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 September.
EU Court Says Google Can Sell Trademarked Keywords In AdWords. Google is not constituting any trademark infringement by letting in advertisements for fake products on Google AdWords. “Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton” has filed a law suit against Google but will come out the loser according to the EU Advisor. “The use of the trade marks is limited to the selection of keywords which is internal to AdWords and concerns only Google and the advertisers,” he says.
Unfounded rumors about BBC paying Google. One of the biggest entities online in the UK, the BBC, was suddenly the center point of rumors concerning paid links. According to the Mail on Sunday the BBC was paying Google to get on top in the search results on specific search terms. The rumors were never proved.
UK Proposes French-style file sharing law. The French have adopted a controversial law which disconnects users from the internet after three illegal downloads. Lord Mandelson, a British MP, is proposing a similar law for the UK. This despite the Digital Britain report published by the UK government itself a few months ago ruling out the disconnect-strategy in the fight against copyright infringement.
Confusion between paid and organic search results. Research in the Netherlands by First Focus and ValueWait shows 45% of searchers using Google doesn’t know the difference between paid and organic results. 1,500 respondents were questioned about these and other topics concerning search marketing. However, the research also found that Google is considered trustworthy for most respondents and is used as a review tool for those planning on buying online.
Russian bank gets share in Yandex. The biggest Russian search engine Yandex announced it has issued a so called “golden” priority share to the Savings Bank of the Russian Federation, Russia’s largest bank with a nominal value of one euro. Serbank now has the right to veto accumulation of stakes in Yandex N.V. It doesn’t however give the Serbank any rights to play part in operating decisions or take place in the board.
Potentially dangerous results. The Russian search engine Yandex is seeing an increase of malicious and infected sites in their database. Yandex looked at the searches which are marked as “potentially dangerous results.” The report shows that Yandex displays this warning message on search results no less than 4.5 million times a day.
YouTube in Dutch television deal. Where in the US YouTube made a deal with the Universal Music Group, in Holland the broadcasting website made a deal with broadcaster SBS regarding television content. Popular content from SBS’ channels Net5, SBS6 and Veronica will become available on YouTube. Both parties will earn money from ads placed around the videos.
Marktplaats starts with AdMarket Mini. Holland’s own e-Bay, one of the biggest sites in the Netherlands, Marktplaats, is starting to use AdMarket Minis. These are AdWords-like adverts which can even link to your own site.
Social media traffic now second to search in the UK. Hitwise calculated that most traffic in the UK goes to social networks. Social networks are the second largest source of traffic, after search engines. Hitwise says social networks are sending their traffic to other content driven websites, rather than revenue-generating transactional sites.
Dutch Google most visited site in Netherlands. Google’s native Netherlands homepage is the most visited website in Holland in the first part of 2009. Alexa posted a list in which Google.nl leads the way above social networking site Hyves, YouTube and Google.com.
Google will take a step back in the book case. Google made a couple of concessions towards European opposition to its book search initiative. Google is taking in two representatives from outside the U.S. join a board administering its digital books settlement. They will also consider books that are “commercially available and under copyright in Europe” out of print and under a proposed settlement with US publishers.
Meanwhile, Germans are taking Google to court. The German government hired an American law firm to look into legal actions regarding the Google Book case. The Germans now actually oppose a U.S. court filing.
Google blurring beautiful in Switzerland. A Swiss privacy commissioner wanted to Google to close its Streetview doors immediately because Google didn’t blur license plates and peoples faces enough. Google now says it will be blurring faces and license plates further.
Redirect to Google UK. If you search for “Google Germany” or “Google France” in any given language in Europe there was a result which seems to be Google itself, but isn’t. The result which is returned which seems to point to a website “Ghlplc.co.uk”. When clicked, you are redirected to Google UK. It seems like the website has made a wrong redirect, but the fact that its ranking high on the searches is strange.
Italian anti-trust agency investigating Google. The Italian anti-trust agency is doing an investigation into accusations made by Italian publishers. The original investigation was initiated after Italian newspapers complained they were kept out of the Google index if they didn’t want their websites to appear in Google News but that being in Google News cost them visitors. The Italians are investigating not only Google News Italia but also Google Inc.
BT makes Google deal to offer AdWords support. BT and Google join forces to offer AdWords support to small businesses supports that statement. In the deal BT will become an authorized reseller of Google AdWords. BT and Google with this deal aim at the small businesses. They want to help those businesses get more professional.
Agency selling Google local business listings. In Norway a well known company was found to be “selling” Google Local Business listings. They are convincing businesses that they have to pay to appear in Google Maps and they are in fact “selling” the keywords, telling customers that they will get a place in the top 10 listings. The agency in question has retracted its “sale” of Google Local Business listings and will not even be selling Google Maps services anymore.
Bing maps mashup challenge in the UK. In the UK Bing is trying hard to get more market share. They are trying to get the community involved by setting up the Maps Mashup Challenge. You have to build a GIS-based mashup that demonstrates how GIS can be used to improve business processes.
Want more news of the European search scene? Check out Searchcowboys. We cover the news of what is going on in search in Europe daily.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.