One of the most popular news items last week was about a privacy issue on Google Play and how customer details were being sent to developers –
“Google is again under attack for its apparent mishandling of its users’ personal information. An Australian software developer ‘Dan Nolan‘ revealed that the search giant was sending him the full names, email and post codes of everyone who purchased his app on Google’s Play.”
Well now the story has taken an interesting twist with Apple Insider reporting that journalists have been asked to play down the story, effectively removing focus from certain key words –
“After publishing the story, News.com.au reported that “this story was amended at the request of Google. News.com.au took out the words ‘massive’ and ‘huge’ – referencing the size of the security ‘flaw’. The word ‘flaw’ was also put into inverted commas.”
The article goes on to imply that this is a SEO move, presumably to reduce the chances of negative posts about Google Play security ranking highly in the search results which is, of course, something that could be understood when you consider that the search giant is a company motivated to make money from sales of apps, movies, books, etc.
“By leaning on reporters to remove unflattering portrayals of its security policy from their headlines and SEO (used to enable the discovery of articles via search engines), Google can help ensure that the issue isn’t a factor in reducing sales in Google Play without needing to tighten up its security policy or enforce any constraints on its developers to product Android users’ privacy rights.”
(Maybe I’m mistaken but I’m sure Google has been keen to improve security on the Play store lately)
But will changing a few words and using inverted commas around a few key words actually make much difference in terms of rankings? I don’t think so.
And, if Google don’t want something to rank in the search results well, they have complete control over those anyway. Don’t they? Or am I being a bit naive here?