Google to the Rescue

I thought this article was interesting after we read about search engine optimization.  It seems there are websites that publish mug shots of people who have been arrested and then charge them $300 to $400 to take down their pictures.  Many of the people were found not guilty or the charges against them were dropped but that doesn’t matter to these sites, they still post their mug shots.   As a result Google changed its algorithm – the sites are not eliminated but they are demoted in search results.  Instead of showing up on the first page, now the sites are on the fifth page.   One of the large mug shot sites was so angry that it complained on its blog that Google was endangering Americans who now could not find out about a dangerous person.   I think this reinforces what we learned about the important role search engines can play in these situations –  it’s good to know that they are quick to act and act responsibly.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/your-money/mug-shot-websites-retreating-or-adapting.html

 

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2 Responses to Google to the Rescue

  1. vgoldbri says:

    I never heard about those mug shot sights before and have to say that I find it pretty dubious how they are trying to make their money. Do people really search for people who committed crimes? I never considered doing that, but maybe it works differently here in the US. Can it be legal to charge money from people to take down their pictures although they might not even have committed a crime. Doesn’t that conflict with any civil rights or the Consitution?
    Anyway I agree with Juillet that it is a good thing that Google adapts relatively fast and changes his algorithms if need be. That instituitions like Visa take a little longer is not suprising to me, as long as they get their money they seem to be satisfied.

  2. I don’t think this is legal, however that doesn’t stop many people from running such scams. They also could be run from outside the US, making it very hard to police the sites.

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