The EUs “Right to be Forgotten Ruling” seems to be one endless headache for Google. The latest reports suggest that Google’s handling of these requests is the latest item up for scrutiny by European data protection authorities. What seems to be the problem? Well, it appears that Google is only removing links from search results in the EU, such as Google.co.uk but not Gooogle.com.
This action does effectively defeat the purpose of the ruling, as the offending links can still technically be found through non localized search. Google was recently accused of purposely misinterpreting the ruling in order to stir up advocates claiming the ruling itself is censorship.
The issue of censorship seems to be a hazy line drawn in the sand. While the intention is that fresh content, overtime, should lose relevance as the facts pertaining to an individual become outdated. The decisions of who and what events should be included are still largely up for debate – and by “debate” I mean up to Google.
Another point of contention is Google’s notification process. Currently the search giant sends notification to sites that have had search results removed. The data protection authorities have voiced concerns over the effects this may have on those submitting the removal request.
Because the right to be forgotten ruling is still in its infancy, there’s no doubt that this will be a hot topic for years to come as data protection authorities and Google hash out regulations and guidelines that will encapsulate most removal requests. It has been reported that Google has received some 91,000 removal requests effecting over 328,000 urls. The countries with the largest numbers are reported as France and Germany, followed by the UK.
SEO news blog post by Angela Duckworth @ 12:00 pm on July 26, 2014
Yesterday, SEO Roundtables Barry Schwartz reported that Google has launched an algorithm update targeted at local search. The aim of the update (as always) is to provide more accurate and relevant local results more closely tied to traditional ranking signals. It is suggested that the update will affect both the Google maps and standard web search results.
It is unknown at this point what percentage of search results will be affected with this update but Schwartz has speculated that the changes will be reasonably significant. It is too soon to tell if this update has hit the mark as many local search marketers are reporting the pendulum swing positioning of one extreme to the other, which often follows an algorithm update before settling somewhere in the middle.
SEO news blog post by Angela Duckworth @ 11:11 am on July 25, 2014
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!
SEO news blog post by Angela Duckworth @ 5:34 pm on July 16, 2014
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
SEO news blog post by Angela Duckworth @ 5:38 pm on July 14, 2014
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.
In the meantime, what can you do to help the fight for net neutrality?
If you want to find out more about net neutrality and what you can do to help, visit The Electric Frontier Foundation (EFF) for more information and resources or savetheinternet.com.
SEO news blog post by Angela Duckworth @ 4:55 pm on July 8, 2014
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.
Google Glass UK site
SEO news blog post by David Mackenzie-Kong @ 9:44 am on June 24, 2014
I was very pleased to read Guillaume Bouchard feels very similar about content marketing as I do. In his article written in Search Engine Watch he describes 6 reasons many content marketing strategies don’t work.
Ego-centric content marketing is more than common in this industry. It pains me when I see companies with grand opportunities lose potential ROI to bland, ego driven and unsharable content. I think Guillaume hits it on the nose.
In the new world of link-building content marketing is one of the most needed tools in the toolbox. I encourage any company needing an insight to their content strategies read this article.
SEO news blog post by David Mackenzie-Kong @ 10:06 am on June 23, 2014
Working in the SEO and SEM industry you spend a lot of time scouring the internet; and in doing so you’ll see the very best and the very worst it has to offer. Since starting to contribute to the Beanstalk blog, I’ve come across my fair share of artfully Photoshopped Matt Cuttses. Some were good, some weren’t so great, and some left me wanting to burn my eyes out (I’m looking at you WickedFire.)
I should say that I have never met Matt, but I know a few people who have, and by all accounts he sounds like a really nice guy with a good sense of humor. So without further ado, here are my favorite Photoshopped Matt Cuttses.
Nacho Libre Matt Cutts
SEO news blog post by Angela Duckworth @ 3:38 pm on June 20, 2014
In yet another international ruling, Google has been ordered to remove a website from its global search results. Today, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon ruled that Google has 14 days to remove a company by the name of Datalink from its global search results. Datalink is the rival of technology company Equustek, who manufactures networking devices for industrial equipment. Equustek has alleged that Datalink has stolen product designs by recruiting a former Equustek engineer.
While Equustek has already won the battle in Canadian courts, this case sets a precedent for international rulings. Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon has stated:
“The courts must adapt to the reality of e-commerce with its potential for abuse by those who would take the property of others and sell it through the borderless electronic web of the internet,”
Google has argued that the B.C. court does not have jurisdiction to enforce such a ruling as their headquarters are located in the United States, but Justice Fenlon countered that the company clearly does business in the province via selling ads and providing search results.
For more information read the full article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/google-ordered-to-remove-website-from-global-search-results-1.2679824
SEO news blog post by Angela Duckworth @ 4:10 pm on June 18, 2014
For those that missed it, Google’s Matt Cutts announced at SMX last week that rejections received by webmasters submitting re-inclusion requests may now provide more helpful data. Although not every request will include more precise information as to why a request was rejected, there is now an area for the Google team to provide feedback and note other areas that may have been overlooked in a back link review.
Since the inception of Penguin based penalties, there’s been a lot of talk in the SEO community over where Google’s responsibilities lie in providing webmasters with all the information needed to have them lifted. Depending on the type and severity of the penalty, the re-inclusion process if often quite lengthy, this latest addition will hopefully be a step in the right direction for webmasters that have largely been left in the dark.
SEO news blog post by Angela Duckworth @ 1:32 pm on June 17, 2014