Newspapers demanding Google cache removal being zapped from index alltogether

The newspapers that asked and obtained in court their removal from Google Cache and Google News  respectively, have been erased from the Google result pages alltogether (Le Soir, La Libre…).  That is… on the Belgian version:

The international and French, UK… etc version still show no change.

The search for the disappeared pages shows a link to a copy of the verdict, but the Belgian Google News and search home fail to formally mention the ruling as demanded by the court:

The court ruling did not order to take them out of the Search Engine Result Pages… just the removal of the cached pages and the excerpts from Google News…  One might be tempted to interpret “all their sites” as including the SERPs, but the rest of the verdict really makes it clear it’s about the copies and excerpts of the newspaper articles respectively in Google Cache and News.

Is Google “taking revenge” by removing them from the index alltogether?  And is it just a matter of time before they disappear from the the non-Belgian versions as well, or does Google consider the Belgian court not to have any authority on their non-Belgian sites?

To be continued…


  • Further international reporting: PaidContent, Matthew Ingram,  GMSV, SEW Blog
  • I corrected my statement in yesterday’s posting on a necessary prior consent from a publisher before its content can be indexed.  The wording of the verdict really focuses on excerpts (in Google News) or copies (in the Google cached pages) of content.  It does however still ignore the practice of the NOCACHE, NOARCHIVE robot tags and again raises questions on what is considered fair use for news aggregators.

10 Responses to “Newspapers demanding Google cache removal being zapped from index alltogether”

  1. » Ballsy Google Kicks Belgian Newspapers’ Asses » InsideGoogle » part of the Blog News Channel Says:

    […] Sometimes Google just makes me jump up and pump my fist, yelling, “Yes! You show those motherf-ers!” This is definitely one of those times. Google responding to Belgian newspaper’s complaints about being included in Google News and the Google cache, as well as a court ruling that they remove those newspapers from their services, decided to show them who’s boss and banned the newspapers outright from Google Belgium’s search results. […]

  2. Danny Sullivan Says:

    The ruling might not have required the removal from Google web search, but the underlying principle is the same. Google was simply showing titles and descriptions of these pages in Google News and got sued for it. They do the exact same thing with Google Web Search. Rather than wait to be sued over that, removing the papers is a good defense — plus, conveniently, probably a little revenge, as well. That’s especially important given that when I look at a place like Le Soit, the robots.txt file isn’t blocking Google from crawling. It’s not blocking either web or news search crawling. So the way Le Soir (or the copyright group representing it) seems to approach getting out of search indexes is to file lawsuits, rather than making use of commonly accepted no indexing systems. Given that, sure — wouldn’t you drop them to avoid any future suits as well :)

  3. Belgium needs to grab a clue » Mathew Ingram: Says:

    […] with   |   Email this entry   |   TrackBack URI   |   Digg it   |   Track with co.mments   |     |   Cosmos Click here forcopyright permissions! Copyright 2006 Mathew Ingram […]

  4. Peter Forret Says:

    This should have a really nice effect on their web traffic, and so their CIM-statistics, and so their banner advertising income. Shows them right …

  5. Pascal Says:

    They’re back again…
    La Libre in
    Le Soir in

  6. Sivutuloja » Arkisto » Le Soir pois Googlen indeksistä Says:

    […] Lisää aiheesta ovat kirjoittaneet Blogoscoped, Inside Google ja Notes, links and Conversation. […]

  7. James Aguilar Says:

    Odds are, it’s just infeasible for them to remove things *only* from the cache, so they had to remove them completely in order to avoid the penalty.

  8. Pascal Says:

    that seems really unlikely…

    It is perfectly possibly to have your site indexed but at the same time NOT have any links to cached pages in the result pages, see the explanation Google themselves give:

  9. Pascal Says:

    About my own comment in the early morning: I swear the results were back, but at this moment, they ‘re gone again…
    La Libre in
    Le Soir in

  10. John Koetsier Says:

    Serves them right. How unbelievably clueless can you get?