Google Hit With $593 Million Fine In France For Failing To Ink Deal With News Publishers

FRANCE-ECONOMY-TECHNOLOGY-VIVATECH

Google was hit with a $593 million (€500 Million) fine by antitrust regulators in France on Monday after the company failed to offer a fair deal to local publishers for hosting their news content on its platform, adding to the list of several large fines the U.S. tech giant has copped in Europe in the past few years.

The ruling comes after Google failed to comply with an April 2020 decision by the French regulators to negotiate a deal “in good faith” with publishers to carry snippets of their content on its Google News platform. As part of the ruling, the French Competition Authority has ordered Google to come up with an remuneration offer for its use of the news snippets within two months.

If the tech giant fails to meet the deadline, it will face penalty payments of up to $1 million (€900,000) per day of delay. In a statement shared with Forbes, Google said it was “very disappointed” with the ruling and it believes it had “acted in good faith throughout the entire process.” The company added that it is about to reach a global licensing agreement with the French news agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP), but did not provide a timeline.

Google will be able to appeal Tuesday’s fine, but it is unclear if it will choose to do so.

Crucial Quote

“The sanction of 500 million euros takes into account the exceptional seriousness of the breaches observed and how Google’s behavior has led to further delay of the proper application of the law…which aimed to better take into account the value of content from publishers and news agencies included on the platforms,” Isabelle de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority said in an official statement.

Surprising Fact

Tuesday’s fine is the second-biggest antitrust penalty a single company has faced in France. Last year, the competition regulator hit Apple with a $1.2 billion fine after the company was found to have signed anti-competitive agreements with two distributors over the sale of non-iPhone products such as Apple Mac computers. Apple has appealed the ruling.

Key Background

Publishers in Europe have clashed with Google multiple times in the past year, accusing the tech giant of luring away billions of euros in advertising money from the publishers while leveraging their content. Particularly contentious has been the company’s Google News platform which hosts snippets of news stories from publishers without paying them. On the flipside, publishers are unable to yank their content from Google’s platform as they rely on it heavily to drive traffic to their sites.

Earlier this year, Google managed to reach a $76 million deal to pay a group of 121 French Newspapers. But the AFP and other French publishers who were not part of the deal expressed anger and slammed Google for being opaque. De Silva has dismissed that deal and criticized Google for limiting the scope of the negotiations, excluding agency content like photos, and offering to pay the same amount for news content that it does for dictionary listings or weather information.

Further Reading

Google Fined $593 Million By French Antitrust Agency (Bloomberg)

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I am a Breaking News Reporter at Forbes, with a focus on covering important tech policy and business news. Graduated from Columbia University with an MA in Business and Economics Journalism in 2019. Worked as a journalist in New Delhi, India from 2014 to 2018. Have a news tip? DMs are open on Twitter @SiladityaRay or drop me an email at siladitya@protonmail.com.

Source: Google Hit With $593 Million Fine In France For Failing To Ink Deal With News Publishers

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Critics:

Google said it was very disappointed with the decision but would comply. “Our objective remains the same: we want to turn the page with a definitive agreement. We will take the French Competition Authority’s feedback into consideration and adapt our offers,” the U.S. tech giant said.

A Google spokesperson added: “We have acted in good faith throughout the entire process. The fine ignores our efforts to reach an agreement, and the reality of how news works on our platforms.”

The framework agreement, which many other French media outlets criticized, was one of the highest-profile deals under Google’s “News Showcase” programme to provide compensation for news snippets used in search results, and the first of its kind in Europe.

Google agreed to pay $76 million over three years to a group of 121 French news publishers to end the copyright row, documents seen by Reuters showed. It followed months of bargaining between Google, French publishers and news agencies over how to apply the revamped EU copyright rules, which allow publishers to demand a fee from online platforms showing extracts of their news. read more

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Google Maps Offensive Continues as Apple Begins Mapping New Regions

While Apple Maps is said to be a solid alternative to Google Maps, it’s not necessarily a secret that Apple’s app isn’t quite here yet. Especially outside of the United States, as Apple has often been extremely slow when it comes to rolling out new features for users who don’t live in the company’s home market.

Apple Maps, for example, has already received massive updates in the United States, including better maps and new features like traffic information with road signs and traffic light warnings, but this new experience continues to be available in limited markets.

But on the other hand, the iPhone maker is working tirelessly to expand Apple Maps to more markets, as the company itself knows it’s pretty much the only way to compete with Google Maps.

And more recently, Apple sent its fleet of Subaru Impreza used for data collection to Austria, with the mapping process due to start today. The company hasn’t shared any information on how long the entire process will take, but according to local media, Apple just wants to focus on vehicle-based data for now, so foot mapping wouldn’t take place. as part of this first step in the process.

This is probably a sign that Apple wants to improve the navigation component of its app, although time will tell how quickly the new data will be available to users in Austria.

The good news is that Apple is indeed making very good progress when it comes to expanding Apple Maps to more regions. Right now, this is one of the biggest shortcomings of using Apple Maps compared to alternatives like Google Maps, as the preloaded app on iPhones still lacks map data. updated and new features in many major markets.

Apple has yet to confirm Apple Maps’ expansion in Austria, but expect to see the company’s Subaru Imprezas on the streets of the country for several months.

After Apple hinted it was parting ways with Google Maps for its own proprietary system and application, Google is firing back, announcing it has new mapping technology ahead of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference. In an invite sent to press last week, Google promised to “show off some of the newest technology and give a sneak peak at upcoming features,” according to CNET.

No word yet on whether the mapping technology will be for Google’s Chrome browser or for android phones or both, but mobile support seems likely. Will Google’s new application include something similar to Apple’s powerful new 3-D mode, which, according to 9-to-5 Mac, boasts “beautiful, realistic graphics”? Stay tuned as Map Wars 2012 continues.

Source: Google Maps offensive continues as Apple begins mapping new regions – OLTNEWS

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Critics:

The Google Maps apps for iOS and Android have many of the same features, including turn-by-turn navigation, street view, and public transit information.Turn-by-turn navigation was originally announced by Google as a separate beta testing app exclusive to Android 2.0 devices in October 2009. The original standalone iOS version did not support the iPad, but tablet support was added with version 2.0 in July 2013. An update in June 2012 for Android devices added support for offline access to downloaded maps of certain regions, a feature that was eventually released for iOS devices, and made more robust on Android, in May 2014.

At the end of 2015 Google Maps announced its new offline functionality, but with various limitations – downloaded area cannot exceed 120,000 square kilometres and require a considerable amount of storage space. In January 2017, Google added a feature exclusively to Android that will, in some U.S. cities, indicate the level of difficulty in finding available parking spots, and on both Android and iOS, the app can, as of an April 2017 update, remember where users parked. In August 2017, Google Maps for Android was updated with new functionality to actively help the user in finding parking lots and garages close to a destination.

In December 2017, Google added a new two-wheeler mode to its Android app, designed for users in India, allowing for more accessibility in traffic conditions. In 2019 the android version introduced the new feature called live view that allows to view directions directly on the road thanks to augmented reality Google Maps won the 2020 Webby Award for Best User Interface in the category Apps, Mobile & Voice. In March 2021, Google added a feature in which user can draw missing roads.

In 2005 the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) complained about the potential for terrorists to use the satellite images in planning attacks, with specific reference to the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor; however, the Australian Federal government did not support the organization’s concern. At the time of the ANSTO complaint, Google had colored over some areas for security (mostly in the US), such as the rooftop of the White House and several other Washington, D.C., US buildings.

In October 2010, Nicaraguan military commander Edén Pastora stationed Nicaraguan troops on the Isla Calero (in the delta of the San Juan River), justifying his action on the border delineation given by Google Maps. Google has since updated its data which it found to be incorrect.

On January 27, 2014, documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and the GCHQ intercepted Google Maps queries made on smartphones, and used them to locate the users making these queries. One leaked document, dating to 2008, stated that “[i]t effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system.

References

Google Advertising Policy Opens Doors To Wider Bitcoin Community

The Google logo seen at the entrance to Google Cloud campus...

Google GOOG +1.5% is revising its advertising policy to let cryptocurrency wallets advertise with them, along with exchanges, starting August 3rd provided that they are either registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) or a federal or state chartered bank entity. The new policy will apply globally to Google search and its third-party sites, including YouTube, Gmail, or Blogger..

The expanded policy comes three years after Google banned all crypto-related advertising in March 2018. However, Google walked-back the policy five months later, allowing regulated cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase to advertise in the United States and Japan in September 2018. While expanded to allow cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to advertise, ads for initial coin offerings (ICOs), decentralized finance (DeFi) trading protocols, or promotions of specific cryptocurrencies are not permitted under the new policy.

It remains to be seen how this reversal in the policy will lead to a further loosening on other major advertising platforms that have placed restrictions on crypto firms. In 2018, Facebook banned all ads promoting cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and initial coin offerings.

A few months later, Facebook edited the policy to introduce an eligibility review process for those looking to advertise certain cryptocurrency products or services; applicants should submit any licenses, listings on public stock exchanges, or other relevant public background.

Twitter, similarly to Facebook and Google, prohibits the advertisement of initial coin offerings or crypto token sales but allows exchanges or wallet services provided by a publicly traded crypto company to advertise with them provided as long as they comply with local laws.

BY: Emily Mason

Source: Google Advertising Policy Opens Doors To Wider Bitcoin Community

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Alphabet Inc.’s Google, the world’s largest digital advertising seller, will let companies offering cryptocurrency wallets run ads beginning in August.

In 2018, Google barred ads for cryptocurrencies and related products, following a similar move from Facebook Inc. But Google soon peeled back that restriction for digital currency exchanges. Starting in August, Google will let wallets run ads on search, YouTube and other properties as long as they go through the company’s certification process.

Google is making the change “in order to better match existing FinCEN regulations and requirements,” a spokesperson said Wednesday in a statement.

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Why You Suddenly Need To Stop Using Google Chrome

It's time to ditch Chrome—here's why.

If you’re among the billions of people using Chrome, then Google’s stark new data harvesting disclosures should come as a nasty surprise. Worse, a new Chrome revelation, one that hasn’t yet made headlines but which is detailed below, should serve as an even more serious warning. Here’s what you need to do now.

Google is under fire this week, after the surprising amount of your data harvested by Chrome has been disclosed. This is a genuine threat to your privacy. Worse, a more serious issue for Google, detailed below, hasn’t even made headlines yet. Chrome is totally out of step with Safari, Edge and Firefox, shattering Google’s “privacy first web” claims. All of which should give you a serious reason to quit Chrome today.

Last year, when Apple said that it would force app developers to disclose the scale of data collected and linked to its users, all eyes turned to Google and Facebook. Many suspected that this level of scrutiny would shine an alarming light on the world’s two most valuable data machines. And that’s exactly what has happened.

The issue for Google is that, unlike Facebook, it sits both sides of the fence. Guarding your privacy on one side—with Android and and its mail, docs and drive ecosystem, and an advertising behemoth on the other, collecting $100 billion plus in ad spend, the majority of its annual revenue. In that regard, it’s really no different to Facebook.

And so, there’s little surprise that Apple’s mandatory privacy labels have shown these two ad giants to be well out of step with their peers when it comes to collecting your data. If your business model is monetizing your users’ information, then you’ll want to collect as much as you reasonably can—and Google and Facebook don’t disappoint.

“Google doesn’t care about protecting user privacy,” privacy-centric DuckDuckGo warned this week, when Chrome’s privacy label was finally revealed, “they care about protecting their surveillance business model. If they really cared about privacy, they would just stop spying on billions of people around the world.”

DuckDuckGo focused on the data that Google collects, linked to its users. But there’s a different dataset in the detail, included below, that’s much more damaging to Google and which shows Chrome to be shockingly different to its major rivals.

MORE FROM FORBESStop This ‘Secret’ Location Tracking On Your iPhone-3 Critical Settings You Need To Change Today

I have already warned that Gmail collects more data than other leading mail platforms. In its defense, Google pointed me at comments made by CEO Sundar Pichai, that “we don’t use information in apps where you primarily store personal content—such as Gmail, Drive, Calendar and Photos—for advertising purposes, period.”

You’ll note that Chrome isn’t on that list, nor is it an app “where you primarily store personal content.” But it is an app where you enter private and sensitive search terms and conduct private transactions. But what Chrome does have in common with Gmail is an avaricious and out of step approach to data harvesting.

Google took its time adding privacy labels, with a gap between app updates of some three months after the labels became mandatory. But now we can see the detail for Chrome, just as we did for Gmail. As I commented on Gmail, protecting user privacy is a binary philosophy, “you either believe it’s the right thing to do, or you don’t.” And these new labels have made Google’s (and Facebook’s) privacy claims sound hollow.

Just as with Gmail, Chrome collects your user ID and device ID in too many categories. Unlike Safari, Edge and Firefox, Chrome says it links all harvested data to devices and individuals. Safari collects but doesn’t link browsing history, usage data and locations to users. Neither Firefox nor Edge link usage data. But Chrome says it collects all those data fields and links all of them to user identities.

This isn’t complicated. The fact is that Chrome collects more data than any of the other browsers, yet is the only one that doesn’t appear to collect any data that isn’t linked to user identities. This is a much more shocking illustration of the different philosophies at play. Chrome hasn’t even attempted to protect its users’ privacy in this way. This isn’t about specific data fields, this is about an overarching attitude to privacy.

“You don’t become a multi-billion-dollar company without grabbing as much data as you can then monetize,” says Cyjax CISO Ian Thornton-Trump. “It’s like there’s some sort of crossroads well maybe a three-way intersection. Collect all the data you can, collect all the data you need or collect the bare minimum of data. The companies in the bare minimum category are few and far between.”

“Why does a web browser need my financial data?” asks security researcher Sean Wright. “I think that says it all really. I really struggle to think of a suitable justification for that.” Google will argue that you can elect to provide your financial data when you choose to transact. But it’s yet more data collected under the guise of convenience.

Google didn’t offer any comments in response to this story, but did insist that the justification for its data collection is to provide features and functions—for example tailoring searches to a user’s location. Again, this misses the stark difference between an in-session function and collecting linked user data, as suggested by its privacy label.

Google’s viewpoint, that it only collects the data needed to provide its service, is the same rationale WhatsApp gave me for collecting its own treasure trove of data. The issue with that reasoning, though, is that competing apps that collect significantly less data offer similar features and levels of performance and security.

Clearly, not every user will provide every data field on the privacy label to Google—they’re intended as a worst case, this is the data that could be collected. This is why comparisons are so critical—no privacy label should be taken in isolation. It’s also wrong to only compare mainstream apps with privacy-first specialists. Chrome versus DuckDuckGo, or WhatsApp versus Signal, for example.

Comparing Google, Apple and Microsoft makes more sense. Looking across both emails apps and browsers for the three tech giants does not paint a pretty picture for Google—bear this in mind before you install its apps on your phone.

On the surface, Google does appear to be making privacy-related changes. Google told me it will “no longer use the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA)… on iOS for personalized advertisements and ad-related measurement in the near future.” Google has also committed to ending cross-site tracking cookies. But the devil’s in the detail, as seen in the news this week that Google killing these cookies might be anticompetitive.

Google makes its money selling ads tailored to you as an individual, contextualized by your search or activity. Most of those ads are geared around search queries. And so, Google’s plan to replace cookies with so-called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), a clever way to say the “anonymization” of individual users into groups of individuals with common characteristics, is the kind of cleverness you’d expect from an ad giant.

The shift to FLoC has been criticized as putting too much control and, ultimately, monetization in Google’s hands. And, because this approach is handled by the browser you use, that control is enabled by Chrome’s dominance of the browser market, with a greater than 60% market share. “Users and advocates must reject FLoC,” says EFF, “and other misguided attempts to reinvent behavioral targeting. We implore Google to abandon FLoC and redirect its effort towards building a truly user-friendly Web.”

You might decide that you don’t like your browser analyzing searches and collecting your data to target you with ads. You might assume that a browser alleged to have tracked users even when those users enabled its “incognito” mode isn’t a privacy-first kind of platform. You might also ask if Safari and Edge deliver a degraded service absent that data harvesting. Remember, you can use Google without Chrome.

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This new Chrome warning is especially relevant for iPhone and iPad users, given they can now change their device’s default browser away from Safari. You certainly don’t want switch this to Chrome—ever. Why would you open yourself up to additional data harvesting when it does not add to your online experience?

Whether it’s mail or browsers, the pattern is clear. And before people email me to tell me they see some of the missing data types in other browsers or email apps, remember the difference between data fields being used and actually being linked to your identity. There’s a world of difference between the two.

Andy Yen, the founder and CEO of ProtonMail, was heavily critical of Google’s data collection from Gmail. He sees the same pattern here, telling me that “a picture paints a thousand words. The only legitimate reason for a product to collect data is to make sure it has the information it needs to function. This necessity will vary from product to product, but as the chart shows, a browser clearly doesn’t need to collect any information on its users to do its job. The biggest players have profiteered off users’ trust for too long and it’s time for alternatives.”

The best browser for privacy is DuckDuckGo, albeit it’s likely too much of a departure for most users. But in whichever browser you use, turn off cross-site tracking where you can and consider using private browsing modes, albeit you’ll miss the convenience in accessing previous sites and being remembered when you do.

DuckDuckGo says it is now seeing a surge in downloads. “Looking at app store rankings,” a spokesperson told me, “our mobile browser has been the second most downloaded mobile browser in the U.S. after Chrome.” It also says, unsurprisingly, that it supports Apple’s mandatory privacy labels, which have highlighted its benefits, “and we hope other app marketplaces will follow suit.”

This is the crux, though. Apple does not monetize data in the same way as Google, its business model is to sell devices and services within its ecosystem, and privacy does genuinely appear to be in its DNA. The same cannot be said for Google. Google is not going to crack down on data collection in the same way. What it will do, though, is to adopt some of Apple’s initiatives, ensuring that it doesn’t fall too far behind.

The last decade has seen a steady erosion of your privacy. Free to use apps and platforms have monetized you and your data. You have traded away your privacy for that convenience. But when two of the world’s largest tech companies, Google and Facebook, generate most of their revenues from advertising, and when that advertising is driven by your data and interactions with their services, the balance is very wrong.

“Facebook said that ‘privacy is a thing of the past’,” recalls security expert Mike Thompson, referring to Mark Zuckerberg’s comments a decade ago, before he began to advocate more private interactions. “So why would Google not take the same stance? If Google took my privacy seriously, I wouldn’t see repetitive ads all over my social media,” Thompson says, referring to ads that link back to activity on his phone.

But privacy is now on the agenda more than ever before. You have the opportunity to restore some of what has been lost. But only if you take initiatives like privacy labels seriously, if you show some correlation between the apps you use and the data they collect. If you look at the relative privacy labels and chose Chrome over Safari, or Chrome over Edge, then you send a message that its data harvesting is fine by you.

As I’ve said before, what happens next is down to all of us—all of you.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Zak is a widely recognized expert on surveillance and cyber, as well as the security and privacy issues associated with big tech, social media and communication platforms, as well as IoT and smartphone security. He is frequently cited in the international media and is a regular commentator on broadcast news, with appearances on BBC, Sky, NPR, NBC, Channel 4, TF1, ITV and Fox, as well as various cybersecurity and surveillance documentaries.

Zak has twenty years experience in real-world cybersecurity and surveillance, most recently as the Founder/CEO of Digital Barriers, which develops advanced surveillance technologies for frontline security and defence agencies as well as commercial organizations in the US, Europe and Asia. The company is at the forefront of AI-based surveillance and works closely with flagship government agencies around the world on the appropriate and proportionate use of such technologies.

Zak can be reached at zakd@me.com.

Source: Why You Suddenly Need To Stop Using Google Chrome

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3 Common Myths About SEO That You Need To Know

SEO is a strange beast. It is surprising how many people have never heard of SEO.  And of the people who have heard of it, many don’t really know what it is. While others know what it is, but have no idea what to do about it.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which is a fancy way of saying… make your site easier for Google to find and feature higher in their search results leading to growth in sales, leads or brand visibility.

But of course, it’s not that simple. There are many moving parts in SEO, and those parts are constantly changing due to Google updates, algorithm changes, and improvements in modern technology. On top of that, there are many people online who claim to be SEO experts, but under the most cursory of scrutiny reveal themselves to be at best incompetent, and at worst complete charlatans.

Even the real experts will have different opinions on what works and what doesn’t, so with SEO being so nebulous, it’s no wonder there are so many myths floating around.We could literally write thousands of pages on this topic, but we don’t want to bore you. Instead, here are the top three myths about SEO and why you really should leave it to the professionals.

It’s all about keywords

Myth: Whatever your website sells, the more times you mention it, the more likely you’ll be featured on Google’s first page. Selling chess sets? Then fill your copy with the phrase “chess sets” over and over again. That’s what people are searching for, right? Makes sense to talk about it?

The Truth: Once upon a time in the early days of the internet, this tactic of keyword stuffing actually had some merit. But that was before Google got smart and wised up to what was going on. For at least the past decade, keyword stuffing has been pointless and anyone using it will have their site punished, and even run the risk of having it removed from the search listings altogether! Not something you want to happen as it’s not the easiest or quickest job to get back in the search results.

Google is all about providing the best service to its users. They want the best website for the job, and simply cramming your site full of keywords is not going to help. This was a very old SEO technique which was in an ethical grey area to begin with, but now results in a website being flagged as untrustworthy. If someone recommends this, then it’s a clue they’ve no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to SEO – so move on quickly.

You can simply pay for the same result

Myth: Forget about spending time and money on SEO! Simply pay for Google Ads and you’ll be at the top of Google’s first page anyway!

The Truth: No, that’s not how it works.

While Google Ads can be helpful, particularly alongside organic SEO if you’re targeting certain keywords or running a special promotion, buying Google Ads does not help your site rise in their ranking or get you more organic visitors.

Ok, so, you’re not at the top of Google’s first page “organically”, who cares, you’re still there, right? Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean people will click on your ad. In fact, depending on the topic, the click-through rate on Google Ads can be as small as 2%!

The good news is, those who do click will probably go on to buy something, but the bad news is, the second you stop paying for those ads, you stop appearing on the first page.

Getting to the top of Google’s search results organically is undoubtedly hard, but has longer lasting results and is definitely worth the effort. Organic results are simply trusted more as there are so many factors involved in getting your website there. A key attribute of successful organic performance is E.A.T. or Expertise, Authority, and Trust.

SEO is no longer important

Myth: SEO is dead. There’s no need to optimise your site because Google is answering people’s questions directly on their results page. Add to that their constant algorithm changes, the rise of social media platforms, and mobile technology, and there’s no point in spending all that time and money on optimisation.

The Truth: SEO is more important now than ever, and the reason is because of all those changes. Google receives a mind-blowing six billion search queries per day. That’s roughly two trillion a year. As more and more people find themselves online across the globe, the number of websites, businesses, and products is increasing exponentially.

All these sites are fighting for clients and customers, and Google needs some method to rank them. To visit your site, people must know about it, and more than 95 per cent of clicks go to the top four search results. This is why, if you want to make it to the top of their search results, it’s essential to have a customised SEO strategy.

Visitors turn into customers, and at the end of the day, that’s what makes a business successful.

SEO – best left to the professionals

SEO is an incredibly complicated discipline, shifting in practice, theory, and even definition, year to year. Getting SEO right includes combining a large number of tools, using best practices that are evolving frequently and constantly adjusting to the numerous Google updates.

Even the experts in the field need to be on their toes, constantly keeping ahead of the curve when it comes to updates, software, and Google’s list of do’s and don’ts. It’ really no wonder there are so many myths about SEO and the best practice out there.

Best practice SEO is definitely worth it when built on a strong foundation using good metadata, titles and descriptions, clear, concise headings, and a website optimised for the user. Then there are a large number of other factors – pagespeed, technical performance, lack of errors, page structure, user experience, structured data, backlinks, image optimisation, hosting, content delivery networks, mobile performance and many more. And of course, high quality, unique and informative content.

It’s a fluid, continuous work in progress, always changing and adapting to the demands of the digital horizon, and is never, ever, a one-time thing.So, in the end, what ranks best? What tweaks and twists can you do to get on that much sought-after, but all elusive first page of Google?

The basics are still the same as they were 20 years ago; select keywords (but not too many), create quality content that gives value to your audience, (not boring regurgitated words that offer nothing of value) and solid link-building (but not just to any old site).

To put it in simple terms, link building is the process used to get other websites to link back to your website. Building links is one of the many disciplines used in SEO as they indicate to Google that your site is a quality resource worthy of citation.

But alongside that, there are a thousand and one small nuances that constantly change over time, moving the goalposts for everyone. A good knowledgeable SEO professional will constantly educate themselves to keep up with the constant changes to Google’s algorithm and adhere to best practice within the industry, making sure they are doing their best for their clients to keep them in the game.

If you are thinking about implementing a customised SEO strategy to help your rankings in Google, please feel free to contact us and have a chat about what we can do for you and your business. We will break down the complexities of SEO into simple terms that you can understand.

We are a specialist inbound marketing agency with a range of clients across New Zealand and Australia. The Directors have over 15 years of experience in this space and our team bring specialist skills and years of experience to their roles.

We have been recognised by some of the largest content marketing and SEO organisations on the planet for our work including Content Marketing Institute, Copyblogger Media, Chief Content Officer magazine and a number of specialist SEO blogs. Our business approach is all about trust, transparency, a commitment to quality and representing our clients with integrity.

Gary Ireland

Gary Ireland

With experience in everything from graphic design to teenage counseling, Gary finally settled on writing as his main weapon of choice. “But writing is just one part of this job, which is why I love it so much. It’s hard to get bored with so many irons in the fire. If I’m not researching an article, I’m on Social Media, or working behind the scenes to optimise a site for Google’s latest algorithms. I learn something new every day, and each day brings with it new challenges.”

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Google Search Central

What are some of the biggest SEO Myths you see still being repeated (either at conferences, or in blogs, etc) Ryan, Michigan Have a question? Ask it in our Webmaster Help Forum: http://groups.google.com/a/googleprod… Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/googlewmc Get notified of new videos on Google+: http://www.google.com/+GoogleWebmasters More videos: http://www.youtube.com/GoogleWebmaste… Webmaster Central Blog: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspo… Webmaster Central: http://www.google.com/webmasters/

Google’s Huge Market Share Doesn’t Automatically Make It a Monopoly

This week the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a lawsuit accusing Google of using “anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in the markets” for search and advertising.

It is the most significant antitrust case since the US government took on Microsoft in 1998 for using its dominant position as the provider of the Windows operating system to force PC makers to bundle its Internet Explorer web browser.

That case was fought out in US courts for years before Microsoft agreed to settle in 2001. This case will no doubt be heavily litigated, and likewise take years to conclude. But it’s not too soon to consider the basic economics.

The bottom line is more complicated than one might think. Yes, Google has a huge share of the search-engine market – 92% globally according to statcounter.com, compared with 2.8% for Microsoft’s Bing, 1.6% for Yahoo! and 0.5% for DuckDuckGo.

But does that give Google a lot of “market power” – the ability to charge high price or produce low-quality products? Probably not.

To judge if a company like Google is really a monopolist, it is crucial to understand the difference between ordinary markets (like those for clothes, cars, or breakfast cereal) and technology markets (like those for internet search, social media, or ride sharing).


Read more: The US is taking on Google in a huge antitrust case. It could change the face of online search


Markets with ‘network externalities’

Any introductory economics textbook will tell you a large market share is smoking-gun evidence of market power; and that with market power comes the ability to shut out competitors, charge high prices and even get away with producing low-quality products.

Economists of all stripes agree that regulating monopolies and making markets more competitive benefits consumers, through lower prices and better products.

Indeed, this was the motivation behind the so-called “trust-busting” movement in the US in the early 20th century. The most famous scalp was John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, which the US Supreme Court ordered in 1911 be broken up into 34 separate companies. (The break-up made Rockefeller the world’s richest man).

But internet search isn’t like oil. Neither is social media, ride sharing or platforms like Amazon. These are what economists call “markets with network externalities”. That is, when more consumers use the product, it becomes more valuable for other consumers.


Read more: Lawmakers keen to break up ‘big tech’ like Amazon and Google need to realize the world has changed a lot since Microsoft and Standard Oil


Facebook is useful because it connects one with lots of other users. A thousand little, disconnected social media platforms would be much less useful. Amazon connects lots of sellers with million of consumers. This is hugely valuable for both. Google connects lots of consumers with advertisers and information. Again, this is valuable to both sides of the market.

Because network externalities mean — all else being equal — the bigger the market share the more valuable the company’s product is to consumers, we tend to see one dominant company and a few smaller ones in such markets.

Just because tech companies have a big share of the market now, however, doesn’t mean they are destined to keep it.

Remember Netscape? In the mid-1990s it had a 80% share in the browser market, before losing it to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Netscape Navigator Version 1.11
Netscape Navigator version 1.11. OiMax/flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

But Internet Explorer’s dominance, peaking at 95% share in the early 2000s, didn’t last either. It now claims barely 1% of the browser market.

This is why companies in markets with network externalities are never asleep. Uber and Facebook are constantly running experiments to innovate their products, as are other companies like Amazon and, you guessed it, Google.

Influencers and defaults

An important part of the Department of Justice’s suit against Google is that it allegedly pays Apple as much as US$11 billion a year to be the default search engine on the Safari browser on every iPhone.

This is a bit like paying for a social media influencer to plug your product — with a twist. Making something the default doesn’t mean the user has to use it, but the small effort to choose an alternative means most don’t bother.

But if it really wasn’t a good product and didn’t deliver good search results, wouldn’t consumers (a) remove it and (b) be less likely to buy iPhones?

There’s a big difference between something being a default and there being no choice. Articulating this difference may end up being an important part of how the Google litigation plays out.

Indeed, Microsoft making Internet Explorer the default browser in Windows has been an ongoing source of back and forth with US and European competition authorities.


Read more: Twitter is banning political ads – but the real battle for democracy is with Facebook and Google


Ultimately misguided

As with the suits against Standard Oil and Microsoft, the case against Google will be decided by the courts, perhaps ending with the US Supreme Court. The outcome will be instructive as to whether other tech companies like Amazon, Facebook or Uber will also wind up in the firing line.

Ironically, at a time of extreme polarisation in US politics, breaking up big tech companies is popular on the left and the right.

But we should remember that consumers are huge beneficiaries from these tech companies. Think about how much it used to cost to take and print photographs. A 2018 International Monetary Fund report cites research suggesting US consumers would need more than US$25,000 a year to compensate for the loss of free services from tech companies.


International Monetary Fund, Measuring the Digital Economy, 2018

That’s a lot.

What is crucial for competition regulators around the world to note is that the markets in which big technology companies operate are not like other markets. Because of network externalities they tend to have big “in” firms (with a large market share) and smaller “out” firms (with small market shares but providing competitive discipline).

That doesn’t mean these markets aren’t competitive. It means the “in” companies have a lot to lose by being leapfrogged by a small competitor. Which is why they work so hard to innovate and keep prices low.

By: Richard Holden Professor of Economics, UNSW

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Fox Business 1.28M subscribers The Justice Department is expected to file an antitrust suit against Google claiming anticompetitive conduct by tech giant. Subscribe to Fox Business! https://bit.ly/2D9Cdse Watch more Fox Business Video: https://video.foxbusiness.com Watch Fox Business Network Live: http://www.foxnewsgo.com/ FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New York — the business capital of the world — FBN launched in October 2007 and is one of the leading business networks on television, having topped CNBC in Business Day viewers for the second consecutive year in 2018. The network is available in nearly 80 million homes in all markets across the United States. Owned by FOX Corporation, FBN is a unit of FOX News Media and has bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Watch full episodes of FBN Primetime shows Lou Dobbs Tonight: https://video.foxbusiness.com/playlis… Kennedy: https://video.foxbusiness.com/playlis… Follow Fox Business on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoxBusiness Follow Fox Business on Twitter: https://twitter.com/foxbusiness Follow Fox Business on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foxbusiness

How Google’s ‘Hybrid’ Work Model Could Work For Your Business

According to CNBC, “Google is rethinking its long-term work options for employees, as most of them say they don’t want to come back to the office full-time.” According to a recent survey of Google employees, “sixty-two percent want to return to their offices at some point, but not every day”. For this reason, the company is working on “hybrid” models for future work. 

If you’re pondering the same in your organization, don’t be binary in your definition of hybrid.

It’s easy to assume a hybrid is a combination of only two things – a car engine with both internal combustion and electric power sources, plants and animals that are cross breeds of two different species, and golf clubs that combine the characteristics of both a wood and an iron.  But hybrids aren’t necessarily limited to combinations of two. According to Merriem-Webster, it can also mean: “having or produced by a combination of two or more distinct elements” and “of mixed character; composed of mixed parts”.

This is great news, because when it comes to hybrid work models, we’re going to need to think much more broadly than just two modes of work – in the office and at home. In fact, there’s a law from the systems sciences that applies.

Ashby’s Law and Hybrid Work Models Recommended For You

We love Ross Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety, which states: “Only variety can destroy variety.”  We usually apply it to problem-solving, and specifically the need to seek out a variety of solvers to match the variety of the problem they’re trying to solve. In their new book Humanocracy,  Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini apply Ashby’s Law to organizations needing “a relentless pace of experimentation” to protect them “from a relentless pace of change”. 

And now, here’s another important implication of the very same law: Only a variety of work options can satisfy a variety of work preferences. That means leaders must work hard to offer a  variety of work models in order to attract and retain top talent.

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The Pandemic Has Changed Preferences and Habits

Why are there so many work preferences among workers? In short: our habits changed almost overnight. Prior to the pandemic, some companies already offered flexible work options – both work-from-home and work-in-the-office – and others were exploring the possibility. Then, starting in March, if people could work from home, they had to work from home. New habits were formed. Daily commuters got used to not commuting. Office-dwellers got used to staying home. Face-to-face believers (like us) adapted to face-to-screen. And across the board, as Airbnb Advisor Chip Conley put it in our interview with him, “IRL (in real life)” was replaced by “URL (digital)”.

As top management thinker Roger L. Martin explained it to us: “Covid-19 has forced us to break our habits, and where they were habits we hated, we won’t be going back. For example, we won’t go back to commuting to work five days per week.” David Musto, president and CEO of Ascensus, told us that leaders will need to think very differently about ”what coming back to the office looks like, now that people have acquired new habits and a new willingness to engage virtually.” 

BBC’s former head of Corporate Real Estate, Chris Kane, told us that it’s premature to declare the death of the office, explaining that:  “For employers and employees, we’ve been stuck in a very traditional bipolar debate between office and home, whereas there’s lots of choice and it’s not just about physical space. Work is moving from being process work performed in an office, to knowledge work, which can be done in a whole raft of settings.” 

This isn’t the end of the office, merely the end of the days when working at the office is the only option, at least in jobs that allow for it and companies that need to compete for talent.

A Two-Option Hybrid Model Isn’t Flexible Enough

As schools have reopened, some have offered a two-option hybrid education model – parents can choose to send their children to school, or they can choose to keep them at home. Others have offered a rigid two-mode hybrid education model, where students attend school during designated hours in a classroom, and in other designated hours, attend school remotely. While these models simplify things for education systems, the limited variety can’t match the variety of parental or student needs. What if I can’t be home all day to be with my kids and don’t feel safe sending them to school? What if my child can’t learn effectively unless they’re in a classroom under the supervision of a teacher, but they’ve got a pre-existing condition that makes them vulnerable to Covid-19? What if conditions change and we need to switch from one mode to the other? What if there aren’t enough teachers or my child’s teacher gets sick? 

Binary thinking when it comes to in-person vs. virtual creates high-consequence, high-anxiety, and sometimes impossible choices for people, as we’ve seen with schools. In the same way, a two-option model that isn’t flexible won’t work for people who are unable to make either option work, or for those who can easily go work for someone else.  

If a hybrid work model is limited to two elements, most people won’t be able to (or won’t want to) pick one or the other. Some people might be okay commuting, for example, but only in the summer when traffic is lighter. Strict policies around how and where people are allowed to work when they’re not in the office will turn people off, as most strict policies do, but especially now that people have experienced a prolonged period of flexibility. Heavily regimented “collaboration hours”, when everyone on a team is expected to be assembled together in one place, can’t reflect the natural ebbs and flows of teams and their projects. 

To limit choice is to defy the Law of Requisite Variety, and doing so will create a number of consequences – instability, dissatisfaction and resistance – that will ultimately drive some people away to better opportunities and push others out. And when it comes to the continuing struggle for diversity and parity in your organization, those with diverse needs are the most likely to be left out of your variety equation. 

Instead, Apply Ashby’s Law Over and Over Again

The answer lies in embracing the notion of requisite variety in three dimensions:

  • Offer the necessary and sufficient variety of work options to match the variety of work preferences so that you’re balancing the needs of the organization and the needs of its people. 
  • Find that balance by asking your people – a requisite variety of them who genuinely represent everyone in the organization – to participate in co-creating those options.
  • Be relentless about experimenting with those models and keeping people involved in re-evaluating them over time, so that you and they can keep up with the relentless pace of change.

If you’re approaching the development of hybrid work models any other way, you’re at risk of getting it wrong, and at the same time, missing an incredible opportunity to unlock significant latent passion and talent across your organization Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website or some of my other work here

David Benjamin and David Komlos

David Benjamin and David Komlos

We are the CEO and Chief Architect of Syntegrity and co-authors of Cracking Complexity: The Breakthrough Formula for Solving Just About Anything Fast. Global leaders and their teams apply the complexity formula to their top challenges, getting to decisions and action in days instead of months or years. From transformation to taking out cost, digitization to improving access to life-saving products, we have equipped leaders to dramatically accelerate solutions and execution on their defining challenges. We frequently speak on topics related to complexity, fast problem-solving and mobilization, and unleashing organizations’ latent talent to bring about controlled explosions of progress.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company is ”reconfiguring” its offices amid a more permanent shift to working from home. Pichai discussed the future of work at Google during an interview for Time 100 this week. While he doesn’t see working in the office going away altogether, he described the office as a space for ”on-sites” — presumably, days where employees, who mostly work from home, gather in the office.

Pichai also said he made the decision to have employees work from home until next summer in order to boost productivity and give workers a sense of certainty during an uncertain time. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. Google’s famous offices may look a bit different for employees once it’s safe for them to begin returning to work. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said this week that the company is making changes to its physical spaces to better support employees in the future — a future that Pichai says will include ”hybrid models” of work.”I see the future as definitely being more flexible,” Pichai said during a video interview for Time 100.

Pichai was an honoree on this year’s list of the most influential people in the world.”We firmly believe that in-person, being together, having that sense of community, is super important for whenever you have to solve hard problems, you have to create something new. So we don’t see that changing, so we don’t think the future is just 100% remote or something,” he said. Pichai said that Google is ”reconfiguring” its office spaces to accommodate what he called ”on-sites” — presumably, days where employees, who mostly work from home, gather in the office.

Katie Canales/Business InsiderGoogle was one of the first major tech companies to announce that employees may continue working from home until July 2021. At the time, The Wall Street Journal reported that the decision was made in part to help working parents whose children might be learning partially or totally remotely this school year. Pichai said there were several factors that went into the decision.”Early on as this started, I realized it was going to be a period of tremendous uncertainty, so we wanted to lean in and give certainty where we could,” Pichai said. ”The reason we made the decision to do work from home until mid of next year is we realized people were trying hard to plan … and it was affecting productivity.”

Pichai said making such a long-term decision forced the company to embrace their new reality: that working from home is here to stay, at least in some capacity. And employees seem to agree: a recent internal survey at the company found that 62% employees believe they only need to be in the office ”some days” in order to do their work well, while 20% don’t feel like they need to come to the office at all. Pichai also touched upon a larger issue for those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area: affordability. All data is taken from the source: http://businessinsider.com Article Link: https://www.businessinsider.com/googl…#Google#newsbloopers#newstodaybbc#usanewstoday#newstodayworld#newsworldabc #

Important Google Photos Change Will Impact Millions Of Users

Google Photos users often struggle with Google’s frequent unexpected interface changes, but a new tweak is now rolling out that’s sure to make image sharing much easier for everyone.

The change, as spotted by Reddit users last week, brings in an improved sharing menu that makes it easier to find and select the apps and contacts you want to use to share your photos.

The improvement makes a small, but significant change to how sharing destinations are selected. Thankfully, it’s so intuitive that you may have already been using the new interface without even realizing.

If you have the new interface, sharing an image now presents you with two rows of icons much like before. The top row is for sharing directly to groups or individual contacts and the bottom row is for sharing via any other appropriate apps you have installed. The key change is that selecting an app for sharing no-longer requires scrolling through a potentially very long list of apps to find the one you’re looking for.

Instead, you are presented with a selection of just three recently-used options followed by a new button marked ‘more’. Tapping on ‘more’ then brings up an app drawer which you can swipe upwards to expand it into a vertically-scrolling full screen format.

Google Photos now uses a new app sharing menu

Here you’ll find some favorite sharing destinations at the top, followed by a complete list of compatible apps. Furthermore, the apps are presented here in alphabetically rather than the seemingly random order found in the previous horizontal app selector.

Many users have the new interface already, so if you don’t have it yet you should expect to receive it soon. If you want a reminder of the old sharing interface, try sharing from the Google Maps app which still uses the old horizontal scroller.

Follow @paul_monckton on Instagram

Paul Monckton

Paul Monckton

I’ve been working as a technology journalist since the early nineties. My passion is photography and the ever-changing hardware and software that we use to create it, be it traditional cameras and Photoshop or smartphones and tablets with their numerous apps. I have also worked extensively on computing titles such as PC Magazine and Personal Computer World and managed the PCW hardware testing labs. This has seen me testing and reviewing all manner of technologies in print and on line. I take on both written and photographic assignments and you can get in touch with questions, tips or pitches via email. Find me on Instagram @paul_monckton.

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Google Photos users often struggle with Google’s frequent unexpected interface changes, but a new tweak is now rolling out that’s sure to make image sharing much easier for everyone. The change, as spotted by Reddit users last week, brings in an improved sharing menu that makes it easier to find and select the apps and contacts you want to use to share your photos. The improvement makes a small, but significant change to how sharing destinations are selected. Thankfully, it’s so intuitive that you may have already been using the new interface without even realising.

If you have the new interface, sharing an image now presents you with two rows of icons much like before. The top row is for sharing directly to groups or individual contacts and the bottom row is for sharing via any other appropriate apps you have installed. The key change is that selecting an app for sharing no-longer requires scrolling through a potentially very long list of apps to find the one you’re looking for.

Instead, you are presented with a selection of just three recently-used options followed by a new button marked ‘more’. Tapping on ‘more’ then brings up an app drawer which you can swipe upwards to expand it into a vertically-scrolling full screen format. Here you’ll find some favorite sharing destinations at the top, followed by a complete list of compatible apps. Furthermore, the apps are presented here in alphabetically rather than the seemingly random order found in the previous horizontal app selector.

Many users have the new interface already, so if you don’t have it yet you should expect to receive it soon. If you want a reminder of the old sharing interface, try sharing from the Google Maps app which still uses the old horizontal scroller. Follow @paul_monckton on Instagram All data is taken from the source: http://forbes.com Article Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulmonc…#sharing#newsdaily#newsworldabc#bbcnewstoday#newstodaydonaldtrump#newstodayworld #

Google Employees Demand End To Police Contracts In Letter To CEO

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The letter calls out Google’s cloud business, as well as work with police and military through Gradient Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm. Google employees have sent a letter to CEO Sundar Pichai demanding that the search giant stop selling its technology to police forces, a call that comes as people around the world urge for police reform as part of efforts to end systemic racism. As of publication, more than 1,600 Google workers had signed the letter, which was viewed by CNET.

The letter calls out Google’s work with police and military through Gradient Ventures, a venture capital arm of the search giant that was founded in 2017 and focuses on artificial intelligence. The employees also criticize Google’s cloud division for touting its relationship with the Clarkstown Police Department in New York. Using Google’s G Suite productivity apps, the search giant said it’s helped the department save $20,000 to $30,000 on IT licensing costs. Google also said its software “accelerates evidence gathering and processing.”

The call Google to end police contracts comes as the US has been swept by protests following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed in police custody. The killing has spurred calls to defund police departments across the country. “We’re disappointed to know that Google is still selling to police forces, and advertises its connection with police forces as somehow progressive, and seeks more expansive sales rather than severing ties with police and joining the millions who want to defang and defund these institutions,” the letter reads. “Why help the institutions responsible for the knee on George Floyd’s neck to be more effective organizationally?”

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In a statement, Google said it has policies that guide how it deploys artificial intelligence, but said it won’t stop selling its technology to law enforcement. “We have longstanding terms of use for generally available computing platforms like Gmail, GSuite and Google Cloud Platform, and these products will remain available for Governments and local authorities, including police departments, to use,” a spokeswoman said.

This isn’t the first time Google employees have protested against the company’s work with military and law enforcement. Two years ago, workers at the search giant protested Google’s contract with the Pentagon for Project Maven, an initiative that uses artificial intelligence to improve analysis of drone footage. Thousands of workers signed a petition opposing the contract, and a handful of employees resigned in protest.

The letter about police contracts criticizes Google’s business dealings while it publicly supports the Black Lives Matter movement. Google last week announced a $175 million package to support Black business owners, startup founders and developers. Days after Floyd’s killing, Google displayed a black ribbon on its homepage, with the caption: “We stand in support of racial equality, and all those who search for it.” In a tweet announcing the homepage tweak, Pichai said the company stands with the Black community.

“We have a long way to go to address the full legacy of racism but to begin with — we should not be in the business of profiting from racist policing,” Monday’s letter to Pichai says. “We should not be in the business of criminalizing Black existence while we chant Black Lives Matter.”

 

Police are getting warrants to obtain tracking data from Google that locates every device near a crime scene. The system is called Sensorvault within the company, but a Google user might know it as Location Services. The New York Times’ Jennifer Valentino-DeVries reported on how the data can ensnare innocent people, and she joins CBSN with more.

 

 

Is Google Profiting From COVID-19 Conspiracies

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Google, along with many of the web and social media platforms, have taken great efforts to stamp out wild – and even potentially dangerous – conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19. This has included pulling down videos including on Google-owned YouTube, but despite these efforts just as misinformation continues to spread, so too do the videos.

This has even been described as an “infodemic” – a worrisome side effect of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Even as YouTube cracked down on COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, their videos were still getting millions of views. In many cases it was because such content can often go viral long before YouTube or other platforms can react.

What is just as disconcerting is the fact that Google has continued to place advertisements on websites and on YouTube that are publishing those theories. Bloomberg reported that this allows the site’s owners to generate revenue and thus continue to operate. And in at least one case, Google even ran ads featuring a promoter of the very conspiracies it had banned.

Bloomberg cited a number of examples that seem downright concerning, such as an ad for telecommunications provider 02 showing up on an article linking the virus to 5G networks, which happens to be a largely debunked yet still common theory. An example of ad adjacency involved Microsoft 365 backup service, when the ad ran on a site that suggested that Microsoft founder Bill Gates was involved in charitable efforts as part of a world domination plot.

The ads were placed through Google’s automatic system for matching marketers with websites, but it doesn’t take a conspiracy theory to suggest that there is clearly a problem with the algorithms mismatching ads simply based metadata and keywords.

“It’s difficult to say exactly what is leading to the disparity between Google’s stated policies and these problematic results,” said technology industry analyst Charles King of Pund-IT.

“However, I suspect a couple of issues are probably involved,” King explained. “First is the complexity of online advertising, which many people think of as a definable, manageable entity. Instead, the online marketplace is vastly complicated, involves thousands of markets and regions and hundreds of thousands of companies and interested parties, more than a few of which are actively working to circumvent or subvert Google’s and other advertising platforms’ policies.”

Google’s ad platform works with a plethora of sites – and as King noted, each has their own specific rules. Moreover, Google places ads for large brands that do routinely publish conspiracy theories. But while such information could cross the line into “misinformation” or even “disinformation,” in most cases it is generally harmless and this makes it hard for a platform such as Google’s to distinguish.

A site that suggests that the Titanic purposely hit the iceberg or President Kennedy was assassinated by a sinister cabal isn’t exactly “misinformation.” In some cases conspiracy theories are actually entertaining.

That’s why a lot of people view and read these theories, not to be informed but to simply see a different side of the story, no matter how unbelievable it may be presented.

“In addition, it’s worth noting that while the hundreds of thousands and millions dollars that the Global Disinformation Index says are being paid out to these sites are substantial in sum, they are generated by billions of page views across innumerable web sites,” said King.

“In other words, despite the best will and efforts of Google or any other online advertising platform things are going to fall or knowingly escape through the cracks,” he added. “Which leads to what the company intends to do now that it’s aware of the problem. That’s a question well worth asking and deserving of an answer.”

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