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Google opens up a Dangerous Doorway!

December 12, 2009 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: SEO 

google_dangerFrom many sources, including of course my own attention over the past decades to the fact that many/most major new policy changes to announce to the world are made on late Fridays, I do understand on the ‘smartness’ of that process in that it gives a full weekend for the world to ruminate over those changes.

So that on the following Monday, the business press then has 48 hours or more of thought and time to work out the best way to comment on the new policy changes. And for Google, the time seems to be now to make their recent release of their new Real Time Search to all users of Google. All of us, everywhere. No exceptions, eh!

The annnouncement can be found here  – but of course we SEO practitioners knew about this from the previous friday….and that’s only a part of it. Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land has also outlined his thoughts on same, and that’s good reading too here .

So, what’s this all mean? Well, to really try to understand what this “real time” search means for one and all, you’d need to be able to go to Google, and say enter this search term “jonas brothers,” and then scroll down a bit to see the real time entries on that results page, which will look something like this — (click image to open this up to view a larger results page)

jonas-1

Those “Latest results…” are there and that’s how Google uses their latest indexing and algos, to show you the most recent social updates for that search term….in a scrollable inframe display that is available for one and all to both read — and here’s the rub — to list their own comments in too! While many are Tweets, many others are from all over the web, wherever there are online spots to comment on the Jonas Brothers. Still following me here?

Well while that’s all fine and good for those of us who are Jonas fans, there is another factor to take into considertion here….that the display of these comments is wide wide open….to whom you’d ask?

Well, spammers for one. There are already known cases of tons of spam being posted already using the new real time search funcitonality, which for those of us who HATE spam, will see more and more as this becomes more prevalent. In my mind, Google missed the boat big time on the filtering of these spams….sigh!

But that’s not my real worry, and this is because I suppose that I just didn’t have the mindset to extrapolate what else this can mean, that the real time search functionaly opens up the door to predators… yes, I do believe that and let me explain here….

Real time search is now a fully implemented part of the new Google results pages. There is no way (as yet Sergey & Larry?) to un-enable same, which means that anyone can now talk directly to our children or anyone at all really, with a direct line to their Google pages. This was pointed out in a great post by Rae Hoffman, a well known and respected SEO practitioner, in a post here .

Google has enabled, as she states, strangers to enter our homes, to talk to our children via any links that a predator can use to get to someone, anonymously too!

This worries me. This worries me BIG TIME! I think that Google needs to maybe revist this new functionaliy, and re-think it’s rollout….and make a change to allow us to filter our own use of this tool…for us and for ours….

What do you think?

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7 Responses to “Google opens up a Dangerous Doorway!”
  1. Jaime says:

    Well sure, real time spamming is a possibility, but does the problems of being able to get to data quicker and being able to really get the latest information or trends via google really outrank the obvious benefits? I mean sure it makes the attacks a lot more visible, BUT it also makes inherent problem more visible also. A person tweeting their phone number to get to a kid will get caught faster than one actually pursuing the mischief in more involved way (as is researching the family and schedules of a victim). The spammers will get their twitter accounts suspended quicker (and it is a burden to have to create new ones to keep spamming) and their facebook profiles closed faster. In my opinion using social media as a resource for spamming and general mischief is a sure way to increase the efforts you have to make to reach people to a point it might bring some needed peace to the web while spammers figure new methods OR get busted more often.

    That being said, with time a google search is more prone to return viable sources instead of fakes or spam because of cheer numbers. Even though the benefits of googles new system is huge, I do think it needs a few enhancements: 1) The ability to turn it off via preferences, so a parent can remove this ability from his small children. 2) A really good filter to avoid the display of potentially dangerous data. If they can filter our email, they can filter tweets. 3) Give power back to their users, this way a user spotting malicious or objectionable material will be able to downvote (or upvote) a piece of data effectively giving the masses the power to decide if the content is appropriate or not.

  2. Jim says:

    @Jamie…great post and while I think that the saw-off tween what Google trades for the quickness of adding the social links via Twitter et al, is in no way equal to the dangers posed by this addition. But I do agree totally with your 3 final points…I too think that All 3 SHOULD BE ADOPTED by Google….this in my mind is the proper compromise for one and all.. :-) JIm

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