Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Canada’s Supreme Court orders Google to de-index site globally, opening door to censorship

The Canadian Supreme Court has ordered Google to de-index an e-commerce site globally. This sets a disastrous precedent that opens the door for other governments (and private parties) across the globe to try to control or censor Google’s search results.

The case was Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions. The plaintiff, a small tech company in British Columbia, sued its former distributor, which was selling allegedly counterfeit versions of its products online. An initial injunction against the defendant failed to stop the behavior. The present case against Google went up on appeal and the Supreme Court granted a worldwide injunction against Google:

In this case, the balance of convenience favoured granting an injunction. The Court of Appeal agreed that the court held jurisdiction over Google with respect to the injunction application. It also concluded that it was permissible to seek interim relief against a non-party. The power to grant injunctions is presumptively unlimited, and injunctions aimed at maintaining order need not be directed solely at the parties involved in litigation. In this case, an injunction with worldwide effect was justified.

The Canadian Supreme Court agreed with the lower court ruling that simply blocking or de-indexing the infringing site on Google.ca would insufficiently enforce the injunction and thus justified the global ban against the company.

As a practical matter, the court’s reasoning may be accurate — similar to the French privacy regulator’s logic in seeking to enforce the “Right to Be Forgotten” globally. However, it’s a bad decision and establishes a terrible precedent. Companies and governments unhappy with the way they are represented in search results could seek, on some pretense or quasi-legal basis, to not only censor Google domestically but also internationally.

Governments such as Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia or China could pass laws demanding removal of critical or offensive content that’s politically unpalatable or disagreeable. For example, China might seek to globally censor political discussions about Tibet or the Dalai Lama. Russia could ask Google to remove content about Russia’s Western-election hacking or critical of Putin, as destabilizing to the regime. Saudi Arabia or Pakistan might seek global removal of content critical of Islam or the Prophet Muhammad.

Sound implausible or unlikely? Perhaps. Yet that’s what the Canadian decision opens the door to. Indeed, laws censoring the internet under the jurisdiction of one country could be extended internationally using the Canadian court’s logic: the intended objective cannot be fully achieved without global application.

Ultimately Google’s recourse would be to pull out of the country entirely.

Who gets to control or censor the internet? That’s what’s at stake. And while factually it could be argued that the court’s decision makes sense, there are larger, more important principles that should trump the rights of the individual corporate plaintiff in this case.

No single country should be able to dictate what people in other countries or regions get to read or see. But that’s precisely what the Canadian ruling sets the stage for, permitting unprincipled governments and companies to try to eliminate objectionable or illegal content.

That’s why it’s so dangerous to free speech and to the future of the internet.

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Author: Greg Sterling

The post Canada’s Supreme Court orders Google to de-index site globally, opening door to censorship appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



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Google Updates ‘Test My Site’ to Show How Many Visitors You’re Losing by @MattGSouthern

Google has released a new set of features for its Test My Site tool.

With statistics that indicate most sites lose half their visitors while waiting for a page to load, Google has updated the tool to show how many visitors you may be losing due to page speed.

“When it comes to mobile speed, every second matters – for each additional second it takes a mobile page to load, conversions can drop by up to 20%.”

Google’s updated Test My Site tool will also show your mobile page speed, how your business compares to competitors, and how to speed up your site.

In a case study, Google highlights a Nashville fencing company that says it has doubled its sales since following recommendations provided by the Test My Site tool.

By reducing the file sizes of images on its site, Yard Dog Fence Company managed to reduce its mobile page speed from 26 seconds to 5 seconds.

This goes to show a faster page speed can not only give you a slight edge over competitors in search engines, but it can help you convert more visitors into customers.

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Author: Matt Southern

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Canadian Courts Can Now Force Google to Remove Search Results Worldwide by @MattGSouthern

An unprecedented ruling in Canada’s Supreme Court will allow the country to force the removal of search results in Google’s search engine – anywhere in the world.

In its judgement, the Canadian Supreme Court states:

“The internet has no borders – its natural habitat is global. The only way to ensure that the interlocutory injunction attained its objective was to have it apply where Google operates – globally.”

This decision stems from claims dating back to 2012. Equustek Solutions Inc, a small technology company in British Columbia, claimed that another distributor stole Equustek’s trade secrets and proceeded to design and manufacture a competing product.

The Supreme Court ordered Google to remove search results for the other distributor’s websites in any country where they’re being displayed. Instead, Google took action by removing search results only from the Canadian version of its search engine.

Google appealed the decision to remove search results worldwide, which the Supreme Court rejected.

The search giant argued the decision raised concerns over freedom of expression, while the Supreme Court argued:

“We have not, to date, accepted that freedom of expression requires the facilitation of the unlawful sale of goods.”

The Supreme Court believes its decision to have Google remove search results worldwide was necessary, because people in other countries could still find and buy products from the law-breaking distributor.

Google can no longer appeal the Supreme Court’s decision, which passed 7-2. The only way Google can apply to have the order changed is if the company ends up violating laws in other countries through following the order.

No such application has been made, and Google has yet to respond to requests for comment.

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Author: Matt Southern

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Google News Redesigned With an Emphasis on Fact Checking by @MattGSouthern

Google is rolling out a redesigned version of Google News for desktop. The redesign focuses on providing diverse perspectives, fact checked articles, and more control over what individual users see in their Google News dashboard.

In addition, Google News has finally adopted the card-like format seen in search results. This allows for a greater emphasis on publisher names and article labels. The new layout will also hold your place as you move back and forth from stories and topics.

Different Perspectives

Story cards will offer different perspectives by displaying related stories from different sources. By default, each story card will offer an accompanying article from a different source (when possible).

Cards can be expanded to display many more stories from multiple sources. In the “Full Coverage” section you can sort by relevance or date, see top videos, and browse related news topics

Story cards may also display tags such as: “Local Source”, “Most Referenced”, “Opinion”, or “Fact Check.”

More Control

A customizable left-hand sidebar lets you pick and choose the categories of news you care most about. A navigation bar at the top of the pages offers quick access to “Headlines,” “Local” and “For You” section.

Google does not limit the “Local” section to your current location, it can be customized to track news from anywhere in the world. The “For You” section can aggregate news based on topics you select, similar to the Flipboard app.

Fact Check

Articles that have been fact checked will be featured on the right-hand sidebar within the “Headlines” section. This block will feature the top fact checked stories that have been recently published.

Videos

Google News’ new design now emphasizes video in addition to written news stories. The company says it has improved its algorithmic selection of top videos for each story, which are highlighted within story cards. Google News has also improved its video player, with access to related videos while you’re in the player.

Settings

All settings can now be adjusted in the same screen. This includes new abilities to name custom sections, edit existing sections, select topics in the “For You” stream, and specify news sources you want to see more or less of.

Look out for this redesign to be rolled out globally in the coming days.

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Author: Matt Southern

The post Google News Redesigned With an Emphasis on Fact Checking by @MattGSouthern appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



source http://www.onpageseochecker.com/google-news-redesigned-with-an-emphasis-on-fact-checking-by-mattgsouthern/

MozCon: Why You Should Attend & How to Get the Most Out of It

MozCon 2013 (left to right): Greg Gifford, Nathan Bylof, Nathan Hammer, Susan Wenograd, and myself

I remember my first MozCon like it was yesterday.

It’s the place where I would hear the quote that would forever change the arc of my career.

“The world is freaking complicated, so let me start with everything I don’t know,” said Google’s Avinash Kaushik, during the Q&A, after speaking at MozCon 2013. “Nine hundred years from now, I will fix what’s broken today. …Get good at what you do.”

Though I didn’t know it at the the time, those were words I needed to hear, and that would lead me to make some career decisions I desperately needed to make. Decisions I never would have made if I hadn’t chosen to attend MozCon, the Super Bowl of marketing events (in my opinion).

Walking into the large (gigantic) room for the first time felt like being on the Space Mountain ride at Disneyland. I hurriedly raced to the front to find a seat so I could take in all of the action.

Once settled in, I sat back and enjoyed the music as lights danced along the walls.

Who wouldn’t want to be here? I thought.

Once the show started and Rand walked out, I was immediately sold: The decision to attend MozCon was the right one. By the end of the show, I would be saying it was one of the best career decisions I could have made.

But I almost missed it.

How and why MozCon?

I discovered MozCon like most of you: while reading the Moz blog, which I had been perusing since 2010, when I started building a website for an online, members-only newsletter.

One of my friends, an executive at a large company, had recently shared with me that online marketing was blistering hot.

“If you’re focusing your energy anywhere else, Ronell, you’re making a mistake,” he said. “We just hired a digital marketing manager, and we’re paying her more than $90,000.”

Those words served as an imprimatur for me to eagerly study and read SEO blogs and set up Twitter lists to follow prominent SEO authors.

Learning SEO was far less fun than applying it to the website I was in the process of helping to build.

In the years that followed, I continued reading the blog while making steps to meet members of the community, both locally and online.

One of the first people I met in the Moz SEO community was Greg Gifford, who agreed to meet me for lunch after I reached out to him via DM on Twitter.

He mentioned MozCon, which at the time wasn’t on my radar. (As a bonus, he said if I attended, he’d introduce me to Ruth Burr, who I’d been following on Twitter, and was a hyooge fan of.)

I started doing some investigating, wondering if it was an event I should invest in.

Also, during this same period, I was getting my content strategy sea legs and had reached out to Jon Colman, who was nice enough to mentor me. He also recommended that I attend MozCon, not the least because content strategy and UX superstar Karen McGrane was speaking.

I was officially sold.

That night, I put a plan into action:

  • Signed up for Moz Pro to get the MozCon discount
  • Bought a ticket to the show
  • Purchased airline and hotel tickets through Priceline

Then I used to following weeks to devise a plan to help me get everything I could out of the show.

The conference of all conferences

Honestly, I didn’t expect to be blow away by MozCon.

For seven of the 10 previous years, I edited a magazine that helped finance a trade show that hosted tens of thousands of people, from all over the world.

Nothing could top that, I thought. I was wrong.

The show, the lights, the people — and the single-track focus — blew me away. Right away.

I remember Richard Baxter was the first speaker up that first morning.

By the time he was done sharing strategies for effective outreach, I was thinking, “I’ve already recouped my expense. I don’t plan to ever miss this show again.”

And I haven’t.

So important did MozCon become to me after that first show, that I began to plan summer travel around it.

How could one event become that important?

Five key reasons:

  • Content
  • People & relationships
  • Personal & career development

I’ll explore each in detail since I think they each help make my point about the value of MozCon. (Also, if you haven’t read it already, check out Rand’s post, The Case For & Against Attending Marketing Conferences, which also touches on the value of these events.)

#1 – Content

You expect me to say the content you’ll be privy to at MozCon is the best you’ll hear anywhere.

Yeah, but…

The show hand-picks only the best speakers. But these same speakers present elsewhere, too, right?

What I mean by “content” is that the information you glean holistically from the show can help marketers from all areas of the business better do their work.

For example, when I came to my first MozCon, I had a handful of clients who’d reached out to me for PR, media relations, branding, and content work.

But I was starting to get calls and emails for this thing called “content marketing,” of which I was only vaguely familiar.

The information I learned from the speakers (and the informal conversations between speakers and after the show), made it possible for me to take on content marketing clients and, six months later, head content marketing for one of the most successful digital strategy agencies in Dallas/Fort Worth.

There really is something for everyone at MozCon.

#2 – People & relationships

Most of the folks I talk to on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis are folks I met at one of the last four MozCons.

For example, I met Susan E. Wenograd at MozCon 2013, where we shared a seat next to one another for the entire event. She’s been one of my closest friends ever since.

MozCon 2015: I’m chastising Damon Gochneaur for trying to sell me some links — I’m kidding, Google.

The folks seated beside you or roaming the halls during the event are some of the sharpest and most accomplished you’ll meet anywhere.

They are also some of the most helpful and genuine.

I felt this during my first event; I learned the truth of this sentiment in the weeks, months, and years that have followed.

Whether you’re as green as I was, or an advanced T-shaped marketer with a decade of experience behind you, the event will be fun, exciting, and full of new tips, tactics, and strategies you can immediately put to use.

#3 – Personal & career development

I know most people make decisions about attending events based on the cost and the known value — that is, based on previous similar events, how much they are likely to earn, either in a new job, new work, or additional responsibilities.

That’s the wrong way to look at MozCon, or any event.

Let’s keep it real for a moment: No matter who you are, where you work, what you do, or how much you enjoy your work, you’re are ALWAYS in the process of getting fired or (hopefully) changing jobs.

You should (must) be attending events to keep yourself relevant, visible, and on top of your game, whether that’s in paid media, content, social media, SEO, email marketing, etc.

That’s why the “Is it worth it?” argument is not beneficial at all.

I cannot tell you how many times, over the last four years, when I’ve been stuck on a content strategy, SEO or web design issue and been able to reach out to someone I would never have met were it not for MozCon.

For example, every time I share the benefits of Paid Social with a local business owner, I feel I should cut Kane Jamison (met at MozCon 2014) a check.

So, go to MozCon, not because you can see the tangible benefits (you cannot know those); go to MozCon because your career and your personal development will be nourished by it far beyond any financial reward.

Now you know how I feel and what I’ve gleaned from MozCon, you’re probably saying, “Yeah, but how can I be certain to get the most out of the event?”

I’m glad you asked.

How you can get the most out of MozCon

First, start following and interacting with Twitter and Facebook groups to find folks attending MozCon.

Dive in and ask questions, answer questions, or set up a get-together during the event.

Next, during the event, follow the #mozcon Twitter hashtag, making note of folks who are tweeting info from the event. Pay close attention to not simply the info, but also what they are gleaning and how they plan to use the event for their work.

If you find a few folks sharing info germane to your work or experiences, it wouldn’t hurt to retweet them and, maybe later during the show, send a group text asking to get together during the pub crawl or maybe join up for breakfast.

Then, once the show is over, continue to follow folks on social media, in addition to reading (and leaving comments on) their blogs, sending them “Great meeting you. Let’s stay in touch” emails, and looking for other opportunities to stay in their orbit, including meeting up at future events.

Many of the folks I initially met at MozCon have become friends I see throughout the year at other events.

But, wait!

I mentioned nothing about how to get the most out of the event itself.

Well, I have a different philosophy than most folks: Instead of writing copious notes and trying to capture every word from each speaker, I think of and jot down a theme for each talk while the speaker is still presenting. Along with that theme, I’ll include some notes that encapsulate the main nuggets of the talk and that will help me remember it later.

For example, Dr. Pete’s 2016 talk, You Can’t Type a Concept: Why Keywords Still Matter, spurred me to redouble my focus (and my learning with regard to content and SEO) on search intent, on-page SEO, and knowing the audience’s needs as well as possible.

Then, once the show is over, I create a theme to encapsulate the entire event by asking myself three questions:

  1. What did I learn that I can apply right away?
  2. What can I create and share that’ll make me more valuable to teammates, clients or prospective clients?
  3. How does this information make me better at [X]?

For the 2013 show, my answers were…

  1. I don’t need to know everything about SEO to begin to take on SEO-related work, which I was initially reluctant to do.
  2. Content that highlights my in-depth knowledge of the types of content that resonates with audiences I’d researched/was familiar with.
  3. It makes me more aware of how how search, social, and content fit together.

After hearing Avinash’s quote, I had the theme in my head, for me and for the handful of brands I was consulting at the time: “You won’t win by running the competition’s race; make them chase you.”

MozCon 2013: Avinash Kaushik of Google

This meant I helped them think beyond content, social media, and SEO, and instead had them focus on creating the best content experience possible, which would help them more easily accomplish their goals.

I’ve repeated the process each year since, including in 2016, when I doubled-down on Featured Snippets after seeing Taking the Top Spot: How to Earn More Featured Snippets, by Rob Bucci.

You can do the same.

It all begins with attending the show and being willing to step outside your comfort zone.

What say you?

Are you MozCon bound?

Count me in!

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Author: ronell-smith

The post MozCon: Why You Should Attend & How to Get the Most Out of It appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



source http://www.onpageseochecker.com/mozcon-why-you-should-attend-how-to-get-the-most-out-of-it/

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 28, 2017

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Author: barry@rustybrick.com (Barry Schwartz)

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Voice search and SEO: Why B2B marketers need to pay attention now

Voice search is commonly discussed in the context of local and B2C SEO, but it’s being used for more than just getting directions to nearby restaurants or hearing the next step in a recipe while cooking. Voice search is being adopted for a variety of purposes, and its influence on B2B decision-makers is growing as well.

By looking at who’s using voice search, why they’re using it, and where they’re using it, it becomes very clear that the impact of voice search on B2B SEO is inevitable. Adoption of the technology is on the rise, so it’s time for brands to begin optimizing for voice search.

Who’s using voice technology?

As early as 2014, 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults were already using voice technology daily. Adults use it to dictate texts, illustrating a desire to avoid typing on small devices. Teens use it to get help with homework, demonstrating an early adoption of voice technology for organic search.

And those statistics were gathered before the proliferation of voice-operated personal assistant devices:

  • Personal assistants now are included by default on smartphones.
  • Amazon’s Echo was its best-selling product during the 2016 holiday season.
  • Google Home and Amazon Echo device sales are expected to exceed 24 million this year.

As adoption of personal assistant devices continues to increase, people will become more accustomed to operating technology using voice commands. This familiarity will inevitably translate to organic search, even in B2B markets, because of the one common denominator in everyone’s reason for using voice technology: ease of use.

Why do people use voice search? (And why is its rule imminent?)

While familiarity with personal assistant technology will encourage more people to try voice search, it is convenience that will really drive adoption. The top reasons people use voice search are almost all related to improved user experience.

From Internet Trends 2016 by KPCB

People use voice search because it’s faster, simpler and more user-friendly. It simplifies searching for individuals who struggle to type on small devices, and it helps searchers avoid navigating confusing site menus. It’s also faster than searching by text, guided by improved accuracy in the technology.

And that’s not just people’s perception: Google’s voice recognition technology is now 95 percent accurate — improved nearly 20 percent since 2013. On average, humans can speak more than three times as many words per minute as they can type. If voice recognition is just as accurate as typing, the speed of voice search provides a compelling justification for adoption.

Voice search provides a better user experience, particularly on mobile devices. Given that 90 percent of executives use mobile devices to conduct research before making a purchase, it’s not hard to imagine that those executives will transition to voice search — not to mention the next generation of B2B buyers who are growing up with the technology as second nature.

Where do people use voice search?

If the most popular reason for using voice search is occupied hands/vision, then it’s easy to assume that people are using voice search in their cars and kitchens. But there are many other places where people use voice search:

Nearly 50 percent of respondents in a recent survey conducted by Stone Temple Consulting reported that they use voice search at the office. And, while most people are uncomfortable using voice search in public, individuals in the highest income bracket are, interestingly, the least likely to be inhibited about using voice search in front of others:

So here’s what we know:

  1. Executives use mobile devices to research purchase decisions.
  2. People are already using voice search in the office.
  3. Individuals with executive-level incomes are more comfortable using voice search, even in situations where others might not.

All things considered, the importance of voice search in B2B marketing becomes hard to ignore.

How to prepare for B2B voice search

Some predict that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be conducted by voice. Current numbers show that this prediction may not be too much of a stretch: last year, Google reported that 20 percent of its mobile queries were already voice searches.

To prepare for the impact of voice search on B2B SEO, marketers should take steps now to begin optimizing for voice queries. There are three major ways to optimize site content for voice search:

  1. Focus on mobile. Voice searches are most likely to be conducted on mobile devices, so mobile optimization is more important than ever. But optimizing for mobile goes beyond simple responsive design — you’ll need to improve page load speeds, remove intrusive interstitials, abandon drop-down navigation menus and format videos to display in full-screen when held vertically to improve the mobile user experience.
  2. Target long-tail keywords. Voice search queries are more likely to be longer than their text counterparts, and use more conversational language. Find relevant long-tail keywords, and target them in site content to cater to natural language queries.
  3. Target featured snippets. When a featured snippet is populated for a query, voice search devices read the snippet and source aloud. This is a huge boost for brand recognition and authority, as Google essentially declares one company the expert. As far as voice search is concerned, “position zero” is the new page one.

The best part of taking time to optimize for voice search is that it improves overall SEO as well. Mobile optimization and page load speeds are already ranking factors, long-tail keywords comprise half of all searches, and featured snippets can drive traffic by securing a position-zero result. Voice search SEO isn’t really a separate initiative — it’s just an expansion or reprioritization of existing SEO best practices.

Voice search and B2B SEO

Voice search is used by people of all ages at home, in the car and in the office. And the rise of personal assistant devices, combined with the improved accuracy of voice recognition technology, will continue to drive voice search adoption through the end of the decade.

B2B brands are not exempt from voice search’s impact on user behavior, and these companies should take time now to begin focusing on voice search optimization.

Get started by optimizing existing content for featured snippets. Find keywords you’re currently ranking on page one for, analyze search results for user intent, and update your content to provide a direct answer. This will help boost brand recognition when a digital assistant reads your business’s name as the source of an answer in response to a voice search query.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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Author: Nate Dame

The post Voice search and SEO: Why B2B marketers need to pay attention now appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.



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