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March 20, 2007

Google in Europe, Misleading Spam Studies and SMX Buzz

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Google Looking for European Allies

The Financial Times reports (via CNET) that Google is looking to recruit a network of lobbyists in major European cities to help them "shape [the] debate" over heated Web issues like copyright, online privacy, advertising, freedom of expression, and security regulations of online content. Google has reportedly already made stops to 10 European cities.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. First of all, it’s not surprising news. Google did the same thing last year in Washington D.C. On the pro side of things, I think it reflects a realization on Google’s part that they can’t just launch or declare policies internationally and expect locals to go along with it. Google needs to take into consideration public opinion and act accordingly.

On the con side of things, we’re once again crossing that uncomfortable line of Google becoming a political entity. I am just never taking off my tinfoil hat.

Spam Study Somewhat Misleading

My BFF Tamar Weinberg had an interesting post over at Search Engine Roundtable (she’s Barry’s sidekick now, you know) regarding the Web Spam report Barry first blogged about last week. I didn’t get a chance to read it when Barry first posted it, but I did get a chance to read it today.

The study, as well as the chart Tamar posted, is somewhat misleading. It notes that 3 out of 4 blogs are spam. Okay, I already knew that. However, it also makes it appear that 85 percent of USAID.gov is a spammer. Somehow I don’t think the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is made up of a bunch of rogue spammers.

Instead, it’s more likely that spammer and people with far too much time on their hands have found ways to hack into the .gov site and used spammy tactics to get it to redirect to their own sites. But you don’t get that impression from reading the study. You think the US government is comprised of nothing but blog spammers.

Sadly, that was the only interesting part of the whole study. The rest of it just told you stuff you already knew – there’s lots of spammy blogs out there, especially with blogspot.com domains. Imagine that.

SMX Advanced 2007 Seattle’s Agenda Posted

Danny has posted the official agenda for Seattle’s SMX Advanced conference in June. Very exciting stuff!

To get you properly amp’d for this event (as if the two days of advanced sessions weren’t enough), I want you all to know that Susan and I will be combining forces to cover BOTH tracks of sessions in Seattle. Yes, yes, this means we will be dragging Susan out of the dark cave she calls home and bringing her into the daylight. Be excited. And just a little bit scared. She bites. [It's a nervous habit, really. --Susan]

And just as a reminder, Bruce Clay, Inc. will be giving away a free pass to the event. Contest details are still being worked out but we’ll let you know soon! We promise.

Fun Finds

This find is dedicated to poor Rebecca Kelley who was forced to relive her parent’s disappointment when an SEOmoz commenter got all judgmental on her. This sticker’s for you, kid!





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