Google Bomb: The Untold Story of the $11.3M Verdict That Changed the Way We Use the Internet
First of all, I have to say “Google Bomb” may be the most important book anyone that has Internet presence should read. Owning a number of online businesses myself, I was eager to read this book because I wanted to know more about Sue Scheff’s experience and the successful outcome of a lawsuit. Her case was the first in Internet defamation and landed her $11.3M. But, there was so much more I learned than her story.
Written by Sue Scheff herself, as well as John W. Dozier Jr., a Internet law attorney, “Google Bomb” not only tells of Scheff’s experience with defamation by nasty people but also the emotional trauma she went through. For a site that started off being a helpful site to parents of troubled teens, it ended up smeared all over the Internet as deceptive. The interesting aspect is that the disparaging comments went viral and ended up on the top of the Google search engine. Consequently, potential visitors to Scheff’s site were redirected to derogatory and defaming information.
Dozier’s parts of the book follow Scheff’s comments and experience. They intermingle, giving the reader a fuller understanding of how others can control your site by, for e.g., creating anchor texts on their site but using your information and directing the visitors to their site where the defamatory information exists. Or, in other cases, the anchor texts are used by competitors so the visitors are directed to their sites instead of yours.
Dozier also explains how you can protect yourself against such attacks and gives suggestions of some Internet companies that offer this service. He also goes into copyright violations, cyberstalking, the Striesand Effect, hacking, spamming, and theft of trademarks. As I mentioned before, this could be the most important book you could read. It sure is for me. I used a full container of sticky tabs to mark important information and areas I need to re-read and implement.
“Google Bomb” is highly recommended because it gives you important information of what could happen to innocent people if not protected or on top of matters. Unfortunately there are many laws not in place to protect us on the Internet so we have to take our own responsibility to be cognizant and one way is to sign up for Google Alerts. This book isn’t meant to scare the site holders, but to inform them of what could happen if not aware. Awareness is the key, and by reading “Google Bomb” I can guarantee you will become more aware than you were before.