Defamatory Threats To Have Chilling Effect On Link Builders?

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

Source:: SearchEngineLand


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