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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Suing Google Suggest

Oh my – someone’s apparently suing Google for the Google Suggest feature, which suggests cracks of a certain software. As you may know the Google Suggest feature, as used in the Google Toolbar, is a (slightly moderated) approach of offering suggestions based on popular searches, as you type. So when a lot of people search for “XYZ” and you enter “X” then XYZ will be suggested, and of course, XYZ may be illegal.

From the article:

ServersCheck, the Leuven supplier of monitoring software and hardware for ICT-infrastructure, confirms the article in the Belgian newspaper De Standaard and will begin its case against Google Benelux at the commercial court in Leuven today. The cause is the Google Toolbar, a part of the search toolbars in Internet Explorer and Firefox, in which Google suggests illegal or cracked versions of the ServersCheck-software to surfers for the keyword “ServersCheck”.

While this may sound like another case of killing the messenger (in a way, it does to me), indeed above screenshot shows how even users who weren’t looking for cracks may then be pointed to them. Also, if Google tries to defend themselves saying they’re just mirroring searcher’s behavior with Google Suggest, then their apparent moderation of adult themes – “se” doesn’t suggest “sex”, “por” doesn’t suggest “porn” – could backfire.

[Thanks James Jooris in the forum.]


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