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Online compliance: SEO regulation after Irwin Mitchell’s delisting

Jonathan Armstrong and André Bywater consider whether Google’s delisting of law firm Irwin Mitchell signals a need for greater ?internet regulation

23 April 2014

Parts of the technology blogosphere went into overdrive in January after Irwin Mitchell apparently vanished from the world’s largest search engine, Google. Now that the dust has settled, what are the long-term ramifications for internet governance and compliance and what can law firms do to guard against this happening to them?

Internet searches

From almost the dawn of the internet, companies large and small have been trying to influence search engine results. Given the large number of searches they process, it is no surprise that all of the major search engines rely principally
on machine rather than human analysis
to decide who ranks where in their
search results.

Different search engines do this in different ways. At the start of the search engine industry, rankings were influenced by metatags – a bi...

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