Google Transparency Report – India

Google’s Transparency report provides the number of requests that Google receives from copyright owners and governments to remove information from its services. Google receives requests from copyright owners and reporting organisations which represent them to remove search results that infringe on copyrights. The request involves URL’s to be removed. Government agencies also request Google to remove content from its services. Some of the Government requests include defamation, Electoral Law, Government Criticism, Adult Content, Impersonation & others. These vary by country & on the local laws.

Some of the requests from India include Indian Computer Emergency Response Team to remove content from Google+, 1759 comments associated with some YouTube videos, a Blogger blog & 64 YouTube videos. There was also city Cyber Crime Investigation Cell’s request to remove current depictions of disputed borders of Jammu and Kashmir in five Google Maps. There has been a debate going on whether Govt should play a role in policing the net.

Google Report India

Google launches Free Consumer Survey Tool for Website Owners

Google has launched free website satisfaction surveys for website owners. This is a free & easy way to collect feedback from website visitors. A snippet of code in the HTML has to be included in the website. This will load a discreet satisfaction survey in the lower right hand corner of the site. Google analyses the responses & provides the report.

Survey will run for 50 responses & will start again after 30 days. This is currently available in US for non mobile devices. The default questions are free & can be customized for $5 for 500 responses. The step involves

1) Log into the Google consumer survey website

2) You can do various settings & apply filters

3) Update the settings & paste the HTML code

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Google India launches “Start Searching India” Campaign

Google  India has launched “Start Searching India” Campaign in India on Monday. This is an initiative by Google to get the most out of Google search. India which is seeing a rapid growth of mobile browsing has become a top market for internet companies. Google launched this initiative in Chandigarh, which is the top city internet usage city in India. A new site has been launched by Google at g.co/startsearchingindia. This shows how they can get instant answers to their most-common queries.

Many are moving from no internet to mobile internet. Searching for even small requirements like movies, restaurants, hotels & others on Google search has become a trend in India. People are looking for relevant information in the shortest time possible with great accuracy. Google has been improving its search results with many tweaks in Algorithm.

On this newly launched website, one can look for information on weather, flights, ATM, research, movies & news. Researching topics has become easier with this new Google tool. Live arrival & departure information for flights is also available with flight number & airlines.

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Mozilla, BBC & now Sprint hit by Google’s UGC Spam Penalty

First it was Mozilla, then BBC & Now sprint has been hit by Google’s user generated content spam penalty. Mozilla was the first to get message from Google with user-generated spam on the site. This kind of spam is found on guestbook pages, forum pages, user profiles. This resulted in Google applying a manual spam action to the site. The entire site was not hit by spam penalty. Comment spam is one such spam area where Google is looking for UGC spam.

Then BBC was sent a notice of detected unnatural links. With such a big site like BBC & so many pages, it would be difficult to find out the spammy pages & remove. Sprint, the US telecom company has also been hit by UGC spam penalty now. Google usually applies Granular penalty to the pages

Google has said that publishers should talk to volunteers in the forums on how to avoid the penalty & also to overcome the problem. Google has 2 types of penalties. Manual & Algorithmic  Both the penalties affect the ranking in the Google & also might affect traffic. Many sites have communities, forums & groups to discuss about the products, services & others. Google Groups is the best place to discuss issues related to UGC & overcoming the penalty.

Bing Webmaster Guidelines

Bing webmaster guidelines provide guidance on links, SEO, social media, content & others. These can be accessed under the content guidelines section. Technical part covers robots.txt, sitemap, site technology, redirects & others. It calls out to avoid cloaking, link schemes, social media schemes & duplicate content. They have also introduced Bing webmaster webinars covering different topics during Nov to Feb. More information about the webinars can be found here. From an SEO point of view, it covers all the major important issues.404 pages best practices is also included covering no advt, page returns a 404 status code & smart 404 pages.