How Google has downgraded importance of news websites in search results

News websites saw a significant drop in their prominence on Google search results in 2022, according to data from independent search visibility performance company Sistrix.

Press Gazette analysis of data from the search engine optimisation (SEO) experts reveals that 45 out of the 68 news domains ranked worse in UK Google search results in January of this year compared to the same month in 2022.

Sistrix’s visibility index assigns web domains values based on how well they rank in Google search results. The score draws on organic (unpaid) search results and does not include Top Stories or other Google news platforms such as Discover (a personalised Google content feed on Android devices). A higher score means that a domain appears higher in search results.

Press Gazette used the news domains that appear in our latest UK monthly top 50 list, which ranks news sites based on their number of unique visitors each month. We also included

— source pressgazette.co.uk | Aisha Majid | Feb 2, 2023

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Google to pay Indiana $20M to settle location tracking suit

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita announced Friday a settlement agreement with Google LLC over violations of the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act (DCSA).

The agreement orders Google to pay Indiana $2 million within 60 days, and the proceeds may be used for any purpose allowable under Indiana law. Additionally, the agreement mandates that Google have “pop-up” notifications to inform users if their location history is enabled. The agreement also orders Google to maintain a webpage disclosing its practices and policies concerning customer location information. Lastly, Google must provide instructions to users about location-related settings and has to report its compliance with the agreement.

Indiana sued Google for unfair business practices under Indiana law and violating DCSA. The complaint asserted that Google “deceives” customers regarding their ability to protect their privacy through Google account and device settings. The complaint also argued that location data can be used to infer personal details as well as major life events about customers.

On December 28, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that guardians can sue Google for tracking their children’s YouTube activity without consent.

— source jurist.org | Dec 31, 2022

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Will You Follow Same Rules Here as in Europe, SC Asks Google

The Supreme Court has asked Google whether it will follow the guidelines set on pre-installed apps on Android phones in the European Union in India as well.

Google India has approached the court to challenge the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s order declining to stay a Rs 1,338 crore penalty imposed on the company by the Competition Commission of India for unfair and anti-competitive practices.

The CCI told the Supreme Court, LiveLaw reported, that the EU commission had found Google’s practice of pre-installing apps on Android phones unfair in 2016, and the company had since changed how it approached the matter there. However, in India, it continues with its earlier practices and was unwilling to adhere to a similar order passed by the CCI.

On January 6, NCLAT refused to stay CCI’s fine order and told the company to deposit 10% of the fine amount within three weeks. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appeared for Google.

— source thewire.in | 17/Jan/2023

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France bans Office 365 and Google Docs in schools

The French Ministry of National Education has urged educational institutions to stop using free versions of Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 for schools and students. The Ministry said the offerings are incompatible with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Schrems II judgment of the European Court of Justice and France’s internal doctrines.

France’s privacy watchdog (CNIL) recommends that institutions use collaborative suites offered by service providers “exclusively subject to European law” which “host the data within the European Union and do not transfer it to the United States”.

The minister added that “the deployment of Office 365 is prohibited in French administrations“. In fact, France’s interministerial digital director issued a circular published in

— source techzine.eu | | Nov 22, 2022

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Google Workers Push for Cancellation of Secretive $1.2B Project with Israel

Over the past year, workers inside Google have been organized against Project Nimbus. Earlier this week, a video was posted online by a group called Jewish Diaspora in Tech, featuring current Palestinian Google workers. To protect their identity, their comments were read by volunteers.

This all comes as a worker at Google says she was forced out of the company for organizing against Google’s secretive work with Israel. In her resignation letter, Ariel Koren wrote, “Google systematically silences Palestinian, Jewish, Arab and Muslim voices concerned about Google’s complicity in violations of Palestinian human rights — to the point of formally retaliating against workers and creating an environment of fear.”

Ariel Koren joins us now, along with Gabriel Schubiner, who is a current Google worker, artificial intelligence researcher and Alphabet Workers Union organizer.

— source democracynow.org | Sep 01, 2022

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Google Workers Demand Privacy for Abortion Searches

More than 650 Google workers have signed a petition demanding the mega tech company protect the location and browser history of people searching for content and information on abortion from law enforcement agencies. The petition is led by the Alphabet Workers Union, which is also asking Google to extend its abortion benefits — including relocation support for workers hoping to move to states where abortion isn’t criminalized, and travel and healthcare costs for any out-of-state abortion procedures — to contractors, to stop donating money to politicians who supported the overturning of Roe v. Wade through Google political action committee NetPAC, and to block advertisements that misleadingly direct users to anti-abortion so-called pregnancy crisis centers.

This comes amidst mounting concerns police in states with abortion bans will use Google data to target and prosecute people seeking abortion. Just earlier this month in Nebraska, a mother and her teenage daughter were charged with felonies after the mother helped her daughter obtain a medication abortion. Authorities built their case in part on private Facebook messages between the mother and daughter, which were obtained through a warrant.

— source democracynow.org | Aug 22, 2022

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How Amazon, Google, and Facebook Helped Fund the Campaign to Overturn Roe

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the country’s top internet companies quickly responded with commitments to help employees in states that moved to ban abortion. In an implicit signal of support for abortion rights, the companies said they would help those employees seek abortions in states where the procedure remains legal.

In the years leading up to the seismic reproductive rights decision, however, the tech giants sponsored a controversial group that’s worked tirelessly to put the Supreme Court under conservative control, setting the stage for Roe’s reversal.

The Independent Women’s Forum traces its origins back to the 1991 fight to confirm the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas. Since then, the group has expanded into promoting a litany of perennial right-wing causes like climate denial, immigration alarmism, and deregulation, but a conservative-dominated Supreme Court remained a focus.

Public relations plays a key role in its operation. With savvy self-branding as a pro-woman organization, the group fought for the appointment of conservative justices to the

— source theintercept.com | Sam Biddle | Oct 1 2022

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YouTube’s Biggest Info Channels Carry Corporate News, Not Alternative Views

Despite the proliferation of fringe ideologies on YouTube—and the availability of truly alternative information there—the video hosting service’s anti-establishment status may be overblown. A FAIR analysis of the 100 most-subscribed YouTube news channels worldwide found that the majority of the top news channels on the platform are not independent.

YouTube has a reputation for hosting news that challenges the status quo. In 2020, a Pew Research Center study highlighted YouTube’s potential to spotlight more independent news sources, indicating that 42% of YouTube news channels are not affiliated with a traditional news outlet.

The shadow side of that finding is that YouTube is a breeding ground for internet conspiracy theories and extremist views (FAIR.org, 3/20/18). In fact, it was the platform on which QAnon conspiracy theories first moved from the fringes of 4Chan to the mainstream (New York Times, 10/15/20). A 2021 Anti-Defamation League study found that despite its

— source fair.org | Olivia Riggio | May 27, 2022

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Google and Amazon workers condemn Project Nimbus

We are Google and Amazon workers. We condemn Project Nimbus

We are writing as Google and Amazon employees of conscience from diverse backgrounds. We believe that the technology we build should work to serve and uplift people everywhere, including all of our users. As workers who keep these companies running, we are morally obligated to speak out against violations of these core values. For this reason, we are compelled to call on the leaders of Amazon and Google to pull out of Project Nimbus and cut all ties with the Israeli military. So far, more than 90 workers at Google and more than 300 at Amazon have signed this letter internally. We are anonymous because we fear retaliation.

We have watched Google and Amazon aggressively pursue contracts with institutions like the US Department of Defense, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), and state and local police departments. These contracts are part of a disturbing pattern of militarization, lack of transparency and avoidance of oversight.

Continuing this pattern, our employers signed a contract called Project Nimbus to sell dangerous technology to the Israeli military and government. This contract was signed the

— source theguardian.com | 12 Oct 2021

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