Monthly Archives: July 2014

Matt Cutts wants you to send him your scraper sites

Google fails to reign in scraper sites

Matt Cutts wants you to send him your scraper sitesThere’s nothing more aggravating that writing for a publication that’s got a good reputation, ranks well in the SERPs but now is outranked by scraper sites, no thanks to Google. The latest example is my story about EAZE, the mobile medical marijuana delivery service app published today in Technorati. Now Technorati has a long history, going way back to the 1990s when it was the defacto directory for blogs on the Web. It recently underwent a change in direction, wanting to refocus itself on what it does best, serve up ads while at the same time marketing itself as a premier site for technology-related content.

My story about EAZE should have ranked well enough to be featured on page 1 of Google, including a listing in Google news since Google previously identified Technorati as a news source. What were the results?

Google page 1 resultsAs you can see above this snapshot listing the first page results on Google for the keywords, “EAZE SF” feature two scraper sites, one called Freenewspos and the other, Veooz. Both outrank Technorati’s listing, which currently ranks on page 2. I’ve contacted both scrapers via their websites letting them know that what they are doing is patently illegal. I also informed both sites that I reported them to Google. How did I report them to Google?

Google ScraperMatt Cutts, who is now conveniently on vacation, earlier this year asked the public via Twitter to send him examples of Google-related scraper sites. By using Google’s Scraper report. I submitted two scraper reports, one for each violation. And what is Google’s response to date? “Thanks.” Of course, if I represented the New York Times Matt Cutts would return from vacation and right away investigate the matter. But since he’s gone, I’ve got the rest of his volunteer team working on the problem. Right? Wrong. First answer I get from the forum is the same BS given to anyone who complains about how Google is screwing them over.

Google is a search engine monopoly. It just doesn’t care enough or do enough to sanction violators of SERP rankings.

Unhappy with food service

French blogger gets fined for negative restaurant review in Google

Unhappy with food service

You’re familiar with Yelp and its seemingly endless reviews of restaurants by so-called “food critics.” While in general most complaints about a bad restaurant experience have more to do with service than with food, on occasion it’s the food that takes the lion’s share of the blame. But for French restaurant critic Caroline Doudet, she found out the hard way what happens when a restaurant you patronize fights back because of a negative review you posted in Google.

BBC News reported that the owner of II Giardino restaurant took Doudet to court because her negative review of his restaurant and its prominent position on Google was “unfairly hurting their business.” Ms. Doudet’s wrote a blog post (which has since been taken down) with the title “the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino.”

The review appeared fourth in Google search rankings when searching for the restaurant. The judge ruled that the title of the post needed to be changed so its title wouldn’t rank as high in Google’s search engine. The judge also decided that the damage done by Doudet’s post was exacerbated by Doudet’s fashion and literature blog, “Cultur’elle” and indicated that the size of her fan-base (in this case about 3K followers) was enough to consider her opinion influential.

As part of the ruling, Doudet was ordered to amend her post title and pay damages in the amount of €1,500 ($2,000; £1,200) as well as an extra €1,000 to cover Il Giardino’s costs.

This action suggests a number of important questions.

What about free speech? And what was so terrible about Doudet’s review?

Most of us who eat out from time to time have experienced poor service or poor fare. But how many of us blog about it or better yet, has a significant number of fans that might be influenced by your review? In this case, the judge felt the blogger was influential and their negative review was going to have a deleterious impact upon the business of the restaurant.

What did the owners of Il Giardino have to say?

The restaurateur admitted that there were “some errors in the service, that happens sometimes in the middle of August.” But what mattered was the way someone can criticize and doing so with respect. In this case, the article continued to place high in Google search results and was causing harm to the restaurant’s reputation, especially given the restaurant’s 15 years in business.

When BBC asked Doudet about the case she said, “This decision creates a new crime of ‘being too highly ranked [on a search engine]’, or of having too great an influence. We look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people.”

L’esprit de France – so much for the revolution!

Alors que pensez vous? Is this European censorship related to search engine results gone haywire? If you have influence, are you not allowed to freely express yourself without fear of retribution? What might have been a better course of action? Did the restaurant owner bother to contact Doudet first before taking her to court?

Google My Business

Link Your Google My Business & AdWords Accounts: Google makes it official

Advertisers who link their Google My Business and Adwords accounts will receive the correct local information they need when ready to purchase thanks to Google’s recent update to location extensions.

Google says it’s critical because “50% of consumers visit a store within one day of searching for location on their smartphones.”

Google My Business

Improved & Quicker Linking

Business advertisers typically had to set up locations for each individual ad campaign. Now, with this new feature, page owners can use Google My Business (previously known as Google Places for Business) to manage all of their business locations. The owner can also choose to link this nifty feature with AdWords enabling all advertising to display the proper address instantaneously.

Just make sure you have the proper business locations set up at the account level so they will automatically populate in your campaigns.

Even Better, Refined Targeting

Once you’ve linked your Google My Business and AdWords accounts, you’re in business. Customize your location targeting and bid adjustments when setting up your new AdWords campaign. According to Google, You can target ads to the United States, then bid +80% for the area within 4 miles of all the business locations that you’ve linked in a single step.”

Linking Your Accounts

Click on Google Support if you need further instructions on updating your location extensions.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account:
  2. Click “Ad Extensions”
  3. From the drop-down menu select “View: Location extensions”
  4. Choose “Upgraded” from the menu
  5. Click +EXTENSION
  6. You will then be prompted to link your Google My Business Account