German publishing syndicate now allowing Google to display news excerpts in search results (update)

Google-Germany

As a result of an ongoing legal battle, Google recently changed the way it displays search results for news stories from select European publishers. A syndicate known as VG Media is claiming that Google’s search engine is letting people bypass their sites’ paywalls, and is demanding compensation for lost revenue. In an effort to smooth things over, Google removed text previews and thumbnail images from its search results for select publishers involved in this claim, but it appears that VG Media has had a change of heart.

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Shocker! Teenagers use mobile voice search more than adults

Voice-Search

Teenagers talk on the phone a lot, but you know what else they do? Talk to their phones. Google published a study today looking at that voice search habits of American smartphone users and to no one’s surprise, teens use the feature more than adults. According to Mountain View’s findings 55 percent of teens ranging from 13 to 18 years old use voice search every day.

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Google’s updated ‘right to be forgotten’ stats: 497k links evaluated, 42% removed

forgotten

Google has updated its transparency report for the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling, requiring it to remove links to sensitive information about individuals when it is considered out-dated or irrelevant.

The company revealed that it has now received 144,907 requests to evaluate almost half a billion links, and that it has so far removed 41.8% of those. Links to facebook topped the list, with 3,331 URLs removed from search results …  Read more

Celebrity attorney threatening Google with $100 million lawsuit over links to leaked pictures

googlel right to be forgotten

A recent scandal that involved countless private pictures of several high-profile female celebrities being published online was initially linked to Apple’s iCloud, however such claims were never validated and the Cupertino software company has publicly denied such allegations. After taking aim at Apple, some of the outraged celebrities are now targeting Google, threatening to sue the company behind its web search results linking to their leaked photos.

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Google no longer displaying news article excerpts in German search results

After receiving a lot of pressure from a group German publishers, Google is changing the way its search engine handles news articles. The company is now removing excerpts and image thumbnails from its web search results for sites like bild.de, bunte.de or hoerzu.de and replacing them with headlines and story links.

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Google officially removes authorship from search results

Google Personal Search

Google has officially announced the end of authorship, a feature within search that gave users an idea of who exactly wrote the content behind the link before clicking it. Paired with a headshot, the name of the content creator was for a very long time shown alongside the number of Google+ circles he or she was in as well as a link to read more content by that author. But as of today—while headshots have been gone for a while—this feature is completely finished and links in search are back to being a bit more uniform.

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‘Right to be forgotten’ farce continues as BBC posts links to 12 stories removed by Google

bbcnews

People who have asked Google to remove links to news stories under the controversial European ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling are once again finding the move counter-productive. The BBC News site has posted links to stories removed from Google’s search, bringing back into the spotlight stories that are in some cases more than a decade old.

The BBC posted links to all 12 of the stories removed from Google’s search results. They range from the serious – three men accused of possessing bomb-making equipment in Ireland – to the ridiculous, a dispute over a lost dog …  Read more

Google starts giving search preference to HTTPS encrypted websites

Google Personal Search

Google says it has been testing changes to its search algorithms that will give secure, encrypted websites — as shown by HTTPS in their URL — ranking preference over those that do not. Google as a company prioritizes security, and as more and more webmasters are adopting HTTPS, the company hopes that this change will push more webmasters to do the same.

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Wikipedia stands up against ‘right to be forgotten,’ uploads Google removal notices

wikipedia

In the company’s first transparency report, Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, has revealed some information regarding the site’s censorship under infamous European “right to be forgotten” laws — and it’s clear that he’s not very happy with the people who take advantage of them. This isn’t the first time Wales has spoken out against censorship, but now he’s making it very clear that he feels governments are going just a bit too far.

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Hong Kong court finds Google liable for defamation via auto-complete suggestions

triad

Things are getting interesting for Google on the legal front. Not long after the ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling and the messy fallout from that, a Hong Kong court has ruled that the company is responsible for auto-complete suggestions where they could be said to defame.

MyBroadband (via The Loop) reports:

A Hong Kong court has ruled that a local tycoon can sue Google Inc for defamation because searches for his name on Google suggest adding the word ‘triad’, Hong Kong’s notorious organized crime groups.

Searches in both English and Chinese for Albert Yeung Sau-shing, the founder and chairman of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Emperor Group, will automatically suggest phrases related to organized crime using Google’s ‘autocomplete’ function.

On Tuesday, the High Court of Hong Kong dismissed Google’s argument that it was not responsible for the autocomplete suggestions related to Yeung and that the court did not have personal jurisdiction over the U.S. search giant … 

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Google News Publisher Center lets content producers manually update URLs and labels

Google News Publisher Center

Today, in a blog post, Google announced the release of Google News Publisher Center, a new tool that helps news producers keep the search company up to date with any changes made to the structure of their website. This portal lets verified companies manage and edit the way their web content is displayed in Google News without having to jump through hoops.

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Google hosting Advisory Council on Right to be Forgotten across Europe including Rome, Paris, & London

Europe Antitrust Google

Much discussion on Internet policy has been prompted since the European Union Court of Justice ruled in May of this year that it is an individual’s right to request Google remove sensitive information from search results. Since the ruling on the Right to be Forgotten, as it is often called, Google has established a web page dedicated to taking such requests and begun removing data from its search results as requested although that hasn’t been without further complaints from EU regulators.

For its part, Google has shared its criteria for information removal and announced an the establishment of an advisory panel of experts for fielding concerns throughout this fall over the policy and its implementation. Today the search giant has shared the dates and cities of when that advisory panel will host in-person public discussion on the right to be forgotten. Check below for the specifics: Read more