Inside Google & Alphabet - June 3rd, 2019

Inside Google & Alphabet (Jun 3rd, 2019)

Possible antitrust investigation / Google Outage / Women Soccer Players

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1. The internet was buzzing all weekend with the news that the Department of Justice may be opening an antitrust investigation into Google. If it's true, the DOJ will be playing a bit of international catch-up; the EU has already investigated and fined Google, while JapanIndia and South Korea are doing their own investigations. The FTC concluded a Google probe in 2013 with minimal censure, while Canada ended an investigation in 2016 with no action at all. Reuters has a good explainer for why the DOJ may take this step. -- POLITICO

2. Google has recovered from a massive outage that took place on Sunday. It started around 4 p.m. Eastern time and disrupted a number of services, including YouTube, Gmail and Nest, leaving users unable to access these services or getting repeated internal service errors. (Some people were unable to turn on air conditioning because of the Nest outage.) As of Monday morning, Google did not say what caused the outage, but confirmed it was not a cyber attack. According to Google, everything was back to normal around 7 p.m. Eastern. -- NEW YORK TIMES

3. Google is developing an online museum of women who were banned from playing soccer. Google Arts & Culture is crowdsourcing information on women who endured playing bans around the world from the 1920s to the 1970s because of fears that playing soccer would "masculinize" them. The new site is expected to launch June 24, a date that falls during the FIFA Women’s World Cup (June 7 to July 7). Google launched the project by spotlighting Léa Campos, the first professional female soccer referee in the world. -- ADWEEK

4. New ad restrictions from Google are putting the squeeze on third-party tech support providers. Last September, Google restricted ads from third-party tech support companies, saying at the time it would launch a verification program to ensure that only legitimate businesses could advertise. (Google has had problems with fraud in some of its services, like locksmith scams on Google Maps.) It's now June. Apparently Google has not launched a verification program, and the third-party tech supporters are still having ads restricted. Considering how pervasive and major Google's ad network is, this could have a major impact across the internet. -- SEARCH ENGINE JOURNAL

5. The Football Association (FA) is using Google Cloud to build a player-analyzing tool. The FA already has a great deal of information inside Google Cloud, so a new tool likely will make better use of it. -- COMPUTERWORLD UK 

6. Google Drive is showing an error when visited by Microsoft Edge browsers. This happened recently with YouTube and was blamed on a bug. -- NEOWIN

7. Google Ads has expanded its targeted location options for online advertising. The service adds "people in or regularly in your targeted locations." -- SEARCH ENGINE LAND

8. Google has announced a core search algorithm update for... today. There are not a lot of details yet and probably won't be until SEO experts get to do some analysis. -- SEARCH ENGINE LAND

9. Google is planning to open a new office in Berlin. People in the capital of Germany have resisted Google opening up there. -- DEUTSCHE WELLE

10. Google Duo users were accidentally spammed with a video from an Indian cricket team. The video misfire went to bemused users worldwide. -- DIGIT  

Tara Calishain has been writing about search engines since 1996, when she wrote the Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research. She's since authored or co-authored several other search-related books, including Google Hacks. Tara is obsessed with all things related to online information collections. You can say hi at @ResearchBuzz on Twitter.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside) and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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