Weekly Digital News Roundup: Nov 14 – 18
Google, Yahoo join opposition to rogue website legislation
- Google, Yahoo, Facebook and several other large Web companies today joined a growing chorus of strong opposition to proposed legislation that aims to curb online IP and copyright theft by foreign sites.
- The opponents contend that the two proposed laws, the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) and the PROTECT IP Act (S.968), would result in Internet censorship. Critics say both bills are overly broad and mostly serve the interests of Hollywood and the U.S. music industry. While the companies agree that new enforcement tools are needed to combat rogue websites dedicated to copyright infringement and counterfeiting, they say proposed bills go too far.
- The SOPA legislation would allow copyright holders and IP owners to ask payment processing companies such as MasterCard and PayPal, as well as advertising networks, to terminate their services to any site. ISPs that comply with the requests would receive full immunity under SOPA. Companies that don’t comply with the requests could face legal action from copyright and IP holders. SOPA would also let content owners get court orders requiring that ISPs and search engine companies like Google block access to entire websites that content owners deem are violating copyright and IP laws.
Improved Snippets, Rank Boost For “Official” Pages Among 10 New Google Algorithm Changes
- Google just posted about ten new algorithm changes it has made to how it shows and ranks search results. These include showing rich snippets more often, improving the quality of snippets, a better way of showing page titles for times when Google ignores the HTML title tag itself and a ranking boost for “official pages,” which Google says it can detect better now.
- Some of the changes include snippets, page titles, autocomplete, and translation changes. Google says that it has a change that allows it to pick more snippet text from the main content on a web page, rather than selecting from headers or menus.
- In regards to ranking changes, Google wrote on their blog, “We changed how we handle result freshness for queries where a user has chosen a specific date range. This helps ensure that users get the results that are most relevant for the date range that they specify.” They also boosted “official” page detection, saying, “with this change, we adjusted how we attempt to determine which pages are official. This will tend to rank official websites even higher in our ranking.”
Google’s Verbatim Search For A True Exact Match
- Google continues to refine its search function. This time it feels like they are almost going back in time by allowing users to get search results based on what they actually type: verbatim.
- When you go click on more search tools at Google.com you can choose “verbatim search” and the following typical algorithm assists are NOT used according to the Inside Search blog: making automatic spelling corrections, personalizing your search by using information such as sites you’ve visited before, including synonyms of your search terms (matching “car” when you search [automotive]), and more.
- So in other words, on those occasions when you are looking for that perfect misspelled search you can have it so Google won’t go in and do the thinking for you.