Update: The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center now says it’s gotten hundreds of reports of this problem, and is seeking complaints from people who have been affected. Recently a friend contacted me because his daughter was in tears about her mugshot photo being posted on the Internet. She was arrested a few years ago, the matter was settled, and the arrest record was expunged. Nevertheless, her mugshot was prominently displayed on several sites whenever anybody Googled her name. Unbeknownst to him, trying to get that mugshot down took him into the Mugshot Zone, a murky world where sites are posting the shots in hopes of getting paid to remove them — and Google provides the traffic that helps them along the way. Mugshots For Profit When somebody gets arrested, the police take a booking photograph, commonly known as a mugshot. This photo isn’t proof of guilt; it is standard police procedure during the booking process and only means that one officer felt there … [Read more...] about Why Google Should Crack Down Harder On The Mugshot Extortion Racket
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“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
In our last column we asked: Has Google killed mobile organic search? In this column we consider what Google’s plans are for those owned properties that get the prime real estate atop mobile search results, such as Google My Business (GMB) and Knowledge Graph (KG). There are five areas/initiatives that should be observed closely, as these could be prototypes for the future of mobile local search. These are: Restaurants in [US city] – Google My Business (GMB) results. Hotels in [US city] – GMB results. [US city] –Knowledge Graph (KG) results. Movies in [US city] – KG results. Tradesmen (or similar) in [San Francisco area] – Home Services results. Some or all (unclear) of the tradesmen pay to be included in this scheme. This will be covered in detail in a subsequent column. While these are likely to come to a Google near you, most are not yet seen, or not seen in their entirety outside the US (or parts of the US). So for the sake of this column we … [Read more...] about Where is Google heading with mobile local search?
Want to ask Jenny an SEO question for her bi-weekly column? Fill out our form or use #AskAnSEO on social media. More great questions this week – keep them coming! I disavow bad links monthly for the past 7 months, this consumes almost an entire day. How long should I continue to disavow? –Kevin S., Charlotte, North Carolina I hate to give the standard “SEO” answer, but it depends. If the reason you are disavowing links is because you did some really bad things and got slammed for it, then you need to keep disavowing or removing the bad ones as they regenerate. Bad links are like Gremlins; they multiply, and they keep coming back. If you’re still finding lots to disavow every time you update, one of two things is happening: You’re disavowing too much: If you’re disavowing almost every link that comes in, rethink your definition of “bad”. It’s very possible you’re disavowing some good links (like reputable directories … [Read more...] about How Long Should You Disavow? More From #AskAnSEO
Between the long-awaited rollout of Penguin 4.0, a strengthening of Google’s mobile-friendly ranking signal and the ‘Possum’ algorithm update impacting local search, 2016 was an interesting year for Google algorithm changes. And with an upcoming move to a mobile-first search index already on the cards, as well as a penalty for intrusive mobile interstitials coming into effect on the 10th, 2017 promises to be just as eventful. Looking back at 2016, which algorithm changes were the most impactful for marketers in the industry? And how can brands best prepare themselves for what might be around the corner? I spoke to Sastry Rachakonda and Ajay Rama of digital marketing agency iQuanti, along with Search Engine Watch’s regular mobile columnist Andy Favell, to get their thoughts on what’s to come in the search industry. The most impactful algorithm updates of 2016 “Mobile-first indexing is probably the most significant change that happened this … [Read more...] about Which Google algorithm changes impacted marketers most in 2016 – and what can we expect from 2017?