Website Guilty Over Google’s Automated Snippet

The Register reports a Dutch court has ruled against a Dutch web site, where the web site was sued over the automated snippet used in Google for a keyword phrase.

When someone searched for [Zwartepoorte] and [bankrupt], Google showed Miljoenhuizen.nl and the snippet in the Google search results for Miljoenhuizen.nl was:

Complete name: Zwartepoorte Specialiteit: BMW…This company has been declared bankrupt, it has been acquired by the motordealer I have worked for Boat Rialto…

What is the issue? Well, Zwartepoorte did not go bankrupt and was upset when the Google snippet showed they did. So Zwartepoorte sued Miljoenhuizen.nl, not Google for this error, and won. The site owner had to change their web page so Google would remove the snippet.

This is pretty crazy if you ask me. Google algorithmically makes the snippets. No where on the page did the site say the company went bankrupt. In any event, the court required the web site to modify the page so Google would remove the automated snippet.

“The Court argues that it might be true that the website had no control over the functioning of Google but suggests that these questions about the opacity of Google’s functioning should be addressed in a broader context… then concludes that defendant had its own responsibility,” says van Hoboken, a PhD candidate at the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam.

Hat tip to Blogstorm for spotting this case.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Legal | Google: Web Search | Legal: Crawling & Indexing | Top News

Sponsored


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

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.

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

Europe

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