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Search Engine Optimization Industry News Archive:
August 2011

Google Confirms It Aims to Own Your Online ID
August 29th, 2011

Ever since Google (GOOG) launched its new Google+ social network, we and others have pointed out that the search giant clearly has more in mind than just providing a nice place for people to share photos of their pets. For one thing, Google needs to tap into the “social signals” that people provide through networks such as Facebook so it can improve its search results. There’s a larger motive, too: As Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt admitted during an interview in Edinburgh over the weekend, Google is taking a hard line on the real-name issue because it sees Google+ as an “identity service” or platform on which it can build other products.

Schmidt’s comments came during an interview with Andy Carvin, the National Public Radio digital editor who has become a one-man newswire during the Arab Spring revolutions. Carvin asked the Google chairman about the company’s reasoning for pushing its real-name policies on Google+—a policy that many have criticized (including us) because it excludes potentially valuable viewpoints that might be expressed by political dissidents and others who prefer to remain anonymous. In effect, Schmidt said Google isn’t interested in changing its policies to accommodate those kinds of users: If people want to remain anonymous, he said, then they shouldn’t use Google+.

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Google Confirms It Aims to Own Your Online ID.

Fake Google Certificate Puts Gmail at Risk
August 30th, 2011

A forged Web certificate for that provides the means to impersonate Gmail and other Google properties has been published online, according to media reports on Monday.

The counterfeit certificate is "valid for *, giving its unknown holders the means to mount transparent attacks on a wide range of Google users who access pages on networks controlled by the counterfeiters," according to The Register.

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Fake Google Certificate Puts Gmail at Risk.

Half of US adults now use social networks
August 26th, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Half of all American adults are now on social networks, slightly more than a year ago, and use among Baby Boomers is growing, according to a new study.

A report released Friday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that, of the U.S. adults who use the Internet, nearly two-thirds use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

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Half of US adults now use social networks.

Google's Page Knew of Illegal Pharmacy Ads
August 25th, 2011

Google CEO Larry Page knew the company was allowing Canadian pharmacies to advertise their prescription drugs in the U.S. on the AdWords platform, said the DOJ.

Google CEO Larry Page for years knew about the ads his company served on behalf of Canadian online pharmacies illegally targeting U.S. consumers, according to a U.S. attorney who led the probe against the search giant.

The company Aug. 24 agreed to pay an unprecedented $500 million fine to the U.S. Justice Department to settle the allegations. Shipping prescription drugs to U.S. customers from outside the country is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and perhaps even the Controlled Substances Act.

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Google's Page Knew of Illegal Pharmacy Ads.

Apple's Steve Jobs abruptly resigns as CEO
August 25th, 2011

Jobs, the iconic tech visionary who co-founded Apple and recently made it the most valued U.S. corporation, abruptly resigned as chief executive Wednesday night.

Jobs, 56, who has battled pancreatic cancer the past few years and looked noticeably weaker recently, told Apple's board of directors in a brief note that he "could no longer meet my duties and expectations" as CEO.

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Apple's Steve Jobs abruptly resigns as CEO.

Google May Consider Acquisitions to Expand in Southeast Asia
August 24th, 2011

Google Inc. may pursue technology assets to expand in Southeast Asia after Internet operators including Tencent Holdings Ltd. and LivingSocial acquired companies to add services and users in the region.

“We’ll continue to innovate ourselves, but where it makes sense, we will look out for opportunities,” Julian Persaud, managing director for Google in Southeast Asia, said in a video conference from Bangkok today, without elaborating. He couldn’t immediately confirm if the U.S. company previously made an acquisition in Southeast Asia.

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Google May Consider Acquisitions to Expand in Southeast Asia .

China official tells Web firms to control content
August 24th, 2011

BEIJING (AP) - A Communist Party leader has told China's Internet companies to tighten control over material online as Beijing cracks down on dissent and tries to block the rise of Middle East-style protests.

The party secretary for Beijing, Liu Qi, issued the warning following a visit this week to Sina Corp., which operates a popular microblogging site, according to the party-published newspaper Beijing Daily.

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China official tells Web firms to control content.

Facebook to let users pre-approve photo tags
August 23th, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Drunken revelers rejoice: Facebook will now let you decide whether your friends can attach your name to a photo before it is circulated.

Currently, your friends can add your name to a photo on Facebook without your consent or knowledge. You can remove it later, but only after lots of others may have seen the embarrassing shots. Now, you can insist on pre-approval.

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Facebook to let users pre-approve photo tags.

For Bargain Stocks, Check the Patent Office
August 20th, 2011

Anyone can spot a low price/earnings ratio. But figuring out which companies hold undervalued patents can provide a real investing edge.

Just this past week, Google agreed to pay $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility, a struggling cellphone maker with a vast patent stash. Google had earlier been outbid by Microsoft, Apple and others on thousands of patents held by Nortel Networks, which is in bankruptcy.

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For Bargain Stocks, Check the Patent Office.

As PCs Wane, Companies Look to Tablets
August 19th, 2011

Although the world is dependent on personal computers, making them has not been a great business for most American companies for almost a decade.

The announcement on Thursday by Hewlett-Packard that it was considering offloading its PC business, even though it is the undisputed worldwide market leader, was a clear sign of the difficulties.

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As PCs Wane, Companies Look to Tablets.

Google's $12.5 Billion Gamble
August 15th, 2011

Google Inc. forged a $12.5 billion deal to buy Motorola's cellphone business, a move that could reshape the Internet giant's fortunes in the mobile world while also giving it an arsenal of patents for legal warfare with Apple Inc. and others.

The purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., by far the largest in Google's history, thrusts the Internet company into the cutthroat business of making smartphones, tablet computers and cable set-top boxes. It will nearly double Google's work force and test the company's young alliance with other cellphone makers.

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Google's $12.5 Billion Gamble.

Yahoo On Takeover List
August 11th, 2011

Yahoo! Inc. has cost its shareholders so much money that a buyer would now be able take over the most- visited U.S. Web portal for less than the value of its stakes in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Yahoo Japan Corp.

Yahoo has plummeted 91 percent over the past decade as it failed to keep Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. from siphoning off Internet users and advertising revenue. Sunnyvale, California- based Yahoo, which rejected an offer from Microsoft Corp. for as much as $47.5 billion three years ago, is now valued at $14 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Yahoo On Takeover List.

FTC Sharpens Google Probe
August 11th, 2011

U.S. antitrust regulators are focusing their investigation of Google Inc. on key areas of its business, including its Android mobile-phone software and Web-search related services, people familiar with the probe say.

Six weeks after serving Google with broad subpoenas, Federal Trade Commission lawyers, in conjunction with several state attorneys general, have been asking whether Google prevents smartphone manufacturers that use its Android operating system from using competitors' services, these people said.

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FTC Sharpens Google Probe.

Hackers strike at 70 U.S. law enforcement websites
August 7th, 2011

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The group known as Anonymous said Saturday it hacked into some 70 mostly rural law enforcement websites in the United States, a data breach that at least one local police chief said leaked sensitive information about an ongoing investigation.

The loose-knit international hacking collective posted a cache of data to the Internet early Saturday, including emails stolen from officers, tips which appeared to come from members of the public, credit card numbers and other information.

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Hackers strike at 70 U.S. law enforcement websites.

Google, Microsoft goes public with patent spat
August 5th, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Tech heavyweights Microsoft and Google are acting like a couple of feuding starlets in a public online spat over - wait for it - patents.

It's not the first time Microsoft and Google have gone at each other's throats, nor is it likely the last.

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Google, Microsoft goes public with patent spat.

Mo. teachers protest social media crackdown
August 5th, 2011

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - As they prepare lesson plans for fall, teachers across Missouri have an extra chore before the new school year begins: purging their Facebook friend lists to comply with a new state law that limits their contact with students on social networks.

The law was proposed after an Associated Press investigation found 87 Missouri teachers had lost their licenses between 2001 and 2005 because of sexual misconduct, some of which involved exchanging explicit online messages with students.

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Mo. teachers protest social media crackdown.

Hacker 'Armageddon' Forces Symantec, McAfee to Seek Fixes
August 4th, 2011

A surge in high-profile hacker attacks this year is demonstrating the limits of an older generation of security software from Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc., putting pressure on them to revamp their product lines.

The top providers of security software are racing to adjust to cloud computing and the growth of workers plugging mobile devices into corporate networks. None of the recent attacks tied to hacker groups such as Anonymous and Lulz Security could have been repelled by traditional antivirus programs or firewall software, according to Johannes Ullrich, a researcher at the SANS Technology Institute. That’s giving a boost to upstart rivals, which are developing new ways to safeguard data.

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Hacker 'Armageddon' Forces Symantec, McAfee to Seek Fixes.

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