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Google Updates Algorithm to Support Victims of Slander, Privacy Violations ‘Known Victims’ Feature to Remove Harmful Results From SERPs

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - In The News, SEO

Imagine searching your own name on Google, only to find yourself falsely accused of malicious claims on websites with domains like ‘BadGirlReport.date,’ and ‘PredatorsAlert.us.’ You ask the site to remove your name, but its owners demand that you pay a fee to restore your reputation.

This is a common scamming technique found all over the web. Fortunately, Google is finally cracking down on it.

The New York Times reported that Google is changing its algorithms to ensure that these sites are less likely to perform well on SERPs. These sites, which accuse strangers of cheating, stealing, and even sex crimes, typically use SEO tactics to rank high – but these efforts will be nullified if Google’s changes are effective.

Specifically, Google will allow users to report that they are victims of these sites. Google will then remove similar content with their name from SERPs – this feature is called ‘known victims,’ and will also help people whose nude photos have been published to the internet without their consent.

“I doubt it will be a perfect solution, certainly not right off the bat. But I think it really should have a significant and positive impact,” said Google’s David Graff, the company’s vice president for global policy and standards and trust and safety. “We can’t police the web, but we can be responsible citizens.”

The New York Times calls this “a momentous shift for victims of online slander,” saying that Google “has historically resisted having human judgement play a role in its search engine.”

In fact, the search engine initially rejected requests to block nude photos that were posted without consent in 2011.

A story from the European Union made waves around the world in 2014 when the ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ was inducted into the General Data Protection Regulation. This would allow users to request the removal  of certain aspects of their personal data from the internet.

North America does not have similar laws – but with Google’s latest changes, we may anticipate a shift in how individual reputations are managed on the web.

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

Core Update Did Not Include Second Product Review Update

06/10/2021

For those who have been wondering whether another Product Reviews Update was rolled into last week’s core update – the answer is a big fat no, according to Google.

The question came up on Twitter this week when SEO consultant Glenn Gabe asked Google’s public search liaison, Danny Sullivan, whether Google launched another Product Reviews Update similar to the one rolled out back in April.

READ MORE: Google Rolls Out New Product Reviews Update

“Do you know if there was a refresh of the Product Reviews Update (maybe when the June broad core update rolled out)?” asked Gabe. “I’m seeing sites impacted by the PRU w/a lot of movement during the June core update. Or is this just from the June core update? Thx for any info!”

Sullivan stated that any changes related to product reviews were “almost certainly” caused by the Core Update, not another product review update.

So, even though the product review update took longer than expected to fully roll out, it did, in fact, eventually complete its rollout back in April.

Sullivan’s confirmation makes sense because, like any other website, product review sites are bound to be impacted by something as huge as a core update.

Alas, SEOs can sleep easy knowing there haven’t been any other surprise curve balls being thrown by Google – yet. Google always has a way of keeping us on our toes, though, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for any impending changes that could affect your rankings.

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Nearly 40% Of SEOS Will No Longer Use Accelerated Mobile Pages

05/26/2021

Google’s Page Experience Update may be delayed,  but SEOs are already starting to make big decisions for when the update finally rolls out.

According to an informal Twitter poll posted by SEO Consultant, Aleyda Solis, 37.5% of all responding SEOs indicated that the upcoming Page Experience would impact AMP usage, and they would no longer add AMPs to their sites.

Nearly 24% said they would remove AMPs altogether, while 40% expressed no opinion – they “just want to see results.” Only 20.5% said they would continue using AMPs.

So, why the sudden shift away from AMPs? The new Google update does not require AMPs for content to appear in top stories.

READ MORE: Google Page Experience Update Coming to Desktop

However, that’s not to say that AMPs will be gone for good. It’s possible that many will be cautious and test the waters first before ditching AMP for good. Some options would be to try not adding AMP to newly published articles to see what kind of outcome it produces. If you experience positive results, try taking things a step further by removing AMP from 10% of pages.

As with any major Google update, this should be a slow process. Here’s some advice: don’t scrub all traces of AMP from your site the second the update launches. Take things slow and perform tests first before making any major decisions.

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