The number of requests submitted by the courts and government agencies in the UK to have web content removed has almost doubled, according to data released by Google. The search company stated that requests for more than 3,000 items to be removed were received for the months between January and June this year, with 97 requests received during that period.
A Transparency Report published by Google that this figure was a 98 per cent increase compared to figures for the six months to December 2011. One law enforcement agency in the UK had requested that 14 items be removed, which Google did not adhere to. According to the law enforcement agency, the search results in question linked to websites which contained police criticism and made claims that crimes were covered up by individuals. Another request cited a YouTube video which allegedly accused a law enforcement agency of racism.
According to Google, courts and government agencies from around the world issue requests for removal of material for a number of reasons, depending on the country. Requests for removal worldwide for links to content which is defamatory have increased by 39 per cent. Privacy and concern for security removal requests have increased world wide by 20 per cent.
The increased number of removal requests makes it even more important to be aware of content used for search engine optimisation. A company’s SEO campaign relies on high standards of quality, using original material which isn’t offensive, whether the company is in Liverpool, UK or overseas.