Friday, August 28, 2009

Newspapers plus Google equals Jealousy

Sometimes I'm a little annoyed by what I read and other times I just put my head into my hands and sigh quietly. Today I had one of the latter moments.

Newspapers in that bastion of political sophistication that is Italy have decide to sue Google.

Why?
"Because Google does not disclose the criteria for ranking news articles or search results."

(Read the original article in the New York Times if you too want to cup your face into your palms and mutter under your breath as well)

Yes, that's right, the Italian Federation of Newspaper Publishers want to know the exact details of the Google algorythm so it can change its website so that it gets more value from its content.

Note: Forgive me for asking, but isn't this what SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) companies do for a living without knowing the exact specification of the worlds biggest search engine? If I ran a company that did SEO consultancy in Italy right now (rather than just in the UK) I would be watching this case with some concern.

However, I'm sure Google will fight (or possibly just ignore) this action and the Italian authorities will throw this out, possibly on the grounds of the comment made by Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land:
Finally, no newspaper editor of any quality would allow an external interest to walk into their newsroom and demand to know exactly how to guarantee a front page article about whatever they want. But that’s what the Italian papers seem to desire.
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