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Monday, May 22, 2006

"Google Suggest" Spawns Another Lawsuit

Posted by @ 1:29 am

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that a new Google release will bring with it a new lawsuit for Google to contend with and Google Suggest is no exception. This latest tool from Google Labs has already sparked outrage based on the suggestions it provides.

The aim of the tool is to offer predictive suggestions based on the term you start entering. In the same vein as predictive text on your cell phone, the tool is designed to make the process of searching more efficient.

The suggestions presented are based on an algorithm which takes the characters you enter and starts providing possible terms you are looking for based on previous searches with high volumes. Simple really. Chances are you are trying to find information that other people have already tried to locate. Well that is until you start typing ServersCheck.

ServersCheck you ask. Well ServersCheck is a company that markets software and sensors to monitor the availability of your IT systems. The small company out of Leuven is in arms as the new Google Suggest tool provides a veritable smorgasbord of websites offering cracks and other piracy tools to illegally use their software.

The company has requested that Google remove the other suggestions which might lead to such hacks, but when their request was denied, they filed a suit against the search giant in a Belgian court.

Google has stated that the algorithm that powers Google Suggest is not adaptable and hence can’t filter out results based on particular terms. ServersCheck are extremely skeptical as they believe Google is already filtering out adult based terms and information.

Such lawsuits are nothing new to Google, with Orkut, Google Talk and
Google Print all presenting Google with a similar legal predicament. Not to mention the all the ongoing issues with US congress and privacy. Herein lays the challenge when your company mission is to serve and share the information of the world. Not everyone wants it shared in a manner you deem suitable.

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Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

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