Recently there’s been a substantial amount of buzz over French blogger Caroline Doudet; whose negative review of the restaurant Il Giardino, located in Cap Ferret, France, has resulted in a 1500 euro ($2,040 USD) fine.
Although there have been increasing reports of legal action against individuals creating false reviews, this is not the case with Doudet, who legitimately reported on her experience at Il Giardino. The problem? Doudet’s poor review of the restaurant was fairly well ranked for the restaurant name.
The owner of Il Giardino was quoted as saying the review was unfairly hurting business. Even though he felt the service may not have been up to par, he felt the negative review was unacceptable.
While Doudet may have been silenced, there have been many that have posted to the Il Giardino Google+ page giving the restaurant a negative review simply based on the court ruling. While that’s not entirely fair- neither is the ruling. How long before Google is asked to remove the negative review count on G+I wonder…
NOTE: This post was written on Monday July 21, 2014. At that time our blog was experiencing some technical difficulties and we were unable to post it. Since that time, it appears the G+ profile for Il Giardino (Link removed – no longer available) is no longer available.
Yesterday Google announced via its G+ Plus page that users would no longer be required to use their real names publicly on their Google+ profile page.
Google addressed the issue by stating in their post:
“We know you’ve been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users. For this we apologize, and we hope that today’s change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be. Thank you for expressing your opinions so passionately, and thanks for continuing to make Google+ the thoughtful community that it is.”
Google faced a massive backlash initially in 2011, and also in 2013, when it forced Youtube users to have a G+ profile in order to comment. This resulted in an online petition that has, to date, been signed by over 240,000 people and was coincidentally created by “John Doe” from Texas.
At the time forcing Youtube commenters to adopt a G+ profile in order to comment allowed for a substantial increase in the amount of users registering for G+ profiles, and helped control the vast amount of trolls populating the comment threads.Forcing the troll population entrenched in Youtube comment threads to be instantly accountable for all of those horrid comments – because let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to say nasty things when your real name is posted next to a photo of you in your best Christmas sweater.
There has been a decidedly mixed reaction to the news. Some are overjoyed at the opportunity to return to the use of nicknames and the anonymity they bring to an online world where so much personal and private information is readily available. Others fear the massive wave of internet trolls that will surely be returning to the YouTube comments section. Yonatan Zunger, chief architect at Google plus commented on the concerns stating “Oh, don’t worry. One of the reasons this is safe to launch is that our troll-smashing department has gotten very good at their jobs. :)” We really, really, hope that’s true!
The new international targeting tool recently became available through Google Webmaster tools. This new tool offers site owners and webmaster the ability check alternate language versions of their sites for errors.
International targeting allows site owners to provide visitors with alternate language versions of their websites or pages based on the user’s location, or language preference settings. To do this Google uses two general mechanisms:
With URL-level targeting there are 3 types of implementation that can be used.
Page Level Mark-up – suggests using tag in thesection of your page. The most important step is that all language versions of the specific pages must refer back to each other. This can also be used when featuring alternate language and country combinations (for example: en-us vs. en-ie.)
Sitemaps – can be used to submit regional or language alternates of your site. How is this performed? Here is an example provided by Google in there webmaster tools help section: http://www.example.com/english/
Http Headers – this is largely reserved for not html files such as PDFs. An HTTP header can be used to indicate different versions of a URL.
Site-wide targeting allows for the selection of a specific country to be designated as the target of the alternate language version of your site. Whether you use a sub-domain or sub-directory for the alternate language version of your site, you can create a new site in webmaster tools and target a specific region. Don’t forget to upload the language specific sitemap mentioned above!
The process of adding alternate language pages to your site can be a time consuming and intricate process, depending on the amount of languages you offer your content in. There’s no doubt that this new international targeting tool will help webmaster s and site owners identify and fix any issues, saving your company or client time and money.
As reported by Jennifer Slegg last week, Google has issued a new set of quality rating guidelines to its external team of manual reviewers. These are the folks hired by a third party, which have been contracted by Google, to manually review that its algorithms are on track in providing the most relevant search results, and best quality sites to the end user.
One of the most talked about topics covered in this latest release is the E.A.T. concept.
E.A.T stands for:
If an evaluated website displays these qualities, and is relevant for the search query, it stands to reason it would receive a medium to high rating. Sites that lack in those aspects, and appear either fraudulent or spammy, run the risk of a low rating.
So who is considered an expert?
According to Slegg, Google has stated that the definition of who is an expert is often defined by its relation to the sector of the search query. In some sectors it may be more difficult to determine the level of expertise, as not every subject has a way to qualify expertise. An example of an anomaly would be a forum, where user feedback may be highly valuable to the searcher, but may not be from a professional (say a doctor) but rather someone with experience of a particular problem.
Google has been telling us what to do for some quite time now – create good, well written, informative content. Be the resource that searchers are looking for. This system of rating shouldn’t really come as that much of a surprise, as it seems to be the mantra of many a Matt Cutts Youtube video. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Google’s new quality guidelines. Check out the full article for more insights on what’s been updated
Once upon a time Google was a proud defender of net neutrality, but according to an article published by Businessweek the search giant has been relatively silent on the subject.
In May, the FCC proposed that large cable and telephone companies be allowed to offer paid internet fast lanes, something that Google railed against in years past (even going so far as to ask users to contact their local representatives about the issue.) However, lately they have been somewhat absent from the debate.
So what’s the big deal? Although net neutrality has gone through a few iterations, it is the principal that we all get a fair shake at the internet and what it has to offer. Small business and startups could have a difficult time taking on the large corporations already entrenched on the internet as they may not be able to afford the costs of having their site and/or content delivered via this internet toll bridge.
Why would Google have a change of heart? Timothy Wu a Columbia University law professor in New York who supports open-Internet rules said it best in today’s article “Net neutrality got them where they are. There’s a danger that they, having climbed the ladder, might pull it up after them.”
Although we have to wonder if Google might simply be biting its tongue due to claims that Google Fiber will adhere to net neutrality and could eventually be a viable competitor for giants like Comcast/Time Warner. It would be a smart way to garner a larger piece of the pie. But it’s all speculation at this point.
No, it’s not April Fool’s. You read that right. Matt’s post simply titled “On Leave”, which was posted to his personal blog earlier today states that he’s taking a much needed break from the search giant until the end of October.
The post states that he’s long overdue for some rest and relaxation with his wife, and is leaving the web spam division in his team’s capable hands while he’s gone. Although he will not be answering any emails he has directed those who need more immediate answers to the Google Webmaster Forums or send questions across to the Google Webmaster central twitter account.
Singapore Launches Their First Bitcoin Association [ Monday June 23, 2014 ]
ACCESS an acronym for (Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprise and Start-ups Singapore) opened its doors this week as a bitcoin focused organization. The main focus is to promote development of the best practices for digital currency in Singapore.
According to Bitcoin Magazine Anson Zeall, ACCESS’s Chairman said that:
“ACCESS aims to provide an open and clear dialogue between Singapore cryptocurrency businesses and the wider public, including regulators. With the forming of our association, we will help facilitate an ecosystem where Singapore can be a hub for cryptocurrencies businesses to grow and create jobs related to this new and growing technology.”
This could be a big step to currency reform if continued with positive effect. For more info head to Bit coin Magazine here.
I Bet ‘Cha Bite a Chip! [Tuesday June24, 2014]
Luis Suarez became king of media Tuesday for all the wrong reasons. Upset about the 1-0 win over Italy at the World Cup; Suarez sunk his not so pearly whites into defender Giorgio Chiellini. Luis Suarez is known as a repeat offender when it comes to biting almost risking his career over his insasiable taste for flesh.
None the less he created press for himself and his team and instantly became an overnight sensation with memes to very inventive Giffies.
Google’s annual I/O Developers Conference [Wednesday June 25, 2014]
Large competitive fetes were highlighted for Android development at Google’s annual I/O Developers conference in San Francisco Wednesday. Some amazing new features were introduced but the main focus was how all android programs had greater interconnectivity capabilities. Have a look
Pacific Rim 2 Set For Release 2017 [Thursday June 26,2014]
All I have to say is Watch this:
Rocketship Down [Friday June 22, 2014]
The launch of the new Russian Rocket was aborted today. Russia’s dwindling space program has been having a hard time getting on its feet. Last month the Proton-M booster ended in failure along with last year’s loss to 3 of Russia’s navigation satellites. The future to their space program is not looking good and not even comparable to other leading international space programs.
The automatic safety system aborted the rockets blast off preventing it from launching. Unknown what the actual problem is they are certain that the launch will go ahead Sat. Many sceptics believe that Russia will more likely end up failing to compete in space research because of its underdeveloped space program.
It’s a consumers right to leave reviews of products or services they use. Unfortunately, companies are fighting back against negative reviews with threatening letters and lawsuits. Everything is fine if your statement is credible and true. The sad fact is people have blackmailed businesses with bad reviews leading to many companies to fight back.
Although, negative criticism may feel like a public display of shaming, it’s important for businesses to maintain customer service and keep their number one priority. If not, you could make a bad case even worse. For the Mediabridge company it did just that. An unhappy client left a negative Amazon review and Mediabridge fought back sending threatening letters to sue if the review wasn’t taken down. Later the individual shared the letter with Reddit creating an even greater stir. Mediabridge later went on denying that they sent out a lawsuit on their social media. Amazon then went ahead and voided the companies account.
Not only did Mediabridge ampliphy bad press but they also lost trust with Amazon and many of their clients. It’s important not to let the ego mislead the way you handle customer complaints. Customer service has never really changed from the beginning of time.
I found a neat little slide share about the Ten Commandments of Customer Service that should help as a subtle how to reminder when dealing with clients. What’s true for a store front remains true for an online store.
Google’s annual I/O developers’ conference kicked off today in San Francisco Today. The Best Tallent at Google will be introducing exciting new gadgets and features offered in the upcoming months and can be seen below.
What’s been expected this year are a world of gadgets from smart watches that run on android wear, Android TV an interactive TV experience and “lollipop” the latest in update for the android system.
The race just got even more competitive this year with who could create the the best congruent operating system that works on all platforms. Amazon entered with a new phone and Apple is flexing their muscle with a stronger more reliable platform. None the less great things are to be expected in the coming year.
Well it’s not a crown Prince Charles is wearing but it could be the Google equivalent of it. Google Glass has opened up market within the UK this week through the “Glass Explorer Program”. Lucky ladies and gents over the age of 18 have the opportunity to wear the unit for a measly £ 1,000. If you can’t dish out the euros for the product you could always book an upper class seat with Virgin Airlines who are offered complimentary Google Glass to manage their flight details.
It’s only a matter of time that wearable technology like the Glass will be as common as yoga wear for the hip urbanite. Although, it will be interesting to see how well the modest of the English respond to the public use of the Glass. It’s had a rocky relationship with the American public and many consider it to be an invasion of personal space. Even many events and local business ask that the glass not be worn on the premises.
None the less, if you’re in London and are curious or have any questions, Google has set up sample areas June 27-28th for the general public to test drive the Glass.