“The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” the saying goes. There are plenty of good intentions with the EU’s Right To Be Forgotten mandate, as well as Google’s attempt to meet new obligations under it. Things are still going to hell regardless. Thanks to the new right, the EU has helped enable convicted pedophiles to ask that their actions be forgotten. It has ensured that businesses convicted of fraudulent activities can seek to have these hidden from the public. And it led this week to censorship of content from at least three major EU news publications. Google, which initially objected to this new right, has now collaborated with it. Google has readily seized upon the role of censor, something that in other countries it has rejected with reluctance. Worse, Google’s attempts at transparency about its censorship have only lead to more confusion. Below, I’ll go through some of the issues that we’ve seen develop since the right was … [Read more...] about The EU’s Right To Be Forgotten Is A Mess & How Google’s Making It Worse
One of the things Google promised by moving Google Shopping to the pay-to-play model for merchants was how much the experience was going to improve for shoppers. If that’s the case, I’m sure not seeing it. Come on a little tour. Amazon Don’t Play That Game The new system began on October 17. Perhaps the most striking change by Google deciding that it would only list merchants if they pay to be included is the absence of a little known online retailer called Amazon. Nope, Amazon doesn’t want to play Google’s game, where it only gets included if it pays. This type of absence is exactly why Google argued against the “paid inclusion” model for Google Shopping (or any type of search engine) back in 2004, saying: Most online merchants are also automatically included in Froogle’s [now Google Shopping] index of shopping sites. Because we do not charge merchants for inclusion in Froogle, our users can browse product categories or conduct product … [Read more...] about The Mess That Is Google Shopping
The latest issue involves unscrupulous individuals/companies marking other businesses as closed in Google Places. It’s a process that the Times’ article calls “surprisingly easy” to do: In recent months, plenty of perfectly healthy businesses across the country have expired — sometimes for hours, other times for weeks — though only in the online realm cataloged and curated by Google. The reason is that it is surprisingly easy to report a business as closed in Google Places, the search giant’s version of the local Yellow Pages. On Google Places, a typical listing has the address of a business, a description provided by the owner and links to photos, reviews and Google Maps. It also has a section titled “Report a problem” and one of the problems to report is “this place is permanently closed.” If enough users click it, the business is labeled “reportedly closed” and later, pending a review by Google, … [Read more...] about Google’s Small Business Priorities Are All Messed Up
Have you tweeted a great photograph that’s gone viral, such as today’s Space Shuttle launch as seen from a commercial airline flight? Getting credit for that, much less getting paid for it, seems to be a mess. It’s been on my to do list to write about this issue for several weeks. It came up on the Read 2.0 mailing list that I’m part of back in March, about who has the right to grant permission when a photo is tweeted through one of the many sharing services out there. I may come back and do a more formal look with interviews with the sharing services and Twitter down the line. But given today’s Space Shuttle shot (the awesome picture on the right) and photographer Stefanie Gordon having tweeted about ABC News using it without credit, I thought I’d pull together some of what I posted earlier to the Read 2.0 list and expand a bit. The Haiti Photos You might recall hearing about how professional photographer Daniel Morel took pictures from Haiti after … [Read more...] about News Events, Tweeted Photos & The Permissions Mess
There are many reasons that someone might want to invest in a pre-existing domain. For instance, one of my former B2B SEO clients, a large software company, would occasionally buy up smaller companies and enfold that second company's products into their own software line. Eventually Company B's website would be "sunsetted" and redirected to the new product pages on my client's site, giving those new pages a valuable SEO boost. Other companies might have several microsites from past marketing efforts that they want to redirect to their main corporate website, pushing any visitors, links, and SEO value over. And other want-to-be business owners might be looking to invest in a pre-existing domain and business as opposed to building a site from the ground up. Whatever your reason is for investing in a pre-existing domain you have to ask yourself one question over and over again; "What kind of SEO mess am I getting myself in to?" At one of my Boston SEO workshops one of the attendees was … [Read more...] about What Kind of SEO Mess are you About to Inherit?