The 'right to be forgotten' law is now in full swing. Google has removed more than 60,000 web links and some days it seems like every search you do has the italicised warning at the bottom of the page: Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe. Learn more. Strange wording isn't it? Let's face it - some results have been removed, Google, or the italics of doom would not be there.
Answer boxes are the boxes that appear at the top of the organic search results and attempt to answer the question in the query... most of these queries exist around answers with a fairly solid factual base, but Google's current focus on understanding the meaning behind searches and how prominently they are displayed means that ever greater importance is placed on high quality content.
It is both right and proper that stringent measures should be put in place to put an end to child pornography online. But Vince Cable's reactionary plan for Google and other search engines to police content in the wake of the convictions of Mark Bridger and Stuart Hazell is at best oversimplifying a very complex issue and at worst, a cynical ploy to absolve the coalition government of any immediate responsibility.
I hope you've managed to get past the clumsy headline for this piece, it being my (doomed) attempt to harvest more clicks from the wilds of the internet through the dark arts of what sharp-suited people are calling Search Engine Optimisation. And the Lord above knows how I need to boost my brand, after than nasty business with the bus full of nuns.
In the beginning, there was search. With the rise of Google and its competitors in the early 2000s, search became the primary way of locating relevant web content. But this method of information retrieval has its limitations, requiring users to provide a highly specific query and have a clear idea of their wants and needs.
When identifying the purpose of introducing this filtration then I have to wonder, what it could be? The government is right to take a stance on the protection of our children, a sentiment I whole-heartedly endorse, but it seems this time the thought process behind the decision is somewhat inconclusive