google Analytics is illegal. According to an article in Zeit Online, German federal and state government officials are convinced that Google Analytics is against the law in Germany. The officials want to ban Google Analytics in Germany, and companies who use the tool to gather detailed stats on their visitors without the explicit consent of those visitors could be fined up to 75.000 euros.

UK government doesn’t believe in privacy. The UK government wants to store records of all personal communications for one year. All internet service providers and telecommunication companies will be legally required to store records. The measure is part of the “Intercept Modernisation Programme,” which was set up to create a government in-house database to fight terrorism.

Google Italy execs could face six months in jail. The trial against the (former) Italian Google executives has started. The Italians believe the responsibility for the presence of a video on YouTube which showed a teenager with Down’s syndrome being bullied lies with Google. The prosecutors are said to have asked for a six-month to a year sentence for defendants including David Drummond, Google’s SVP of Corporate Development, and former Google CFO George Reyes.

Bing out of beta in the UK. In the US Bing has been out of beta for a while. In Europe, however, many searchers are not using Bing because it is not “up to speed” yet in many countries. The UK is the first country which Microsoft has moved Bing out of beta. Now UK searchers can see the full potential of Bing. Meanwhile Bing is rolling out gradually in Europe with France to follow closely on the heels of the UK, according to Peter Maxmin the director responsible for Bing Search as well as Microsoft’s Online network across EMEA.

A Quarter of UK Online Display ad impressions goes to Social Media. In a study on online display advertising in the UK it shows that social networking account for 13.8 billion display ad impressions. That is 25% of all display ad impressions in the UK. Most ads are placed by telecommunications companies.

Germans say Google “making progress” on book search. There has been lots of discussion in Germany concerning the Google Book deal in which Google wants to digitize the worlds books. The new proposed deal by Google is well received in Germany. The German minister of Culture Bernd Neumann was pleased. He believes its a “step in the right direction.”

European Telecom law makes site owners ask for cookie-permission. This month a controversial new law has been approved by the EU must be implemented in several European countries by 2010. The law is meant to get a grip on the telecom business, but affects search marketing as well. One of the rules in the law states a site-owner has to ask at every single visit whether or not the visitor will accept a cookie. The law at first raised a lot of questions but chances are that the “question” can also be asked on a browser level, which means a user will probably only have to set his settings to “accept cookies.”

Swiss suing Google over Streetview. Switzerland asked Google to blur Streetview images several months ago and though Google says they are making progress, the Swiss are not pleased with the result. Swiss Data Protection Authority commissioner Hanspeter Thuer is now suing Google and has asked a tribunal to order Google to remove all pictures of Switzerland and to cease taking any more until a ruling has been made.

Semantic search engine built by European researchers. European researchers from the MESH project have created a integrated semantic search platform. The semantic search engine can “watch” films, “listen” to audio and “read” text to find relevant responses to semantic search terms. The researchers claim that for the first time a platform can combine semantic search with a host of associated tools to deliver more relevant information.

Yandex keeps on growing. Yandex remains the biggest search engine in Russia and keeps on growing. The newest numbers from comScore show that in combination with Mail.ru, which is part of Yandex, the search engine takes up to 60% of all searches in Russia. Google is still second with 34.5% of users.

Spain expecting digital growth. Spanish numbers say advertisement revenues for digital media will grow in the future. Strongest growth is expected in mobile marketing and internet categories, which will benefit search and search ads in particular.

Dutch developer “saves” Geocities. A Dutch developer was busy copying and scraping Geocities just before Yahoo closed it down. Within ten days he copied most of Geocities’ content and placed it on Reocities. On Reocities you can also read all about how the process of copying the sites went. You cannot update your old pages for now, but you can look at them.

Google dominant in Turkey, but the country is developing own search engine. Turkish search users are very much “into Google”.comScore numbers show that 93% of the online population used Google in September. Microsoft reached 89% and Facebook 81.3%, representing 16.1 million visitors. Meanwhile Turkey is said to be developing its own search engine to compete with Google. The Turkish government also wants $47 million from Google for taxes never paid. The Turkish government says Google is making money in Turkey with online advertising and therefore has to pay taxes. Google has offices in Turkey but advertiser billing and payments are handled by Google Ireland.

Yahoo replaces Google on O2 Germany. Yahoo is the new search provider for the O2 German mobile portal. Yahoo will also feature on O2′s portal with links to the different Yahoo services like Flickr, Yahoo Eurosport and Yahoo News and Mail.

Google places a town in the UK which doesn’t exist. On Google Maps you can find a town in the UK called Argleton. This town however doesn’t exist. Someone actually went to go and search for Argleton and posted pictures of the place that doesn’t exist. The town probably was placed there by Google’s map supplier TeleAtlas.

French think Internet is most trustworthy info source. The Internet is, according to the French, the most trustworthy source when it comes to providing information regarding relevant purchases. 29% said to have the most faith in Internet. Television came in second with 20%.

Google local news launched in France. Google has launched a local news service in France. The local news section lets you see current events in the area you are in.

This news is brought to you by Searchcowboys, you can read more about these articles there. Searchcowboys covers the news of what is going on in search in Europe on a daily basis.

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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