By Eric Ward
By now, you have probably heard about how Google agreed to remove malicious links from the SERPs that damaged the reputation of a UK businessman. The settlement terms weren’t disclosed but likely involved specific actions on Google’s part to remove the defamatory material.
You can read the details here: Google Settles UK “Defamation” Suit, Agreeing To Remove Malicious Links.
FYI, here is what a Defamation Removal From Search Notice looks like:
If you receive one, it means a page (or pages) on your site may contain inaccurate content about a person — and that person is really PO’d and has filed a legal action with Google.
I’ve heard about Google removing links from its search index due to a DMCA copyright infringement or because of the new “Right to be Forgotten” ruling in the EU, but this latest “defamatory content” ruling is a much different animal.
Google is sending out link removal notices in response to legal complaints for “alleged defamation.”
In other words, if you decide after reading this column to drop a post in the comments section below (or anywhere on the web that Google indexes) calling me an illiterate link-building moron, I can sue – or at least force Google to remove the URL upon which that comment resides from its index.
And it’s not because you called me a moron. I can’t fight you on that, and my wife likely agrees with you.
Your mistake was calling me an “illiterate” moron – which I most certainly am not, and which I might take offense to. I can read, and while it’s arguable as to whether or not I can write, I can still try to force Google to make a decision about indexing that page/comment that I feel is defamatory.
I’m not sure this is a good thing.
I am …read more