Google Drop Down
In the last 24hrs Google has dropped the suggestion scam after many company names which is great, however it looks like it has been replaced with Complaints instead. Also the related searches at the bottom of the search results can still be quite negative:
Although these are not great they are certainly more manageable than Scams
Being plagued by Google auto-suggesting ‘scam’ with your name and directing people to a whole page of scam suggestions is a common problem for most. Well, this latest Google tweak could be the end to all your scam woes.
Google has stopped suggesting “scam” in suggestions and made life much easier for reputation managers. This is clearly huge for a company or a brand which has had to suffer monetarily and otherwise with the word ‘scam’ being suggested by Google.
Blogs like, Gr8 Example Of Google Drop Drown Suggesting Scam for Scam’s Sake, have been highlighting the problems companies had to endure both in reputation and in terms of enormous loss of revenue.
An active participation in the Google support forum under the head - Remove Google Suggest Keyword “scam” from my company name, has also been discussing Google scam suggestion issues. Often scam was being suggested when there weren’t many scam results in SERPs.
From today when you make searches, you will have to type the word “scam” and then you will get a clean page of suggestion even with Google Instant on and then press Enter to actually get to the results. No scam suggestions no more!
Surely a blow for review sites like Scam.com who have wielded enormous power over hapless companies with comments and postings in their forums which come up being auto-suggested by Google.
Clearly a much-needed reprieve for those who have been hit by scam posts by disgruntled employees, competitors, pranksters and the like.
Scam is not fully gone either: Google still suggests scam in related searches at the bottom of the results pages.
We recently did a post talking about new rules that had been put in place to help protect individuals from falling foul of rogue modelling agencies (seen here). After receiving enquiries from companies concerned about getting caught up in the modelling scam affair, we’re issuing this follow-up aimed at explaining the problem faced by legitimate modelling agencies.
Over the last few weeks the Google suggestion drop down has been causing more issues for businesses and individuals alike. Its fine if the suggestions are helpful or positive however if you get slammed with scam, complaints etc as a Google suggestion then you are in trouble. See the test these guys did on Google Drop Down. An example of helpmegoto.com scam where they managed to trigger the suggestions even without a website.
Google Instant has made the google suggestions much more of a feature…. Lets see what happens over the next few months with law suits.
A Paris court has fined Google to pay damages to a convicted sex offender as Google suggested ‘rapist’ when the plaintiff’s name was searched. The case against the plaintiff had not been decided when “Google Suggest” started suggesting the word ‘rapist’ alongside his name.
This is a crucial moment in a criminal case as the court needs to be impartial in how they go about conducting a case and this can be termed to media coverage and result in the conviction being quashed if the court decides that this has resulted in court members being influenced.
However, this could be even bigger when it comes to a company or a celebrity going through a criminal case. It could be huge for Public Relations and Reputation Management even if it is, for now, a ruling confined to France alone where anti-Google judgement are par for the course.
This is Google’s second conviction in France over suggested queries and the company continues to claim that -
“Google Suggest is an aggregate of the most popular searches based on past requests from users. Google does not suggest these terms.”
This is disingenuous to say the least, especially since they actually call it Google Suggest – suggest itself being a verb and not a noun. The French are clearly not buying Google’s defence and the court has ordered Google to pay 5,000 euros (6,700 dollars) towards the plaintiff’s costs. Being the second conviction in France this year for Google suggest, the company will have to consider how they are going to frame the fucntion within the law in France.
For Google watchers, these cases provide a brief and limited insight into how Google operates its search algorithm. A trade secret about which Google quite naturally likes to say very little if possible. It also shows how challenging it is going to be for Google as they balance being both a machine determined search engine and also being viewed as a media publisher. In effect, the court is saying that Google decides what they show and that the Suggest feature may be an aggregate but it is also a published piece of media.