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August 23, 2006

Search News Goes International

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Ready to take a trip around the world? Let’s go!

More Trouble in Brazil for Google

Google and Brazil have long had a troubled past (see here and here) regarding Google’s social site Orkut, but now Google has pushed the Brazilians too far. Reuters reports that Brazilian prosecutors have asked a judge for permission to file a civil lawsuit against Google, who they say has purposely withheld information regarding Orkut users allegedly involved in pornography and crime.

The prosecutors in the case are asking that Google be fined $61 million, have their Brazilian operations closed, and be forced to pay a daily fine of $93,000 for each additional day they refuse to hand over the information.

Google says they can’t hand over the requested information because the data is stored on American servers, where Brazilian laws are null and void. This one is definitely not over.

U.K. Hacker Gets Timeout

David Lennon, the bratty 19-year-old who sent five million (!) emails to his former employer, collapsing the server and costing the company £30,000, plead guilty to Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act on Tuesday and was given a “two-month curfew“.

Under the curfew, young David will have to be home between 12.30 a.m. and 7a.m. on weekdays, and between 12.30 a.m. and 10 a.m. on weekends. What? He should be home during those times anyway. What’s better, the curfew was set as to “not interfere with [his] work at the local cinema“.

That makes sense. We wouldn’t want to deny people of their preciously buttered popcorn. I’m sorry, but that kid deserves to be tied to a pole and pelted with rocks. Five million emails? This slap-on-the-wrist curfew is garbage.

Is Google having Indexing Troubles in the UK?

Several WebmasterWorld members say they are receiving different results when they perform a site: command search than when they use the “pages from the UK” option.

One member explains:

“A site:domainname search lists the pages in the site ok when performed in the default search, but lists all pages APART from the homepage when done with the ‘pages from the UK’ option. Also, a search for the domain name shows the homepage in the #1 slot in a default search, but a search for the domain name using the ‘pages from the UK’ option shows the same list, but no homepage anywhere.”

Barry Schwartz thinks it may have something to do with last week’s Google update that sent more pages back into the supplemental index. Weird.

MSN’s SERPs get a facelift in the U.K.

A DigitalPoint Forums thread shows that MSN UK Search may be testing a new layout. Barry has screenshots of the before and after over at SER. I prefer the old layout myself, but I like blue.

Welcome, Gimeru!

Japanese users can now access Gmail without an invitation, making Japan the third country (behind Australia and New Zealand) to be given open access to Google’s mail system.

We presume the move was part of Google’s continuing effort to increase its presence in Japan. In May, Google partnered with wireless operator KDDI Corp to incorporate the Google engine into KDDI’s EZ Web Internet service for mobile phones, which is how the majority of Japanese users access the Web.

All Hail Canada!

Rand has an amusing list over at SEOmoz that tries to explain why Canadians make the best SEOs.

Some of our favorite reasons include:

  • The all-purpose Canadian verb “to hork,” technically means stealing, purloining or taking away, but can also be applied to the SERPs, i.e. “We totally horked their rankings, eh?”
  • The trade of SEO requires a high level of geekiness, for which Canadians have an enviable pre-disposition.

Oh, Rand, you hork my heart.

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