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Conservative Filmmaker Complains to Google That Movie Buried in SERPS

9:32 am on Jul 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza wants to know why his latest docudrama "America: Imagine the World Without Her" was buried by mega search engine Google.

Here's the technical problem: When one normally searches the name of a current movie plus the word “movie” in Google, showtimes and more information for the film typically show up. “America” opened on July 1 in 700 theaters nationwide, but typing in “America movie” has not provided show time information in a Google search.

Lawyers for the film sent a letter to Google chief legal officer David Drummond insisting the situation be fixed, claiming that it is hindering the ability for moviegoers to find out where its being played.

Google's response at [foxnews.com...]

This quote kind of made me laugh:

"Google's search algorithm is not an absolute exact science, however, its core mission is to serve up reliable and accurate information to the end user," Ari Zoldan, CEO of Quantum Networks said. "The company does not engage in unethical or biased mis-search results. They are not in the business of taking sides."

Not sure if Ari Zoldan was qualified to provide his expert opinion. Considering the story is about a movie, Ari should have questioned why so many YouTube videos appear in the search results yet competing video websites don't.
11:53 am on July 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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This story reminded me of some useful tips:

#1 - Don't use a single generic term as your brand. If you use a generic term you better also use a unique term with it.

#2 - When there is real or imagined controversy, make a big commotion over it so others talk about you and give you more exposure.

#3 - Send emails to journalists, flattering them and offering your "expert opinion" on future articles.

#4 - You don't ever have to accept responsibility even if its partially your fault if you can find a scapegoat to blame.
12:29 pm on July 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I don't remember where I read it (maybe Slate) but when this story first broke, they did a search of some other one and two word movie names that were relatively current, and they didn't come up on the first page either. Moreover, it was 4th of July week. (I know a little about that)

I've seen similar issues with a lot of local bands picking ridiculous one word names that are 1) used by 10,000 other bands and 2) a common word that might have six or seven different definitions. Then they wonder why they can't be found in Google.

For Goodroi:

#5 You never have to look too far to find a conspiracy theory
1:33 pm on July 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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D'Souza has been making the rounds on Fox News for a while and loves to stir up controversy. Controversy helps to sell books and fill theaters.

Fortunately for D'Souza he has a platform (Fox News) and the finances to sway Google. Most people don't have these resources, especially for such broad terms.